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Harmony Organic Frozen Yogurt (San Carlos)--Awesome!

a
alfatcat May 30, 2007 11:06 PM

Our entire family has quickly become completely addicted to Harmony Frozen Yogurt in San Carlos (Arroyo at Laurel). Inspired, I'm sure by Pinkberry, Harmony serves just one flavor, "natural" that is tangy and slightly sweet. It tastes like what it is: Organic Straus Family Creamery Yogurt sweetened with a little sugar. Topped with fresh berries or mango, it completely blows away any frozen yogurt I have ever had.

Toppings include fresh fruit, as well as chocolate chips and the usual suspects.

Our kids love the place, but it was the adults who instisted that we go back. (I think 4 times in the past week!)

They tell us that it is 98-99% fat free and under 150 calories for a small serving.

Harmony Frozen Yogurt
1226 Arroyo Avenue
San Carlos
650.596.8500

  1. p
    peppatty May 31, 2007 08:31 PM

    I finally got a chance to try it tonight after driving by it every day since it opened a few weeks ago. It is fablous! I never liked the standard frozen yogurt, so this is wonderful. I'm sure it'll be a big hit this summer as people will stroll by after the fabulous thursday night farmers market.

    1. o
      orezscu May 31, 2007 09:51 PM

      It's a delicious product, absolutely nothing like the "frozen yogurt" you get at places like Yumi etc. You can actually tell that it's dairy, for starters. They did a good job with Harmony - it would be cool if they expanded their offerings a bit to include beverages, either yogurt-based or otherwise. Definitely worth a try.

      4 Replies
      1. re: orezscu
        h
        honu Jun 3, 2007 11:02 AM

        I passed by yesterday after eating at Speederia Pizza. I'm not so much of a dessert person (I find everything too sweet) and tried the small (only 150 calories) with blueberry topping.

        The yogurt was creamy and dense and not as sweet as other "fro-yo" places I've tried. Nick, the owner, was kind enough to sit and talk with me about his product - freshly made every day organic 1% milk and toppings are 1/2 organic.

        Since I work nearby, I will definitely go back and try all the other toppings.

        1. re: orezscu
          m
          Mel Jun 9, 2007 10:14 PM

          i took hubby there tonight... i had mine with strawberries, he had choco chips.... i enjoyed mine, but he did not. It was good, but I would not go out of my way for it, especially since it did not satisfy my ice cream type hankering.. There needs to be more flavors... i will admit that I am a huge fan of yummy yogurt and therefore a little biased...

          1. re: Mel
            Melanie Wong Jun 11, 2007 09:58 AM

            Thanks for posting.

            I guess I loved it because it wasn't like yummy yogurt with that plasticky mouthfeel, bulked up with stabilizers, gums, and too much sugar that makes me want to throw up. Harmony is its own thing, actually tasting like yogurt, and is not an ice cream substitute, so be forewarned.

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              o
              orezscu Jun 11, 2007 12:23 PM

              Exactly. The experience is not unlike having your first good glass of wine, or discovering that you actually like smoked salmon. I can't think of any other place that serves this product. I wonder what sort of epiphany the owners had, betting everything on it.

        2. Melanie Wong Jun 3, 2007 07:50 PM

          I'll add my voice to the chorus --- this is a great product!

          I was passing through San Carlos this afternoon with my dad and tried it. He doesn't even like yogurt, and while disappointed that chocolate wasn't available as a flavor, more than enjoyed his serving with a topping of chocolate chips.

          I had nectarines on mine --- the counter guy said they were peaches, but no fuzz and had red skin. Delicious and refreshing. Served very cold, my tongue was numb long afterwards. The finish is so clean, none of those gums that melt into a plasticky blob on the bottom of the cup.

          Small size cup with nectarines,
          http://farm1.static.flickr.com/200/52...

          Nutritional stats: 90% fatfree, 30 calories per ounce.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong
            f
            Fine Jun 4, 2007 04:32 PM

            Lots of different fat content figures in posts. "90% fat free" is EXTREMELY high fat! Typo?

