Because chain restaurants are for pussies.

Cincinnati Bites
Cuban Sandwich with Rice and Beans from Cuba Cafe

Posted Sunday, October 23, 2011
Note: the following review is for a restaurant that has since closed.

Fave is the new self-serve frozen yogurt shop that opened in Hyde Park Square next to the owner's restaurant, Poco a Poco. Interestingly, it shares the same block with a very popular Graeter's location just a few doors down.

There has been a recent glut of new frozen yogurt and "tangy" frozen yogurt joints popping up all around the area, including several Yagoot and Orange Leaf Yogurt franchises. Even Servatii's is cashing in on the yogurt craze, with a new location downtown. The resurging entrepreneurial interest in frozen yogurt is not unlike a similar phenomenon in the 1980s led by TCBY and others.

The new fad emphasizes tangy frozen yogurt versus the traditional variety and several businesses got the bright idea that we'd all find it uber-cool to serve ourselves. These companies hope to foster our irresistible penchant for gluttony and lack of self-restraint, banking on the belief that we'll all go ga-ga for self-serve, blissfully enduring the sticker shock at the cash register once they weigh the ridiculously oversized cups. Given that the frozen yogurt costs an average of 45-55 cents an ounce, serving yourself big tubs of it should get old really fast.

We visited Yagoot in Rookwood; Orange Leaf Yogurt in Kenwood; and now the new Fave. They are all very similar --in fact, Fave virtually copies the Orange Leaf business model, right down to the pastel colored walls and awfully uncomfortable plastic green chairs.

Two of the three businesses offer self-serve, which left us with a general perception of uncleanliness their complimentary bottles of hand sanitizer just couldn't shake. No, there's no overt dirt anywhere and nothing's particularly unkempt. It's just that when you consider how many people --particularly children-- who are serving themselves yogurt, placing their grubby, snot-encrusted little hands on the handles and nozzles...just the sheer volume of foreign, fecal-laden fingers touching those objects is enough to bring out anyone's inner OCD.

The tart frozen yogurt flavors, while initially compelling, simply don't taste very good. Like Yagoot and Orange Leaf, Fave offers a rotating variety of flavors. The most successful of the eight available were the "Original" and Acai berry, which feature a slightly-tart, mildly pleasing berry tang. Other flavors, like "Red Velvet Cake" and "Green Tea," left an almost medicinal aftertaste. More traditional flavors, like chocolate and vanilla, typically aren't available at any of these tangy yogurt locations.

If expensive tangy yogurt is your bag, you might like this. But I'm more of a "purist." When it comes to frozen yogurt in Cincinnati, nothing compares to the late Carl Lindner Jr.'s ubiquitous UDF franchises. The frozen yogurt there is creamy, smooth and fresh; it's far more affordable than any self-serve yogurt shop will ever be; and their yogurt machines are touched by only a few people who are bound by food handling laws.

Ham and Goat Cheese crepe with spinach and apricot jam from Fave

The one redeeming note about Fave, which sets it apart from it competitors, is its small selection of crepes. They sadly only offered one sweet and one savory version available on their menu when we visited. We tried one with ham, spinach, goat cheese and apricot jam that was one of the better tasting crepes I've ever had. The perfectly-cooked pancake and its sweet-and-salty interplay of ham and apricot, coupled with the soft, subtle-flavored cheese, awakened the senses and altered our moods for the better.

I'm not knocking Fave per se. I've simply concluded I don't like this new tangy, self-serve yogurt phenomenon sweeping the region. The Fave owners run some of the best restaurants in the Cincinnati area (Riverside Korean being my favorite of their ventures). Riding on the coattails of this passing frozen yogurt trend I believe to be beneath them. If only they'd dump the self-serve yogurt idea and just stick with making exotic, affordable crepes in Hyde Park Square, they might be onto something.

Fave on Urbanspoon United Dairy Farmers on Urbanspoon Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt (Kenwood Rd) on Urbanspoon
Fave

Price: Cheap (under $11 per person)
Service: Good
Rating: 2.0 out of 42.0 stars






Other Recent Reviews

  1. A Pleasant Ridge: Grand Central Delicatessen
    -posted Monday, May 29, 2017
  2. A Lobster Oasis: Court Street Lobster Bar
    -posted Sunday, May 7, 2017
  3. Hole-in-the-Wall Quest: Taqueria San Marcos
    -posted Sunday, April 30, 2017
  4. Schnitzel Impressions: Bauer Farm Kitchen
    -posted Wednesday, April 5, 2017
  5. There's a New Taqueria in Town: Chilango Fresh Mexican
    -posted Sunday, March 19, 2017
Ratings Legend
four stars = Outstanding
three stars = Good
two stars = Fair
one star = Poor
  • From Tabitha about Tickle Pickle:
    Haha, love your comment: " If you were deemed "different" in high school, dressed "weird" or regularly got beat up only to go on to have a decidedly higher net worth and confidence level than the rest of your abusive, judgmental peers, Northside is your home away from home." I know I saw a Groupon for Tickle Pickle recently - might have to check if that's still available!
    posted: Fri., Apr 14th, 2017 @ 12:33 PM
  • From Tabitha about Chilango Fresh Mexican:
    This is definitely going on the list. Thanks for posting. Do they also have margaritas?
    posted: Fri., Apr 14th, 2017 @ 12:23 PM
  • From holly may about Urban Grill on Main:
    This is Israeli couscous, the super tiny stuff is Moroccan. I personally prefer the Israeli (also known as "pearl".)
    posted: Fri., Mar 24th, 2017 @ 4:28 AM
  • From Sommer about Chilango Fresh Mexican:
    We really love having Chilango so close to us in the Kings area!!! We have gone a few times and you are right - the Chicken Tinga is the best chicken taco you can get in Cincinnati!!! Thanks for reviewing this little neighborhood gem!
    posted: Tue., Mar 21st, 2017 @ 9:12 AM
  • From Tabitha about Lalo:
    But...do they have margaritas?
    posted: Thu., Jan 12th, 2017 @ 12:32 PM
  • From Cincinnati Bites about Swad Indian:
    @MJ: I heard family members of those who'd run Dusmesh now work out of the former Amol India in Clifton. It's called, Grill of India (http://grillofindiaoh.com/).
    posted: Thu., Dec 29th, 2016 @ 11:45 PM
  • From mj about Swad Indian:
    It seems Swad has changed hands. Have not see the former Dusmesh owners in my last visit (10/1/2016) and the food is just ok. Wonder where they went this time?
    posted: Wed., Dec 28th, 2016 @ 8:22 AM
  • From Rachel about Bamboo Kitchen:
    Hey there,
    I would recommend Basil Thai and Bangkok Terrace. They have wonderful Thai foods there :)
    posted: Sat., Nov 19th, 2016 @ 11:28 AM
  • From Tabitha about Maplewood Kitchen and Bar:
    Looks good - I definitely have been wanting to try this place!
    posted: Wed., Nov 9th, 2016 @ 2:55 PM
  • From Georgia about Maplewood Kitchen and Bar:
    So you order and pay at the counter before you get your food and they expect you to tip? That's not right.
    posted: Tue., Oct 25th, 2016 @ 10:19 AM
Where The Locals Eat featured blog
Cincinnati Web Design | Cincinnati Mobile Web Design