The dye-free jimmies have landed. So have organic gummi bears, gluten-free animal crackers, handmade graham cracker crumbs, and—if you’re feeling a little too fresh-off-the-yoga mat—a vat filled with crushed Sweet and Salty cookies from Portland’s Bakeshop. That’s just a handful of the artisan goodies you might plop on top of six brightly tanged flavors of frozen yogurt flowing from the spigots at Eb & Bean, which quietly opened last weekend at 1425 NE Broadway.
Unlike typical “weight-and-pay” self-serve yogurt shops, Eb & Bean’s Elizabeth Nathan goes her own way with personal counter service, 20-plus curated toppings, and a naturalist approach to the frozen yogurt frontier—low-sugar and locally sourced, with lots of hands on roasting, pureeing and baking. The approach is mix-and-match, with a choice of four fixed flavors (low-fat vanilla, non-fat chocolate, full-fat “tart”, and non-dairy almond) and two weekly specials—currently Ristretto coffee and fresh raspberry. Prices run $2.75-$4.75, with $1 for one topping, $1.50 for two, and, the best deal, $1.75 for “unlimited.”
I’m already hooked on a swirl of chocolate and vanilla piled with delicately crackling balls of orange cardamom caramel corn. It’s one of the most inspired toppings in the house, courtesy of Pinkleton’s Curious Caramel Corn, a Portland artisan find that taps heirloom popcorn, organic local butter, and double-fold vanilla in its quest for sugary perfection. Another instant fave: Eb & Bean’s “tart” yogurt, super brisk and creamy and squiggled into a bowl with two toppings: a brisk blast of chunky marionberry compote and the wild crunch of Bakeshop’s oat streusel.
Nathan studied pastry at Paris’ Bellouet Conseil and externed with French ice cream maven Martine Lambert. (“She makes an exceptional product,” says Nathan of her creamery guru. “And, of course, she looks and acts like Catherine Deneuve.”) Nathan, on the other hand, looks and sounds pure Portland, the kind of girl who says things like: “I have always loved the joyfulness of frozen desserts and the way they bring people together.” Eb & Bean may do just that.
Get your own taste at the July 2 grand opening (5–8 pm), which promises free kids-size cups of fro-yo, a photo booth, and, what every Portland kid really wants—a temporary tattoo.
Eb & Bean
1425 NE Broadway
11:30-10 pm daily