archs - 2

I remember when frozen yogurt first arrived. For me this was at a deli in Dayton, Ohio called “The Upper Crust.” At the end of the counter there was a huge metal machine that looked like something out of a 50′s science-fiction movie. You pulled the handle and out came pale pink strawberry goodness similar to ice cream but fluffier, and good for you too!

Fast-forward a few years and several hundred miles to Charlottesville in the mid-90′s. I’m at UVA with a really bad haircut. A cute girl named Carrie who lives in my dorm suggests we go to a place called Arch’s on the Corner for frozen yogurt and I say, “I love frozen yogurt!” And then I tell her in great detail and with great enthusiasm about the magical machine from outer space at The Upper Crust. Her smile turns upside down and she says she’s actually feeling tired and doesn’t want to go out for fro-yo after all.

archs - 5Social misfires aside, that was the first time I heard about Arch’s, and it marked the beginning of an addiction that has me in its clutches to this very day. Why is it so good? I have no idea. Some say it’s the gooey “crack” brownies, which are indeed ridiculous, despite allegedly being low-fat. Others say it’s the delicious “Archers,” Arch’s equivalent of a Dairy Queen blizzard or a TCBY shiver or a McDonald’s flurry or whatever. Others still say it’s the “Wow Cow” yogurt, which is made from healthier and more natural ingredients.

There are three locations as of this writing, and at least one of them serves sandwiches and salads too. It has never occurred to me to try one and I don’t know anyone who has, but the employees assure me that they’re delicious.

If you’ve never been, you’re likely to go and have your yogurt and say, “I don’t see what the fuss is about.” To that I say, “Stop here! If you go again you’ll never be free. And this way you’ll shorten the lines for the rest of us.”

Then again, maybe it’s actually not as good as I think it is. Maybe it’s just that my yogurt is laced with a heavy dose of nostalgia that deepens the sweetness. But then why are there lines out the door every warm night of the school year?

Erin says: “The gooey brownies are truly a miracle of food science, and there’s no way I want to know the truth about how they are really made.”

award_star_gold_3 16Rating: Erin: Jed:

thumb_up 16 iconPros: Gooey brownies, healthy “Wow Cow” yogurt (the marshmallow and angel food cake flavors are especially good), lots of toppings, the 29/Emmet location has a decent seating area upstairs overlooking Emmet Street.

thumb_down 16 iconCons: Addictive.

money_dollar 16 iconPrice: around $5

car famfam 16 iconParking: The Ivy and 29/Emmet locations have plenty of parking. The Corner location is right behind a parking garage.

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