The city of Friendswood is a quiet suburb about 20 miles south of Houston. The city is known for its small-town feel in the midst of one of the largest metropolises in the US, and for the woodlands ambiance that inspired its name. Friendswood is home to a number of small mom and pop stores offering a variety of products, including Chillin’ Time, the best smoothie shop in the area.
Chillin’ Time is located in a former greenhouse facing Stevenson Park, itself one of the more scenic parks in the Houston bay area. Stevenson features a shady jogging trail lined by established oak trees draped in Spanish moss. Central to the park is a picturesque white gazebo, frequently the scene for weddings and public concerts. The park also offers a public pool; party pavilion; basketball, volleyball and tennis courts; a children’s jungle gym; lush green spaces for Frisbee or other sports; and plenty of picnic spots. Chillin’ Time is therefore an ideal location for a shop offering frozen refreshments; you can pick one up after your workout at the park, or take a stroll around the trail, smoothie in hand.
The charming surroundings continue upon entering Chillin’ Time, where large stands of tropical foliage grow in the former greenhouse. Colorful paintings of beach scenes adorn the walls, and tables shaded by large beach umbrellas are scattered across the red gravel-floored room. Local teenagers typically man the order counter, but you can often find the owner sitting at one of the tables with a group of friends or conversing with customers, enjoying the afternoon.
One word of advice: the building still has the glass window walls and roof from its former life as a greenhouse, meaning it still traps solar heat as the day progresses. At the peak of a hot Houston summer, the interior may become uncomfortable for those dressed inappropriately or those sensitive to heat.
Chillin’ Time touts Only 8 Yogurt as the magic ingredient in its products. Only 8 is a brand of frozen yogurt marketed to the health conscious and containing “only 8” ingredients. The menu offers an array of products, including protein smoothies, shakes, frozen yogurt with an array of toppings and mix-ins and Sno-balls. Sno-balls are essentially shaved ice; you can probably find the plain ones elsewhere for comparable flavor and cheaper price. However, Chillin’ Time also serves a delicious “stuffed” version, with a frozen yogurt in the middle and your choice of topping. Of their smoothie flavors, I highly recommend Havana Sunrise, which contains the classic strawberry and banana mix. Their version is the most enjoyable I’ve had from a frozen treats shop and is reportedly one of their most popular orders; must be the yogurt. The store also serves hot chocolate and coffee drinks in an array of flavors, including frappe versions. Prices range from $2 to $5.
The treats are tasty, the setting is idyllic and this business is truly one-of-a-kind. Chillin’ Time is a great stop for frozen yogurt the next time you’re down in Houston’s Bay Area.