Address: 308 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906
Self-serve frozen yogurt seems to be a big trend that is moving its way east across the country. When I came home to New Jersey a few weeks back, I discovered that there has been a number of frozen yogurt places that had opened up. When I left to come back to school in January, there hadn’t been any.
That being said, back in West Lafayette, the dessert market right around Chauncey Hill has seen quite a bit of activity lately. First, Red Mango moved into Chauncey Square, and then Dairy Queen was soon to follow by moving into the Chauncey Hill suite that had been home to the Greek restaurant The Parthenon previously. Now, Orange Leaf has set up shop right where the Chauncey Hill branch of the Follett’s Bookstore used to be.
I remember seeing the construction starting for this place, and then what felt like a blink of an eye, all of a sudden Orange Leaf was going to open! The management was smart to take advantage of the summer season to start drumming up some business from the students staying at Purdue for summer classes as well as people in the community. While it was a soft opening during the first week of summer classes, I expect that they will have a full grand opening once school comes back in session during the fall semester.
Right before I left to come back to New Jersey, my friend Tiffany and I took a trip down to give this place a try. Inside, it was a nice and open atmosphere with plenty of light coming in from the tall windows in the front of the store. There was also ample seating available, from lounge chairs to tables to booths. We both proceeded to the back of the store, where an employee greeted us and asked us if we wanted to try any of their 16 different flavors of yogurt. It was a staggering number, with quite an array of flavors to choose from as well. Ranging from strawberry and mango to vanilla and chocolate to birthday cake and brownie batter. There were so many choices! Both Tiffany and I took our time sampling before deciding what to go for. I was very impressed with how nearly each flavor tasted pretty spot on with the real item.
In addition to the regular-sized bowls, Orange Leaf also offers waffle bowls for you, which I thought was pretty neat. I ended up grabbing a waffle bowl and filling it with some strawberry, birthday cake, and cheesecake. All three flavors stood out by themselves, and all three put together were equally as delicious, if not better. One thing to note about the toppings: it was much more candy-based. You had M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, Snickers bars, Oreos, Gummy worms, and other candies as well, but the fruit selection was limited to strawberries, mangos, or pineapples. I personally almost always fill up with more candy into my yogurt bowl than I should, but I think that it would be nice to see some more healthier pairing options for the yogurt.
Orange Leaf makes a great addition to the dessert scene over at Chauncey Hill, and I’m curious to see how it does when the majority of students come back to campus. The way I see it, frozen yogurt is good, no matter what time of day it is!
Here are my rankings for Orange Leaf:
Food: 4.5 / 5
The variety of flavors is impressive, and how closely the tastes were with the original items impressed me even more. This yogurt style is also a bit thicker and creamier.
Atmosphere: 4.5 / 5
The layout of the storefront really provided a nice “lounge-feel” of an atmosphere. The furniture, wall paint, and decorations all accentuated that nicely.
Service: 4.5 / 5
The employees were very nice and also knowledgeable about the yogurt when I asked for an opinion about which of the 16 choices would have been the best.
Price: 4 / 5
At 45 cents per ounce, this place’s price matches right on with Red Mango’s. An average cup of yogurt could run anywhere from $3 – $5, but I think that treats like this are definitely worth it.
Overall: 17.5 / 20 (88%)