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Yola's Cafe

Latte and toysIn a word: Coffee shop with something for everyone.

The specs: #0777  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp; menu at Menupix; video on YouTube; Facebook, Twitter, official web site, Yola's Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Anne, Elizabeth, Greg, JM, John, John, John, Jordan, Jordan, Jennifer, Lisa, Marlena, Miranda, Nichole, Phil, Rose, Toby, Trish and 6 kids ate a whole bunch of stuff.
Anne, Lisa and 2 kids gave Yola's Cafe an A; JM, John K. John S. gave Yola's Cafe an A-; Marlena, Nichole and 1 kid gave Yola's Cafe a B+; Elizabeth and Trish gave Yola's Cafe a B; Jennifer and Toby gave Yola's Cafe a C (see our grading rubric).

The other half of our Mr. Y tour took us to a coffee shop on the southwest side.  Yola's was little smaller than our big group could really hold comfortably, but they did well with it.

First, the coffee: it was good. John K. found the house coffee to be expertly brewed. Jennifer's cafe miel was fine. Anne noticed the fun, fanciful drinks like coconut cream pie and almond joy lattes.

Chai and coffeeLisa, a fan of soy chai lattes, said this was the best she'd had; Marlena elaborated that "the cinnamon taste was light and warming and the drink a perfect mix of caffeine and wintry goodness." Toby also had the chai latte, but to his taste it was too sweet, almost cloying.

There was a wide selection of non-coffee drinks, including steamers and Cha Cha teas. The kids that tried the warm apple cider with shot of caramel were pretty dang happy about it.

WaffleHaving just come from a buffet, we didn't expect to get much research done on the food, but several folks took one from the team. Belgian waffles were prominently advertised, and we got a couple of those; Elizabeth, who sampled a plain one, said it was very light, and that fruit and whipped cream are necessary for this kind of waffle. Lisa got one with blueberries, and indeed, was happier with it than she would have been with a plain one. She did note that it was a bit underdone, and Marlena figured this wasn't a true Belgian recipe that had been risen with yeast overnight, resulting in a spongy lightness.

Baked oatmealOther breakfast-at-teatime snacks were delicious: there was a hearty baked oatmeal topped with nuts and strudel, and Trish tried a carrot cake cupcake that was moist and flavorful. (On a later visit, she tried a California turkey sandwich with good quality ingredients and too-soft bread, and a tasty mint chocolate brownie - and found out that Yola's makes its bakery in-house. Indeed, even JM's cookie sandwich with frosting in the middle was a good deal, if a little sweet.

Of the atmosphere and decor, reactions ranged from "meh" to " love it." There's a subtle Christian overtone to the decor and local art and authors on display. Yola's got major kudos from the parents in the group because of its well-furnished play area (magnetic food that you can 'cut'! kid-size chairs! books and toys galore!) that kept the wee ones in the group amused for a solid hour. The layout is smart, too: the play area is near the front door and the bustle of the kitchen and espresso machines, and a fireplace divides that lively section from the quieter end of the room, furnished with small tables and chairs suitable for quiet conversations, meetings, and working on the wifi. Partial walls add structure while allowing an airy feeling.

The service was friendly, warm, and efficient, and we're pretty sure they gave us a discount on top of the Groupon we brought. We were glad to celebrate our antepenultimate A to Z here.

SconeSandwich cookie

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Thank you for inviting me! I had so much fun.

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