Red Mango inspired sweets.
It may be autumn, the off-season for Red Mango, but customers still find room for a frozen dessert in the colder months. And on this particularly warm, sunny day of October, my taste buds led me toward the enticing red canopies that arched my interest for a mid-afternoon treat. With a deserving name, “Red Mango” is a frozen yogurt shop, noted for its all-natural frozen yogurt and smoothies. Mangoes are only ripe when they turn red, a shop name promoting the best ingredients the shop uses.
At 11:30 in the morning, it’s never too early for yogurt, right? It may be frozen, in the dessert category and could be topped with various sweet arrangements, but my throat felt a little sore from the weather changing, and any excuse is a good excuse for frozen yogurt. With my luck on the off-hour, I was able to sit down and talk about the yogurt shop with the shift leader, Roxanne Lapena.
Starting to familiarize with the shops and restaurants of Montclair, Lapena gave new insight to my growing knowledge of street reputations. “Church Street is a social street, so Red Mango is always busy,” Lapena enthusiastically declared.
She did happen to include that the weather has a major influence on a day for business, but with limited places for dessert, Red Mango is a guilt-free choice by many. I happened to be the only customer at that moment, but then again, it was 11:30 a.m. on a weekday, in the off-season.
Personally happy with my choice of the hour for a healthy snack, Lapena spoke of her favorite item, the banana peanut-butter protein smoothie. “[It] could be for a dessert, but it’s even a great meal.” Unless you want to socialize with the Red Mango crowd, 6-9 p.m. is prime, after dinner hours, of service.
I was able to enjoy my frozen yogurt while reading some poetry in the sunshine-filled outside seating. What made my experience so blissful, besides the peaceful chirps of birds during poetry, was the frozen yogurt made my way. Like other frozen yogurt shops, Red Mango is a self-serve business.
The workers are great, but it’s fun to create your own concoction from the pull of a handle to the added toppings. An array of flavors leaves you wondering which to choose, but tester cups are available to make the decision easier. Once you’ve figured out your choice, you fill your cup to your liking and head over to the toppings. Fruit toppings make the snack a healthy choice, so I felt good about the bananas, but I added a little graham cracker to my chocolate and vanilla twist, with peanut butter sauce – I got a little crazy towards the end. Then, placing your personal fro-yo on a scale, your payment is made by the weight in your cup. Not too expensive for a quality snack, but for example purposes, my treat of a yogurt twist with peanut butter sauce, bananas and graham cracker, was close to five dollars.
Five dollars is worth it for a dessert you can feel good about and enjoy at the same time. Red Mango is 100% natural, non- and low-fat, gluten-free and kosher. The yogurts even have probiotics – you know, my throat does feel better!
Red Mango is located at 19 Church Street in Montclair. You can reach the shop at 973- 707- 7485. Hours of operation are as follows:
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.