            1. re: Fine
              Melanie Wong Jun 4, 2007 04:54 PM

              I heard 90%, but could be wrong. That figure would make sense if Straus whole milk yogurt is used . . . here are the stats, http://www.strausfamilycreamery.com/nutrition.php?pid=9
              But if nonfat yogurt is the base, it could be much lower, http://www.strausfamilycreamery.com/n...

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                a
                alfatcat Jun 5, 2007 06:18 PM

                Just got back from speaking with Nick, the owner.

                He says that the base is Organic Nonfat Yogurt. They add some 1 percent milk, organic non-processed sugar, and a mystery organic ingredient. So it is probably more than 99% fat free.

                They say they'll have it tested soon.

          2. kivarita Jun 12, 2007 06:47 PM

            We tried out Harmony's froyo yesterday -- good stuff! Mine w/ strawberries, Wolf's with raspberries. I don't know if it's just Bay Area envy about Pinkberry, but I really hope these guys do well. About time someone gave Yumi Yogurt some competition and that we have some froyo that tasted like the yo. Remember the old Alta Dena frozen yogurt?

            1. m
              makenasurf Jun 24, 2007 04:36 PM

              I'm afraid I cannot agree with Alfatcat.

              We were originally very excited to see that this shop was going to open in San Carlos, and so first visited with high hopes. Unfortunately, they were quickly dashed. There were two high school kids working behind the counter who were chatting about the upcoming school dance and who kept checking their cell phones for instant messages. No hellos or anything -- we waited about 2 minutes for them to pay any attention to us and we were the only ones in the shop.

              My son was very excited about the different flavors they might have, but unfortunately we were told they only have one flavor, and if you want to "customize" the taste, you can do so by adding various extras (for 95 cents each). My kids both decided they would rather go elsewhere given this limited choice, but I thought I would try it to see what this place was all about -- I mean, if they have only one flavor, and they think it is so good it will support a store, then there must be something here, right. Wrong.

              The yogurt was mediocre, and not very sweet. When I asked for a medium, the girl behind the counter began filling my cup, only to have a woman who appeared to be the owner chastize her for filling my medium with too much yogurt. I'm all for training, but you don't make comments like that in front of customers.

              Hoping to hear a bit from the manager that might redeem the place in my eyes, I asked about future flavors, and she said that she didn't really see the need for more flavors, as folks could just buy toppings if they wanted to.

              I don't get it. Rude people, poor product and high prices. This is a place that I can't see lasting that long.

              3 Replies
              1. re: makenasurf
                o
                orezscu Jun 24, 2007 09:08 PM

                I can't disagree more strongly.

                1) Yes, they're just opening (grand opening was this weekend), so their young summer staff might not be whipped into shape. A trivial fault at a corner yogurt store.

                2) Flavors: we're used to frozen dessert shops having three dozen artificial flavors, give or take four. I thought it was an eye-opening, modern act of bravery to have the flavor of one's dessert actually be made out of its namesake fruit (e.g., real blueberries), served over a high-quality, all-natural dairy base.

                3) Yogurt is not supposed to be very sweet, it is supposed to have a lactic acid tang faintly redolent of creme fraiche. Again, I think the product is just new to most people, including me.

                It's hard for me to say that a new natural yogurt store has a "challenging concept," but in some ways it is, and it's fantastic. Teenage help aside.

                1. re: orezscu
                  a
                  alina555 Jun 25, 2007 11:58 AM

                  I absolutely agree with orezscu's response. I've been dying for a Pinkberry clone to come to the Bay Area, and I'm thrilled that Harmony has decided to tackle it with a solid offering. Sure, I wish they added the different types of cereal and mochi that Pinkberry offers with their "yogurt" but I am very happy with the fresh fruit that is currently on the menu. I personally love their tangy and tart taste (the way yogurt should taste) and don't want them to add any other flavors to the mix. I hope Harmony does well!

