Before going to a new restaurant, many people search the internet to find out what others have to say about its atmosphere, service and, of course, its food. The same holds true for the Pampered Palate, which opened its doors to the Meadville community in the spring of 2019 and is located at 1043 Park Ave. Reviews on Facebook were overwhelmingly positive, with one person even saying, “this place deserves 6 out of 5 stars!” Now for math majors, that improper fraction might be a red flag — but it seems that many others are too busy having their palate pampered to care.
The first experience many people have with restaurants actually occurs outside of the dining area — it occurs in the parking lot. The Pampered Palate makes a good first impression, as it has plentiful parking, which is especially helpful for those who might have a tough time if they had to parallel park. Another convenience is that they are open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., fitting well with many people’s schedules.
The pear-green building is accented nicely with flowers and an outdoor patio, and the employees greet their customers with a smile. They have an impressive number of specialty drinks, from smoothies to hot chocolate to a variety of coffee.
The Caramel Nut Frozen Explosion, a frozen coffee drink topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle and candied nuts, is a sweet liquid treat. If you prefer your coffee to taste a little less like coffee and a little more like dessert, this is the drink for you.
September is here, fall is on its way and the holidays are closing in, so something that pairs well with a Frozen Explosion is a Palate favorite: the Thanksgiving Club. Turkey, smoked bacon, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and cranberry mayo sandwiched between their freshly baked multi-wheat bread is the perfect way to pregame the holidays. It was served with a pickle, the ingredients tasted fresh and it made for a very filling meal.
The speed of service was impressive as well, especially considering the great quality of the food. While there was no rush to order, once something was decided on, the food came out perfectly prepared and ready to eat.
While this would already be enough to fill up the average person, it’s important to try one of their freshly baked pastries, even if you get it to go. Donuts, rolls, cookies and cakes were lined beautifully in their display case, so it might take some time to think about which one to choose. The cherry cheese danish was sweet, flaky and tasty enough to think about even days later.
Between soups, salads and signature sandwiches, some people might have a difficult time deciding on which of their unique recipes to try. They also had a few vegetarian and vegan options, including their Californian salad, the Veg Out sandwich and others.
The atmosphere of the Pampered Palate feels how the food tastes: Fresh. There is plenty of natural lighting and everything seemed very clean. Many potted plants were used as decoration and the added greenery made it a peaceful and calming place to enjoy a meal.
The Pampered Palate could also be a great place for students to study. Soft up-beat music, like Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows, played in the background and made for a low-stress environment. There is also ample seating, but an even bigger perk is the free wifi that students could use to complete their various online assignments.
Green seems to be a theme, not only with their food and decor, but also when it comes to helping the environment. The Pampered Palate wants its customers to “choose to reuse” by purchasing one of their reusable cups or mugs, which is a great way to decrease the dependence on single-use plastic. Those who do will receive a discounted price for future drink purchases.
In addition to their reusable products, bagged coffee and teas are also for sale for anyone looking to take a piece of the Pampered Palate home with them. Their signature dark roast and french vanilla flavored coffees are available in 12 ounce bags, and boxes of Steep brand tea bags are for sale in rooibos hibiscus, dandelion & peach and several other flavors.
For those who are on the go, other great options that the restaurant offers are online ordering and and a drive-thru, which officially opened in June.
Between a frozen coffee, sandwich and pastry, the total came to $13.53. While eating at Pampered Palate everyday may not be the most affordable option, especially for college students, the price is fair considering they are serving fresh food and upkeeping a lovely atmosphere to enjoy it in.
Even though the Pampered Palate is located on Park Ave. and just over a mile away from campus, Allegheny students should really try this hidden gem and see for themselves why some people are saying it deserves “6 out of 5 stars.”