One of my favorite teenage memories is of taking church youth trips from my home in southwestern Wyoming down to Ogden.
I'd like to say it's because of all the deep spiritual experiences I had, but the truth is I loved those trips because they always ended with a visit to the Farr's ice-cream parlor between Washington and Wall on 21st Street.
These days, that store is nearly the same as it was those many years ago, a classic setting serving up fabulous scooped ice cream to hordes of hungry customers.
But, well, it's in Ogden. And though I love the town I once called home, I don't get up there nearly as often as I'd like. That's why I was happy to see a new kind of Farr's going in near my neighborhood, as well as in a bunch of other locations up and down the Wasatch Front — including a future spot in downtown's City Creek development.
Farr's Fresh (www.farrsfresh.com) isn't traditional-looking; in fact, the stores in the chain are sleek, brightly colored and modern. And the frozen treats on offer aren't scooped; they're dispensed by customers themselves from soft-serve machines ranged along one wall.
If you're thinking this sounds like all the frozen-yogurt places that have cropped up the past few years, you're right, and Farr's Fresh offers several kinds of frozen and fully probiotic yogurt, from traditional vanilla to apricot-mango.
The great part is, Farr's Fresh also offers frozen custard and soft-serve ice cream in tons of ever-rotating flavors. I love this level of variety because, let's face it, some people (example: my husband) are just not ever going to like the tangy zip of frozen yogurt.
Besides toppings (candy, fruit, granola, cookies, nuts) and sauces (chocolate, mango, lemon zest and so on), Farr's Fresh offers seasonal treats. Right now it's hot chocolate, which customers can personalize with a variety of flavors and even a dollop of their favorite frozen dessert.
In the summer, it will be "ice caps," which appear to be a sort of frozen slush to shower over a cup of custard or ice cream.
But I haven't had those yet. What I have had, and highly recommend, is a simple cup of burnt almond fudge custard (no chunky nuts but lots of their flavor) topped with just a dollop of apricot-mango frozen yogurt. The yogurt is super-sour, bitingly refreshing, while the custard is silky, rich and comforting; a great combination of flavors.
Kids love loading up on the toppings, so start with the smallest cup and supervise throughout, so as to avoid sticker shock when the finished treats are weighed at the cash register. Keeping portions in control makes this place nicely affordable, even for families.
Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret News. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org