Yogurt joint has customers tickled pink

For those of us who love delicious and relatively healthful desserts, the arrival of frozen-yogurt purveyor Pinkberry to Tarrant County is something akin to that of a much-awaited reunion tour of a fave '80s band. It's that big a deal.

Less than a year after Pinkberry debuted its first Metroplex branch in Dallas, the Arlington Highlands location opened in March as a cheerful oasis of nonfat yogurt pleasures. From the moment one strolls into the compact seven-table shop, the perky mood of the place is immediately established by a chorus of "welcome to Pinkberry" trilled by a trio of counter servers dishing out the all-natural tart yogurt that has been Pinkberry's signature since its 2005 beginnings in California.

Pinkberry's interior sets a blissed-out tone with a jaunty mix of Kool-Aid fun color schemes set to a teen-club's disco beat. Sea-foam blue and mandarin orange glass walls are etched with peppy slogans about one's "daily dose of swirly goodness."

In my dive into the goodness, I sampled both the original flavor and five "seasonal" flavors.

The original tart flavor of Pinkberry yogurt acts as the perfect foil for any number of fruit toppings (I tried blueberry and strawberry) that one can pile on top of the silken white swirl. Honey almond granola provides a welcome sweet, crunchy texture.

The newest flavor in the Pinkberry collection is mango, and it's a distinct tropical twist on the original flavor. When served with fresh mango chunks, the raisin-cranberry combo of Craisins, and the crunch of honey-roasted sunflower seeds, the palate tingles from the tang of the yogurt and is then tickled by the Craisins and sunflower seeds' snap and crackle.

Pinkberry's intense chocolate-flavored yogurt (infused with three kinds of cocoa powder) has the velvety texture of pudding; this chocolate yogurt is a sweet-tooth seduction, especially with sidekicks of chocolate shavings, cinnamon squares and mochi -- a miniature Korean rice cake with a marshmallow consistency.

The only combination I tried that didn't seem to work was the pomegranate yogurt, which came with a slightly jarring addition of Cookies n Cream pieces, strawberries and organic Fruity Bears.

Pinkberry is certified by the National Yogurt Association, and each serving overflows with vitamins C, A and even K. Its product abounds in "live and active cultures." But none of that healthful goodness would matter one wit if it weren't so tasty and didn't fill you with, as they say in Pinkberry-speak, "chilly bliss."

Andrew Marton is a Star-Telegram senior arts writer, 817-390-7679