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In Praise of Yogurt Place

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Dave Feldman Aug 22, 2001 12:55 AM

There's no question what 2001 Chowhound tip has affected me the most -- the sighting and then recommendation of Yogurt Place, 77-20 21st Ave. in Elmhurst.

The strained, whole-milk yogurt is simply one of the best desserts in New York. It is ofered with sour cherry, mixed fruit, w/granola, nuts, cinnamon and honey, chocolate, or my favorite, ground walnuts and honey (and if you ask nicely, any combination of the above).

More than enough costs $1.00. Even better, 16-oz. containers of yogurt are available for $1.50, less than the cost of Dannon's. Amazing, astonishing stuff at an unbelievable price.

The yogurt is fabulous as an ingredient in recipes, and can be used as a fine substitute for sour cream.

The Yogurt place also features all kinds of Greek pies (both savory and dessert), baklava, apple pie, and my favorite, cookies w/walnut, and cookies w/fruit, walnuts, and powdered sugar. Everything is inexpensive.

The best thing, yet: The owners are fabulous people, warm and friendly. They will both do everything but lick your face if you show enthusiasm for their stuff. It warms your heart to spend some time at the Yogurt Place.

Open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Saturday from noon - 4 p.m. (718) 777-5303

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  1. j
    Jim Leff RE: Dave Feldman Aug 22, 2001 01:08 AM

    Very Very Important: you MUST (repeat: must) heat the spinach pies and apple pies (and heck, all the baked stuff not drenched in honey or syrup) in an oven. Especially the apple pie. At room temperature it's nearly inert. Warm, it melts the heart. Don't even think of microwaving. It's gotta be oven or toaster oven.

    And the yogurt itself is the least obvious thing in the store. You have to know to ask for it. They will drench it with their homemade fruit preserves and/or honey and/or walnuts and/or whatever they've concocted that day and you ask for.

    Oh, and my favorite thing in the whole place is a yogurt drink (forget what they call it, but it's similar to Russian and Turkish yogurt drinks) with sour cherries mixed in. It's the best hangover cure in the world. It's worth getting a hangover for, just so you can enjoy the cure.

    One last point...it's a stone's throw from Laguardia Airport. Definitely an "on the way to/from" stop.

    ciao

    8 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff
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      marivella RE: Jim Leff Aug 22, 2001 01:25 AM

      i am so pleased that you all are enjoying the special little yogurt shop on 21st avenue in jack hgts. it is such a simple and refreshing experience in our hurried city. and let's not forget all the calcium, potassium and protein in each serving.

      1. re: Jim Leff
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        emily RE: Jim Leff Aug 22, 2001 07:47 PM

        oh, oh, oh... whyyy did i leave new york????

        dave and jim, you both really know how to tout a place. i'm thinking of ways to buy a ticket from utah to laguardia just to swim in a vat of that yogurt. damn.

        1. re: emily
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          Dave Feldman RE: emily Aug 24, 2001 01:46 AM

          Want to feel even worse, Emily? Miraculously, even though it is made without preservatives, the Yogurt Place's strained yogurt has an amazingly long shelf life -- at least a month.

          1. re: Dave Feldman
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            emily RE: Dave Feldman Aug 24, 2001 04:02 PM

            dave, for the love of mercy, stop!

        2. re: Jim Leff
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          tamara RE: Jim Leff Aug 24, 2001 01:08 PM

          don't know what they call those yogurt drinks in Greece and Turkey, but in Russia it's probably kefir.

          1. re: tamara
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            Jim Leff RE: tamara Aug 24, 2001 11:39 PM

            yeah, i think that's right.

            the other day I went and had the yogurt drink there (realized they add ground walnuts as well as sour cherry...it's just screamingly delicious) and hit a mediocre Jackson Heights Indian restaurant (isn't that redundant?) for dinner. The waiter asked if I'd like a mango lassi. I just beamed at him and shook my head "no".

          2. re: Jim Leff
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            DanJ RE: Jim Leff Sep 4, 2001 12:41 PM

            Over the weekend, I took a trek out to Elmhurst in search of the elusive Yogurt Place but couldn't find it! There was a bakery ("Friendly Bakery" or "Family Bakery" or something like that) on the corner, but no Yogurt Place. Someone, please clarify the name, address, and phone.

            Chowhoundishly,

            DMJ

            1. re: DanJ
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              Jim Leff RE: DanJ Sep 4, 2001 09:24 PM

              Yogurt Place 77-20 21st Ave; 718-777-5303 in east elmhurst (which is quite far from elmhurst).

              it's about three doors from the bakery. I'm so sorry you went all that way and missed it, but hope you try again.

              ciao

          3. h
            HLing RE: Dave Feldman Aug 22, 2001 07:43 PM

            I don't have to go there to know that it must be good. Ever since that Greek Yogurt w/a separate compartment for honey came out, "Total", I've become a yogurt fan. They also have one with red cherries. YOu can get them quite fresh in Fairways. Other grocery stores I've seen are not as fresh. (Before Total, everything else was too sour for my Chinese stomach, except maybe the Stonybrook farm whole milk yogurt)

            The Greeks must know something about Yogurt-making!

            Of course, my sister, who also enjoys Total, always says, "Yeah, Total, total fat!" There is that....

