Full Disclosure: I paid for this meal with my own money and I was in no way reimbursed for this blog post. The opinions are completely my own.
I’ve talked about my love of Groupon type deals before, but one of the things that often gets me is the expiration date. While (in most cases at least) the amount that I paid for the coupon doesn’t ever expire I’ve learned to look at expiration dates and think hard about when I will use the deal before I buy it. While it may be somewhere that I really want to try, there must be some reason why I haven’t tried it yet on my own. Yes, the cheap deal is incentive for me to go, but if it is a poor location, or expires in a few short months, it might not be worth the buy.
In the case of Yola’s Cafe, I had bought the group deal last September and when the expiration date of March 10, 2012 came closer and closer I still hadn’t used it. Luckily my work in the beginning of March was pretty flexible so I stopped by Yola’s one day for lunch.
The Groupon was for $14 worth of food and obviously intended to use for two (or more) people. Once I started looking at the menu, I realized that I needed to pick a few other things than just what I would be having for lunch in order to make the most of my Groupon money. Luckily, they have a lot of snack type items that I could easily take back to work with me and eat either later in the day, or the next day. The shop itself was very cute and locally-owned. The atmosphere of the seating area was very cozy and welcoming - they even have a small area with kids toys! The fact that there are so many things to choose from was definitely a plus – but the bakery area was crowded and a little overwhelming.
For my actual lunch I got a waffle. One of the things that I was looking forward to about Yola’s was the waffles. They have many different kinds, but I stuck with a plain Belgian waffle. Once I got there and stood and looked at the menu for a while, the build-your-own breakfast sandwich was a definite option as well, but I decided to go with my original choice. The waffle turned out very well, light and fluffy on the inside with the crispy waffle outside. Yum!
With my waffle, I had a smoothie to drink. It was a non-dairy smoothie, like I am a fan of, so I decided to give it a try. I don’t remember exactly what the flavor name was, but it was something like Triple Berry. At the first sip, it wasn’t bad, but I could tell what they meant when I asked it it was “all fruit.” Sure, it was non-dairy, but this smoothie was definitely made from some kind of smoothie syrup, not whole pieces of fruit. (Edited to add: after talking with the people at Yola’s via Twitter, I learned that the smoothie is made with a 100% vine ripened fruit puree. Still not whole fruit pieces as I had imagined, but no added sugar or artificial ingredients are used.) It was pretty sweet. I ended up drinking about half of it before the sweetness got to be too much for me. :(
To spend the rest of my Groupon money, I also picked up a slice of apple bread, and a cup full of fruit to take back to work with me. The fruit was pretty generic, but not bad. The bread I ended up eating the next day at work (it was wrapped so I figured it would last). It was not great. Some of it tasted a bit burned, and it was a little bit stale tasting. Definitely not my favorite.
Taste: B, although the waffle was delicious, the rest was just so-so.
Cost: A-, those four things cost me about $15. While the waffle was well worth the $4.95 that I paid for it, I’m not so sure about the rest.
Would I go there again? I don’t think so. It is a cute little local shop, but it isn’t in a super convenient location for me, and I didn’t love the food.