Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Oreo Cafe: What Went Wrong?!

As a person who grew up with Oreos, I can tell you that it’s exceedingly rare to find a situation where I will turn one down. I mean, I don’t keep them in the house because I’ll keep eating them till they vanish…often in one sitting! So, when I found out that the Oreo company just started up a cafe at the (local to me) American Dream Mall, I had to check it out.

Unfortunately, this might be one of the only times where I actually have to write a review that’s not glowing about something that doesn’t involve snooty doorkeepers. Either way, I feel like it has to be discussed simply because I took the trip out there and it was a lesson in corporate greed. Or just corporate failure.

How I Found Out About Oreo’s Cafe

I’ll be honest. I got an Oreo horoscope from Twitter and it came with a cute message telling me to check out the world’s first Oreo cafe. Luckily, it was literally 15 minutes away from me by car and at a mall I’m quickly growing to love. 

So, I ended up going there. 

Finding out about the place was one story. On the other side of the story was actually arriving in the mall and trying to find it. There were no signs as to where it was. Not even in the directory! I had to ask a clerk at a store where the cafe was. Apparently, it was tucked away on the third floor of It’s Sugar! 

The Oreo Cafe: What Went Wrong?!

The Oreo Cafe

After we wandered about, we got to the third story and there it was…Right amidst a mess of Oreo swag and a bunch of screaming kids. Honestly, the swag stands were slick. I actually wanted to buy a shirt there, really. But the cafe itself? Well…

It was more like a cafeteria. I appreciate the Oreo-themed ceiling, but the tables were basically IKEA tables with Oreo stuff printed on them. Around the area was an Oreo banner and a booth that looked like it belonged in a food court.

I mean, to a point, I don’t know what I was expecting. I low-key had hoped that it would be a kawaii-style cafe, the way that they would have it in Japan. You know what I mean, right? Everything cute as a button, Oreo-centric, with gourmet goods that look perfect, in a quiet setting with table service? 

Yeah, this was not that. There were a bunch of loud kids here, which is great if you are a parent who wants to give thier kids a place to chill. For me, and my more adult tastes, it was awkward sitting there with my spouse as the only non-family there. It really looked like a cheaper Dunkin Donuts that had a theme glued to it. 

The Food

So, our food order here wasn’t actually food. I ordered a coffee drink with blended Oreo goodness into it and my husband ordered some plain vanilla ice cream. We each took a bite (or sip) out of each, and immediately recoiled. 

It was sweet. Like, cloyingly sweet. Sweet in a way that people over the age of 25 will not want to try. Heck, I’m pretty sure that people over 18 might have a diabetic shock trying to eat it. Worse, both the ice cream and the whipped cream had a strange fatty texture to them that clung to your mouth. 

Neither my husband nor I were able to stomach our treats, though we both admitted that the waffles the kids at the next table had looked good. Actually, everything looked great. It just tasted like diabetes. Even my coffee was less like a coffee and more like a thick shake with lard in it.

If you take a look at my photos, you can tell that I’m a bit queasy. Thank you, Oreo cafe. You have done what drinking 5 Monsters a day could not. I’m not even mad. I’m impressed. 

The Oreo Cafe: What Went Wrong?!

What The Hell Happened?!

I’ll be honest. I probably should have seen the writing on the wall with this cafe the moment it was in a candy shop. I have been dealing with upscale stores that are pretty, quiet, and awesome. To a point, I may have forgotten that families with kids exist and that kids don’t want to have gourmet truffle fries.

Even so, I can’t help but notice that the food was pretty gnarly, even for parents who are used to going to Chuck E. Cheese. It’s all the high fructose corn syrup and fake flavoring they added to the goods here. That, with the synthetic oils they used in the food, messed everything up.

My Verdict: Yikes?

I’ll be honest. I enjoyed the swag outside the cafe more than the cafe itself. This is not a cafe for adults. It’s 100 percent made and marketed towards kids and parents who want to pay a premium price for stuff that your dog wouldn’t even want to eat. 

I loved the concept, but god-DAMN Oreos, you really have to rework what you’re doing. This was not a cafe. This had two “coffee” drinks and the rest were…something else. If you have an extra $20, don’t go to this place. Just get an Oreo tee shirt instead.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a food critic, writer, and at home culinary enthusiast!

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