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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Stealing MYO Heart

You wouldn’t tend to consider a place that encourages folks to dump bits of Butterfinger and lumps of cookie dough on their desserts "healthy," but during a visit to MYO Frozen Yogurt's new outpost on Alvarado in downtown Monterey (649-FROY), healthy things were surprisingly present.

For one, the frozen yogurt exceeds the National Yogurt Association’s standards, deploying beneficial live and active yogurt cultures to promote digestion, in non-fat, non-dairy, and no sugar-added variations.

Flavors range widely and wildly. I’ve seen white chocolate macadamia and Dutch chocolate, Irish mint and pomegranate-raspberry, mango and strawberry-banana; my friend who goes the most out of folks I know, though, sticks with the basic, clean and refreshing taste of plain tart.

On this tour I tried the dulce de leche froyo (with some shards of Reece's peanut butter cups and some chocolate covered bits of almond) and it compared surprisingly well to its Argentine ancestors I had rather regularly in the birthplace of dulce de leche, Buenos Aires.

And while there are seemingly endless sprinkles, M&M minis, jelly beans, chocolate turtles and (yes) gummy sharks, there is also plenty of nourishing nuts and fresh fruit delivered daily from Del Monte Produce, albeit out of season, which can mean some serious shipping.

Strawberries are easily the most popular, staff says, followed by the berries like blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. There's even kiwi and mango.

And there are other nutritious nuggets to be mined. The pay-your-weight exercise—45 cents an ounce—doubles like a lesson in excess, portion control and good business practice.

The clean lines and pastel oranges and greens feel joyful rather than cheesy (maybe it was the gorgeous day). The Alvarado venue has a few tables, unlike its Cannery Row original (375-FROY), including some outdoor seating, and the full house seemed happy to seize the opportunity to slow down to enjoy the early afternoon treat. The young, attractive staff is congenial and enthusiastic. A stamp card kicks down a free froyo after enough visits. And healthiest of all, at least in my book, is the locally owned business’ locals discount: 20 percent.

Epilogue: Healthy Coincidence
The day after our visit I got an e-mail about a very healthy community fundraiser Saturday, June 12, at MYO to boost the Josephine Kernes Memorial Pool, which, the e-mail reads, "was founded in 1972 by Edith Perry to provide warm-water aquatic therapy for those with physical, mental, emotional, and developmental disabilities. The Kernes program strives to provide classes, individual instruction, independent pool time, and rehabilitation to those in need, regardless of financial compensation."

So this Saturday will be Josephine Kernes Day, with 20 percent of all sales go to the Kernes Foundation, and reps of the program on hand (10am-6:30pm) with information about the pool’s programs. There will also be a raffle (with whalewatching and horseriding prizes among the loot), a video and several speakers. The event is free; raffle tickets are $5.

And MYO is that much harder not to like.