Vegan options at PhoXpress are available and expanding

6/10/13: Dear readers, the vegan options at PhoXpress are somewhat limited now, as of late Spring 2013–please scroll all the way down for the detailed update!

I must say that I am extremely picky about my phở, and most Vietnamese dishes in general. I blame the fact that I grew up in a Aulacese (Vietnamese) household full of food enthusiasts. 

I have heard horror stories about vegan phở at non-vegan establishments. The worst case scenarios recounted to me often resembled the following description, more or less: a bowl of rice noodles in salty broth, laden with MSG and some lettuce. To call that sad scene “phở” is a culinary crime and an insult to the taste-buds. I can’t even process the lack of effort–a complex, aromatic broth is the key to any phở, vegan or not.

PhoXpress set up

Phở condiments!

Based on such descriptions alone, let alone my Viet foodie background, I decided long ago that I would avoid eating phở outside my own home altogether. However, in the past month, I have tiptoed, quite warily, might I add, into giving a couple of places a chance.

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Vegan Froyo at College Park (With Special Discount Offer)

The cold front is on its way out–just in time for the debut of Cool Berry at College Park, which includes vegan flavors!

I found the staff to be both enthusiastic and accommodating.  “There are many lactose-intolerant customers, so we always feature at least one or two dairy-free flavors.” said Vanessa Solis, one of the owners. The establishment offers over 90 flavors of frozen yogurt (41 cents per ounce) that will rotate weekly.

The fruit toppings included fresh blueberries, raspberries, maraschino cherries, grapes, kiwi, blackberries, pineapple chunks and strawberries.

This week, the vegan options were mango and pomegranate raspberry.

I tried both flavors and found the pomegranate raspberry to be a bit on the sour side, while the mango was a bit on the sweet side. The two flavors complimented each other well.

The frozen yogurt also came with a wide array of customize-able toppings, including many fruits and nuts.

I loaded up on all the berries, because berries are my favorite! I also got sliced almonds, kiwi and pineapple chunks. I’m a bit of a fruit fanatic.

Mango and pomegranate raspberry frozen yogurt, topped with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, almond slices and pineapple chunks.

In addition to froyo, Cool Berry also plans to sell bagels, coffee, smoothies and boba tea. Solis informed me that a veggie bagel sandwich will be on the future menu. I look forward to checking out these options once they are available, and I’ll keep you all posted.

If you’re interested in trying this place out, here’s a 20% off coupon for your froyo fix. The cash register was broken when I went, so it was cash-only, but the staff says they are trying to fix it as soon as possible. Bring cash, just in case.

In a previous post, I assessed the vegan potential of a few of the upcoming College Park businesses. Please check back for my vegan reviews of the businesses as they open!