Portland is into dessert. This has been made exceedingly clear with the success of places like Salt & Straw, The Sugar Cube, Maurice, and Pix Patisserie. A few years ago, when Jonah and I lived in Sellwood, we occasionally visited a frozen yogurt spot called Nectar, a local “by the ounce” chain with flavors like red velvet, coconut, and peach. I was always surprised when we moved farther north that there weren’t really any frozen yogurt bars in Portland.
I remember the first time I went to a DIY frozen yogurt place, in Tucson with my cousin Lia. My sisters and I were in awe at all the flavors (taro root?!), that it was all right there to taste, and that we could design our own creations – fudge sauce, gummy bears, strawberries, sprinkles…the list goes on and on. At a certain point though, those cups piled high with sweetness became excessive, and I’d always wish I’d had a little more restraint and been satisfied with two toppings instead of seven.
Enter Eb & Bean, the best of both worlds: the frozen yogurt that I crave, but a more delicious, natural option, perfect for conscious Portland eaters and farm-to-table followers. It’s also not self-serve and it’s priced per topping, which is probably for the best – it keeps you from going too crazy! Flavors include the standard tart, chocolate, and vanilla, with three rotating flavors, one of which is always dairy-free (when I visited there was a super creamy delicious cashew rocky road). Owner Elizabeth Nathan studied dessert and pastry in Paris, and her knowledge of ingredients and flavor shows in her creatively curated toppings selection. Some of the most intriguing and tempting toppings included Fleur de Lis cinnamon sugar donuts, Pinkleton’s salted vanilla caramel corn, and Bakeshop marshmallow sauce.
After a picnic at a friend’s house last week, on a perfect 80 degree day, I convinced Jonah to stop at Eb & Bean for some dessert. It was on the way home, I swear. We decided to go a fairly traditional route for our first visit: vanilla frozen yogurt with hot fudge, Bakeshop peanut butter cookie, and toasted coconut. It was so perfectly sweet and refreshing, and felt that much more perfect because the sun was beating down outside.
I highly recommend a stop into Eb & Bean for a warm-weather treat. You’ll find the shop on NE Broadway at 1425, open from noon to 9:30 on weekdays, 10 on weekends.