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              Jennifer RE: Dave Feldman Aug 24, 2001 06:28 PM

              Can someone tell me which subway stop it's near?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jennifer
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                mary vella RE: Jennifer Aug 25, 2001 08:36 AM

                subway stop off the N TRAIN is DITMARS AND 31ST STREET, IN ASTORIA. walk up to DITMARS BOULEVARD, only a half block, turn right and take bus to 78th STREET, WALK TOWARD 21ST AVENUE. if you want about a "twenty minute walk" from the subway just walk along on DITMARS BLVD instead of taking the bus.

              2. s
                s sale RE: Dave Feldman Sep 1, 2001 08:59 AM

                Are the Yogurt Place's products available in any retail stores?

                6 Replies
                1. re: s sale
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                  Dave Feldman RE: s sale Sep 1, 2001 04:10 PM

                  I've been a bad Chowhound. I keep forgetting to ask them where the yogurt can be found. I'm sure the majority of The Yogurt's Place's business is wholesale. The quality is so high that I wonder if the sales are not to high-end restaurants (e.g., Milos) rather than stores.

                  I have no idea why Fairway, Zabar's, etc., aren't selling this stuff. The containers of yogurt do not identify the Yogurt Place by name.

                  I'd love to be able to buy YP's yogurt near me, but I have to admit I'd miss visiting the lovely shop and seeing the warm couple who run it.

                  1. re: Dave Feldman
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                    HLing RE: Dave Feldman Sep 1, 2001 06:09 PM

                    Dave,

                    I've been wondering if this yogurt is the same as the Greek yogurt that's available in Fairway as "Total"? I've not been to the Yogurt Place, yet, so I can't compare. The Total yogurt comes with honey, or with sour cherries,(whole milk) as well as goat milk yogurt. It's the whole milk yugurt with honey that I've had. It has to be the best tasting yogurt I've had so far!

                    Could you give it a try and let me know? I'm happy with Total, but if the Yogurt Place is even better, I'll have to make a trip somehow.....
                    Thanks!

                    1. re: HLing
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                      Dave Feldman RE: HLing Sep 4, 2001 02:39 AM

                      I'm pretty sure the word "Total" doesn't appear anywhere on the package. I do think it's worth a visit to The Yogurt Place. For one thing, you'll have a chance to meet the charming owners. And you can try some of the baked goods as well.

                  2. re: s sale
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                    Jeremy Osner RE: s sale Sep 4, 2001 09:02 PM

                    It's definitely available at Sahadi's, in the refrigerator case to the left of the store, next to bulk nuts and spices. It doesn't say "The Yogurt Place" on it, IIRC it says "Greek Strained Yogurt" or something similarly generic. It is a clear tub with a white top and red writing on it.

                    1. re: s sale
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                      Jim Leff RE: s sale Sep 4, 2001 09:27 PM

                      I'd really urge people to go to their store, remote though it is. it's not JUST the thick yogurt. It's the homemade fruit compote and ground walnuts they put on top, the wonderful apple and spinach pies lying around (you MUST heat them before serving!), the yogurt/sour cherry drinks, the wonderful folks who work there.

                      Just getting a tub of their yogurt (which may or may not be extra-fresh) somewhere would be a far cry from the experience of an actual pilgrimmage.

                      1. re: s sale
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                        Fred Mentzer RE: s sale Oct 28, 2001 09:48 PM

                        I am just interested in knowing if Yogurt Place is still in busines. I live in Texas and I moved here from St.Paul Mn. That 0 in my e-mail address is the number zero, not the letter "O" I have a 1000 shares in Yogurt Place and wondering what is going on. Fred

                      2. emily RE: Dave Feldman Aug 18, 2006 04:39 PM

                        I'm going to revive this thread since the yogurt/sour cherry/walnut drink has been bothering me for about 2 years. I went to The Yogurt Place in SoHo to get one of these and the woman behind the counter (the younger one, don't know her name, but she's one of the owners and was on Martha Stewart) had NO IDEA what I was talking about. Has anyone had this drink recently?? Is it blended to order? I'd love to try it; my attempts at home weren't very successful.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: emily
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                          Abbylovi RE: emily Aug 21, 2006 03:02 PM

                          I've never heard of a yogurt drink from the Yogurt Place but I have had their yogurt topped with sour cherries and walnuts. Did you actually have one there or just hear about it?

                          1. re: Abbylovi
                            emily RE: Abbylovi Aug 21, 2006 07:10 PM

                            Further up on this thread, Jim Leff talks about the yogurt drink. He calls it screamingly delicious. Looks like he got it at the Elmhurst location, though, so perhaps it's just a special drink whipped up there.

                            1. re: emily
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                              Dave Feldman RE: emily Aug 24, 2006 03:16 AM

                              There's a happy ending to this story -- you finally GOT there again, at least. I'm laughing a little about my enthusiasm and about how the prices have gone north (but still more than fair). It's also wonderful that despite the success of Kesso Yogurt, the original store in Elmhurst hasn't changed a bit, including the warmth of the owners.

                        2. Jim Leff RE: Dave Feldman Aug 22, 2006 04:11 PM

                          they don't make it anymore. there's a chance that if you ask nicely you can get one made for you, but I doubt it. Sigh.

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