iYo Davis Square
Just starting a thread to bring everyone's experiences out of the woodwork. I agree the flashing, changing menu screens are super annoying. I felt like they were making fun of my hesitation in making up mind about what to order: "did you want a latte? Oh, now it's gone! Too slow!" Otherwise the decor and renovation looks great.
The do-it-yourself waffle irons are super fun, and sure to be a hit with kids. It will remain to be seen if they can stay clean and whether lines form at brunch, but this afternoon I made a tiny buckwheat waffle (they're priced by weight, so since I really didn't need any waffles at all at 2pm I used just a dab of batter in the middle for a little taste), topped from the extensive toppings bar, and put a dab of vanilla fro-yo on the side. $2.50 in all. The guy in front of me used a full cup of batter, added a bunch of fruit and syrup, and ended up with a $6.50 waffle. So beware.
I'm excited to sample more fro-yo flavors- I think there were about 12 in all, but again beware of pricing since the only vessels to put it in are basically vats. Seriously, would hold about a pint. I guess market research shows that people will eat more in a larger bowl. However, I would really appreciate some choice as to size of container.
Here's wishing them well!
ETA- I didn't get around to any coffee sampling but I really think with Diesel right there, they're probably not going to compete hugely on that front
Are they always going to have someone there to instruct the newcomers? I hope so because I didn't know where to go or what to do! It seems they need a big sign at the front saying "Start At the Back! WAY Back! At the Part of the Store You Can't Even See From Here! Then Work Your Way Forward to Pay!" And if you just want coffee, do you go behind the people in line paying for their filled buckets of fro-yo, or do you approach from the front? The staff are really friendly and helpful, but it's a confusing place.
The website says they want it to be a "third place," but I didn't see any laptops, and would have felt strange pulling one out when everyone was behaving more like you do in an ice cream place.
The espresso fro-yo is pretty good. The red velvet tasted artificial. Other flavors I remember but didn't try: vanilla, chocolate, orange and lemon sorbet, pomegranate, white chocolate, and salted caramel. They had about a dozen good-looking toppings, including Reece's Cups and M&M's. Also lots of fruit toppings, hot fudge and caramel. It's nice that you can put whatever you want into your bucket--as few or as many different fro-yo's and toppings, and that it's all self-swirl-and-serve.
But with JP Licks serving better fro-yo and ice cream, and with Diesel serving great coffee and offering a true, comfortable "third place" atmosphere, I do think this is more of place to take the kids. I overheard one kid declare, "This is WAY better than JP LIcks."
I went and was so overwhelmed by the eager-to-please co-manager (shareholder?) that I didn't even see any waffle irons, nor did I understand about the weigh-and-pay until halfway through ringing me up. Every move I made was watched, and help was offered, but maybe the wrong help. I didn't even notice the video menu, because every time I tried to read it, someone on the staff explained something to me. To be fair, customer training at a place like this is probably a great idea, and who can blame the guy for letting his "eek-I'm-opening-a-business-and-risking-tons-of-money" anxiety show through? I wasn't as annoyed as I probably sound. Hey, points for earnest-y.
Manager guy also specifically touted the coffee twice - "we really hope folks will come in for coffee, we pay a lot of attention to it." I suspect this will be an uphill battle since most Davis-ers will need to pass both Starbucks and Diesel on the way, but what do I know?
Anyway, I liked the seemingly-cookie-free cookies-and-cream yogurt just fine, and I'm looking forward to going back - probably when I'm with someone else and can use them as a foil to garnish a little time and space to explore. I've been craving soft serve chox/van swirl in Davis for a couple of months, so this should help.
Also, the place looks HUGE compared to I-can't-remember that used to be in the space. I was pretty surprised.