I normally don't post anything about a restaurant until it's been open for a few months, but Lola has been getting a lot of publicity recently, so why not? Consider this posting more of a one visit observation. There's been a lot of chatter over the world wide interwebs about Lola, you would think it's the most significant restaurant to open in the Heights in the last year. I won't quite go that far, but consider this: its shtick is the woefully under-represented mid-tier food market and it's smack dab right in the middle of the Heights. None of this Washington Ave nonsense. 11th and Yale: doesn't get much more definitively "Heights" than that.
The wife and I visited for breakfast last Sunday. I ordered the chicken and waffles and my wife ordered the skillet (chicken fried steak and eggs). Order at the register, pay, receive your drink cup and number on a stick and go grab a table. In a few minutes, your food is delivered to your table for consumption. Much has been made over the prices and how this doesn't jive with the counter service model. Didn't bother me. Coffee was decent, and juices looked fresh squeezed.
We experience some highs and lows. First, the chicken and waffles were a huge disappointment. The chicken (breaded and fried boneless chicken breast) was incredibly salty and inedible, although incredibly juicy (no small accomplishment with white meat). The waffle itself was soggy and depressing as it lacked a crunchy exterior. Included extras (bacon and fruit) were actually quite good.
While the chicken and waffles were left half eaten, the chicken fried steak is probably the best in the Heights area at that price point. Think about that for a minute: Barbecue Inn, Triple A, Hickory Hollow. I know it's a bold statement, but they're all inferior. Included cheese grits and eggs were nothing special, so I'm thinking the dinner serving of the CFS is where it's at. Both the breading on the CFS and chicken looked eerily similar, so I'm a little perplexed how the results could be so different.
All in all, I think Lola shows promise (lots of people appeared to be enjoying the pancakes; anyone have them?). We look forward to eating here again in the future and hope the mentioned execution problems get rectified. Remember folks, it's still a young pup.
1102 Yale St.