When most people in Atlanta hear the name Clay Harper, they think of the Mexi-Za restaurant duet of La Fonda and Fellini’s. As chance would have it, we fine folk now have a whole other reason to get to know Harper.
Back in July, word broke that he was adding a third endeavor to his little restaurant empire. Enter Three on the Tree, a gourmet yogurt shop that seems to borrow a bit from East Atlanta’s über popular Morelli’s Ice Cream. In the vein of Morelli’s, Three on the Tree’s angle rests in the “funky-hip.” Like Kevin Gillespie at M’s, 3onT also has its own guest “confectioner.” [I’m not really sure what you call a yogurt maker] In this instance, the guest is one Julia LeRoy, a local chef who garnered a good bit of attention during her stint at the Bookhouse Pub. There’s no doubt that LeRoy’s presence has created most of the pre-season buzz.
Located just north of the Wieuca/Roswell intersection and stationed in what used to be a Wolf Camera, Three on the Tree is a testament to simplicity. Outside of a snazzy sign, the place is just barren. That’s neither a criticism nor a compliment, only an observation. Since the dessert shop is striving to be eco friendly, this decorative direction seems a logical choice. Inside, you won’t find a menu or any instructions (I suspect/hope that changes). However, there was a nice young lady ready and willing to give me the deal: fill her up … $.39/ounce. Easy ‘nuff.
As I eyed her compadre methodically pealing fresh fruit, I made my way down the line, past the toppings station and toward the three yogurt machines ready for my all too inexperienced hands. The first machine was spitting out ‘coconut crème pie’ as well as ‘espresso chocolate.’ The sign above confirmed what I already knew: these were LeRoy’s concoctions. The other two housed pomegranate, original tart, vanilla, and chocolate. In sampling them all, I a few universal truths.
Each type was a subtle yet distinct meshing of yogurt+flavor. Being the dessert dumb ass that I am, I have no idea if this is “correct.” Maybe flavored yogurts are supposed to be demonstrative and in your face, but I don’t know. All I can tell you is that I appreciate it when yogurt tastes like yogurt.
The draw back in this approach is that the flavors tend to wash on top of one and other. For those of you looking to give your taste buds a little romp, this may or may not suit you. It also leaves a lot less room for the wow factor.
Sure, I was hoping to see more creative power in the menu, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As it was, I enjoyed my pomegranate yogurt topped with fruits of my choice for just $2.89. I dug the savory kick from the pomegranates, which ended up coating my chopped fruit ever so nicely. It was definitely fresh and really smooth.
So yogurt: check; price point: check; service: so far so good. Thus, my biggest problems with the place have little to do with what’s actually going on. A) The name blows. In addition to being contextually out of place, you now have the already in the works Local Three and Three Chefs Downtown to fight with. B) No website or facebook page. Only recently did they add a twitter account #FAIL C) No menu’s or written instructions D) Who opens a yogurt shop at the end of the year???
But I digress, it’s really about the price, the service, and the taste. Three on the Tree seems to be doing okay in that department. For those of you who love yogurt … have at it. I wouldn’t be surprised if you find this place to be a jewel-e-uh.
[post script: I’m actually writing this offline, so I don’t have access to my twitter feed – I’ll update the post when I have a second to double check on their twitter name]
[post post script: to the lady whose kid I nabbed a picture of while you weren’t looking: can you blame me???]