As we have commented previously, Indian restaurateurs generally name their establishments by drawing from a small rolodex of canonical words—“spice,” “flavor,” “bread,” “taste,” etc. Thus, we were both surprised and elated to learn that a new establishment in Cambridge has elevated “Yogi” to this elite list!
That’s right, Frozen Yogi (FY), on River Street near Central Square, juxtaposes two seemingly unrelated culinary phenomena: froyo and naan pizzas. The establishment occupies the renovated interior of India Foods & Spices (clearly the profits from the spice trade were drying up, prompting the owners to refocus attention on sweeter, colder products).
Upon entering, we were pleasantly surprised by the antiseptic interior, with windows devoid of the oily veneer we have come to expect from lower echelon establishments. We were struck by the excessive use of pink—an uncommon color for Indian restaurants in general. We are only to assume that the restaurant hopes to confuse visitors into thinking they are at a Pinkberry.
FY offered very little seating apart from a row of bar stools flanking the front of the store. The stools themselves were highly unstable, requiring Yogi-like balance to avoid toppling over. The centerpiece of the interior décor was a set of child-sized chairs surrounding a small table. Yogi and Chat found these small seats to be more stable than the stools (see images A and B).
Although entirely unclear from its name, FY offered ~6 different naan pizzas ranging from masala margherita to chicken korma naan pizza. Yogi ordered the veggie korma naan pizza ($7) and requested it extra extra spicy. Respecting our demands, the sous-chef proceeded to chop a few Thai chili peppers while wearing very oversized latex gloves. The poor knife skills we witnessed made us worry that the pizza would contain a bonus prophylactic topping. However, we were delighted to find that not only was our pie latex-free, but it was also exquisite in flavor and spiciness. The toppings—peppers, onions, shrooms, and cilantro—exhibited excellent cookitude, despite the poor choppitude on the part of the sous-chef. Chat ordered the chicken korma naan pizza ($8.5), which had an absolutely outstanding sauce, good meat quality, perfectly crispy naan, and an optimal spice level. Athma ordered the tandoori chicken naan pizza ($8.5), which featured a very tasty tomato-based sauce.
Following dinner, we indulged on their meagre froyo offerings with limited topping (no mochi‽). The only consolation was that upon informing the owner of Yogi’s name, we were readily granted a 10% discount.
In summary, we worry that Frozen Yogi, despite offering exceptional naan pizza, may fall victim to the same naming missteps so common in Berkeley (e.g., Breads of India and Gourmet Curries, which, as you may recall, had outstanding curries and mediocre breads). And that would be a tragedy indeed—this solid four-samosa (▲▲▲▲△) restaurant is remarkably inexpensive, warranting a mere one rupee (Rs), yielding an excellent samosa-to-rupee ratio (▲/Rs) of 4.0. Frozen Yogi’s logo is of a Yogi in the tree pose who appears to be holding up a bowl of froyo. If this Yogi had visited FY before posing for the ad, he surely would have chosen to hold up a naan pizza—our own Yogi recommends that you should too.