                2. re: makenasurf
                  p
                  peppatty Jun 24, 2007 10:33 PM

                  You may like the Yumi Yogurt in San Mateo or RWC better, sounds like that's more up your alley.

                3. Lori SF Jun 24, 2007 09:54 PM

                  sounds like frozen yogurt is making its way back again. Is this the only location?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Lori SF
                    p
                    peppatty Jun 24, 2007 10:35 PM

                    I think so. It's a small shop and I think they are starting to do good business. I live down the street and drive by a lot. They sometimes have lines out the door...especially yesterday when they had the grand opening with 1/2 off everything.

                  2. b
                    brokergal Jun 25, 2007 08:56 AM

                    We finally made it in this weekend (we're SC residents) and were not the least disappointed. My 3 year old insisted on having just plain yogurt, no toppings, and was just as happy as she would have been with ice cream (and I think it is a super idea to have healthier options like this available when one considers the fat nation we're living in).

                    1. Melanie Wong Jul 8, 2007 12:54 AM

                      We went back on Fathers Day, and were pleased to find out that my dad could have a free helping. I snapped this photo of the new collage on the wall made with Straus yogurt labels.
                      http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1217/7...

                      -----
                      Harmony Frozen Yogurt
                      1226 Arroyo Ave, San Carlos, CA 94070

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        sgwood415 Jul 8, 2007 08:33 AM

                        I went last night and it's great! So nice to taste real frozen yogurt again, not the overly sweet, artificial tasting stuff we get these days. It's nice and light and they say it's organic. They have fresh fruit toppings, nuts and a few sweet things like chocolate chips, crumbled cookie, etc.

                        A child size portion with blueberries was 2 ounces of yogurt and about a dozen berries for $2.95, perfect size.

                        (NOTE: It's a little hard to find though, the sign is blocked by the awning on the store next door)

                        1. re: sgwood415
                          Melanie Wong Jul 8, 2007 09:02 AM

                          We should emphasize again that this is frozen yogurt for people who actually like the natural taste of yogurt without too much sugar or artificial flavors and thickeners.

                          The portion size of the toppings is on the skimpy side. One portion of raspberries is EXACTLY five berries; blueberries, 12. When my five raspberries were counted out, I asked for more for my money and the owner explained that these were portion-controlled and I'd need to pay for another topping if I wanted more than that. I had 'em add blueberries as my second as shown here.
                          http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1233/7...
                          That said, the quality of the toppings is excellent. These were perfectly groomed, ripe berries.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            sgwood415 Jul 8, 2007 09:07 AM

                            Well, I got about a dozen on mine. Maybe it depends on who is working the counter. It was a youngish guy last night.

                            It's a good point though, they don't overload the toppings like at other places. I think it's how toppings should be, a nice accent to the delicious natural yogurt. If you like getting a full candybar-worth of crumbled heath bar or whatever, you probably won't like Harmony.

                            1. re: sgwood415
                              Melanie Wong Jul 8, 2007 09:09 AM

                              Yes, for blueberries the portion size is a dozen.

                            2. re: Melanie Wong
                              p
                              peppatty Jul 8, 2007 07:44 PM

                              I must admit that I live close enough to get it to go and add my own macerated berry mixture when I get home...that is if I don't eat all the yogurt by the time I drive the four blocks...The owner recognizes me as the plain yogurt person...I did break down finally while eating with friends to get the strawberries and was not impressed by the berries, they were tart and no aroma of strawberry...he doesn't use organic strawberries since they don't have enough shelf-life.

                          2. re: Melanie Wong
                            dhoffman1421 Jul 8, 2007 01:36 PM

                            I just went to Harmony today after eating a couple slices at Speederia. Had it with the raspberry sauce which they buy but is an excellent product. I enjoyed the fresh tang and it doesn't have that filmy finish.

