Frozen yogurt: Do you self-serve, or leave it to the masters?

When everyone in the office needs a little pick-me-up, fro-yo is the way to go.

If the apocalypse came tomorrow, I think the last thing the Island would run out of is ice cream. We’ve got no shortage of great ice cream, from Edgartown to Aquinnah.

Frozen yogurt is a bit more elusive. Tisberry, in downtown Tisbury, has been a hit since opening, with reliably delicious frozen yogurt, fresh toppings, and a happy staff. Their fresh fruit smoothies are an equal draw into the cozy, neon-colored space.

The flavors available at Tisberry frequently change, so it’s never a bad idea to stop in and see what they’re offering. It is, however, nearly impossible to walk out without a cup. Serving sizes range from mini to large, but once you get into the larger cups, it’s an ambitious endeavor to finish one.

Despite the appeal of new flavors, I always go for the Original Tart. With most frozen treats, the first bite is the greatest, and your tastebuds seem to slowly become accustomed to the treat. I find that this is not the case with Original Tart, as the sour-sweet flavor keeps your taste buds on their toes and coming back for more. Add some kiwi and a few strawberries, and you’re holding a summer classic.

If you’re looking for a bit more of an unusual fro-yo creation, I would suggest the coffee yogurt with cookie dough, Oreos, and crushed Heath bar to top it all off. It’s like a cookie jar in a cup, and brings you back to the days when you were a kid with an unlimited capacity for sugar.

The newest addition to the frozen yogurt scene on the Vineyard is Rosie’s. Opened by Steven Steinberg this past April on Circuit Avenue, this serve-yourself frozen yogurt bar is Mr. Steinberg’s third Rosie’s location. With the customer at the helm, one large cup size, eight flavors (you can also create swirls), and seemingly endless toppings to choose from, this shop is both great fun and perhaps a bit daunting.

As you walk in, select a cone, or grab a cup and head for the back wall. For anyone who has sought out fro-yo off-Island, this setup seems to be standard practice, and it seems only logical that Mr. Steinberg and his wife, seasonal Islanders, brought their Connecticut-based business with them.

On my first trip to Rosie’s just last week, I tried to create a frozen yogurt similar to my typical order at Tisberry, to give them both a fair shake. I quickly learned two things. First, I cannot compare frozen yogurt, because, like ice cream, the best one will always be whichever I get to first, and second, it’s really hard to stop adding toppings. For a sale-by-weight business, this is an ideal customer conundrum.

I walked out with my Tart flavor buried in strawberries, blueberries, coconut, and mini chocolate chips, and I was not disappointed.

On any given day, I’d say the best way to decide which spot is for you is based on the method and likely location. Proximity is always a plus, but at the heart of it all, the question remains: Are you the self-serve type, or do you prefer to leave the creation of your fro-yo masterpiece in someone else’s hands?

I have no doubt that in true Vineyard fashion, the lines at both stores will only grow as the summer progresses, so my advice would be to treat yourself while the sun is up and the seating remains open. If you’re anything like me, odds are you’ll have to take a trip or two back before these seasonal shops close for the year.