Dependable Mediocrity: A Review of Wooglin’s Deli

Wooglin’s Deli. Photo by Kiki Kauffman

Written by Meredith Allen

Rating: 2.5/5

If you are associated with Colorado College and have yet to dine at Wooglin’s Deli, you live in an alternate universe. However, I encourage you to stay there. Wooglin’s is a prime example of mediocre food and drink, but no one seems to question its menu. It has become a breakfast staple of the off-campus diet, a regular meeting place for group projects, a close option for those hung-over mornings, and a quick spot for fourth-week dinners.

For the growing number of vegans and vegetarians in the Colorado College community, Wooglin’s falls short. The hummus wrap offers not even a suggestion of uniqueness and the salads can be summed up as plates of flavorless vegetables with a side of ranch. If you are in search of a healthy, meatless, or gluten-free meal, you are better off at Mountain Mama or Poor Richard’s, no questions asked.

While Wooglin’s caters to the standard omnivore diet, it leaves much to be desired. Senior Jenna Ioffredo noted that the bacon needs to be thicker. Another senior, Lila Rosenman, said that the sandwiches are in serious need of toasting and that overall the food is never hot enough. The tuna salad received some praise, but raised concerns around consuming fish in a landlocked state and canned tuna more generally.

As for coffee, tea, baked goods, and breakfast, the consensus is mixed. The alternative milk offerings are a plus, but the specialty drinks are regarded by senior Josie Brownell as simply bad. On the contrary, the muffins are dependable and the lemon bars offer an occasional treat. Breakfast sandwiches and burritos are also a strength of the menu. Senior Sachi Ishida suggested that breakfast should be served all day. However, Rosenman, New York bagel aficionado, notes the weakness of Wooglin’s bagels. As a fellow East Coaster, I strongly concur.

Aside from the food, Wooglin’s also struggles with its atmosphere. While the staff is consistently friendly and welcoming, the physical setup is dim and a bit sleepy. A lack of indoor lighting makes it difficult to work and fails to highlight one of Wooglin’s selling points: its local artwork. Additionally, its shortage of electrical outlets prompts many to-go orders.

DSC_0394To-go orders have their own set of issues. Wooglin’s use of styrofoam is outdated and environmentally questionable, especially when considering how many other restaurants have switched to recyclable or compostable containers. On this issue, however, it must be noted that the responsibility is also on diners to take initiative and consider waste. Additionally, I recognize the cost associated with switching materials. On another note, I suggest that Wooglin’s expand its recycling. The sole recycling bin by the men’s bathroom is poorly marked and underutilized.

In my four years at Colorado College, I have walked optimistically, excitedly, and (h)angrily into Wooglin’s. Each time I have left with a sense of disappointment. Why, then, do I keep going back? The answer is simple: convenience. As Brownell stated, “The convenience factor is huge.”

Senior Anna Kelly applauded Wooglin’s call-in orders. They offer a fast option for those mornings when a banana just won’t cut it. Beyond its prompt service, Wooglin’s does have its perks. The prices are affordable for college students and the community at large. Ioffredo also noted that the Bloody Mary is “bomb.” The quesadillas, too, are always a hit. However, I still give Wooglin’s a 2.5/5 star review.

I am no economics major, but I know that competition is good for the free market, the evolution of a menu, and, thus, my belly. As Wooglin’s is placed strategically close to campus, it has a monopoly over off-campus quick eats. Sadly, neither La’au’s nor the food truck can challenge Wooglin’s because they offer specialty menus. At my five-year reunion, I would like to see another deli-like restaurant just as close to campus. Without this competition and our demand for tastier, rather than convenient, food, I suspect Wooglin’s will continue to provide dependably mediocre offerings.

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