                          3. r
                            rydmcalboy Aug 5, 2007 12:05 AM

                            I get the "one flavor" schtick, but after a couple weeks, it gets old.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: rydmcalboy
                              sgwood415 Aug 5, 2007 08:24 AM

                              It's about the toppings. You can make about 200 different flavor combinations with the toppings. They have several fresh fruits, nuts, and more. I think it's a lot of fun to play with different combos. Someone who is better at math can tell us how many combos you can make with 20 or so toppings.

                              Have been there several times and never tasted the same thing twice yet, it's always great.

                            2. n
                              newfire01 Oct 7, 2007 03:45 PM

                              I've been hearing about this awsome Harmony frozen yogurt for a while now. The only frozen yogurt i've tried so far are in San Jose- the Yogurt Delites (yes I know this stuff is not REAL yogurt but i still love em), and the frozen yogurt at Sweet Retreat. I have to say that the Sweet Retreat frozen yogurt is just fantastic. SO has anyone visited a Sweet Retreat? I'm wondering if their stuff is the real deal since it does have that tangy flavor.

                              1. m
                                mrs bacon Oct 8, 2007 11:22 AM

                                I tried this place a couple weeks ago, and loved it. It is real frozen yogurt, tangy and delicious. I grew up in Detroit, and fondly remember the first wave of frozen yogurt in the '70s (was this a national thing?). I was hoping that the stuff at Harmony would be reminiscent of this, and it is! I remember being puzzled and sad that the original frozen yogurt morphed into that yucky sickly sweet TCBY stuff. I had berries on mine, but love the flavor of the yogurt so much that I think I'm just going to get it plain from now on.

                                1. a
                                  ampers Mar 7, 2008 05:05 PM

                                  I go to Harmony nearly every day. It's delicious (28 calories per ounce) and healthy, too! Harmony has gotten requests to put yogurt machines at both Google and Apple! My absolute favorite there is the child-size Natural (recently they added Raspberry yogurt but it's not nearly as good) with dark chocolate sauce and mochi. I recommend anyone passing by in San Carlos to stop in and try some, and to sign up for the E-specials! Whenever a new topping or flavor is released, an E-special will go out with a keyword to say when purchasing yogurt that allows you a discount. This place is so delicious! I went to New York once and tried Pinkberry and thought it was the greatest thing in the world, but then Harmony opened near my house. On the very first day it was open I went and tried some, and it's even better than Pinkberry because Pinkberry uses powder for their yogurt, but Harmony makes it every morning, so unlike Pinkberry there are many live and active cultures. My absolute favorite meal is a pizza at Speederia Pizzeria nearby and then Harmony and maybe a Coke. Yum!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ampers
                                    p
                                    peppatty Mar 7, 2008 07:55 PM

                                    What does the mochi do for the yogurt? Does the mochi get hard from the cold, or is it soft and chewy? Did they change the dark chocolate chips? We had some last night and I swear they were waxy and not the same as before. I also agree about the raspberry, natural is better. I do wish they could do chocolate like at fraiche in PA.

                                  2. p
                                    peppatty Nov 12, 2008 05:59 PM

                                    I was driving out of the lot at Whole Foods and noticed Harmony is opening a store in San Mateo. I wonder when it'll open. It's closer to where I work so I'll be able to get a quick fix at lunch!

                                    1. n
                                      Nina Sep 30, 2009 07:20 PM

                                      On my way home from the post office I noticed a grand opening banner for a third location of Harmony in Burlingame, a block off Burlingame Avenue (down the street from the post office, the hardware store, and the Apple store if that helps you find it). I visited their original San Carlos location soon after it opened and liked it a lot, but that was before I'd had any of the umpteen pomegranate and green tea and acai berry tart frozen yogurts since then. I'm not sure I would find the plain yogurt as appealing now. But I'll check it out on some slightly warmer day. The Burlingame location isn't showing up in the database yet, but it's 1243 Howard Avenue.

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                                      Harmony Frozen Yogurt
                                      1051 Park Pl, San Mateo, CA 94403

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