Welcome to Groupon, Columbia! For our inaugural deal, you get $30 worth of dinner fare for $15, or $15 worth of lunch eats for $7 at Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe. Since this is everyone's first Groupon, allow us to briefly explain how it works.
The straws are wide by design at Bubble Tea Cafe, where the staff cooks chewy balls of tapioca daily to plunk into their customers' cups. These "bobas" add an interactive element to the Taiwanese beverages. Available in more than 40 flavors, including blueberry, avocado, spiced chai, and peanut butter, the frosty drinks comprise the bulk of the cafe's menu, but share space with hot and iced tea variants such as mojito mint-lime. Guests can even mix their bubble tea types to create creamy combinations—the Bananas Foster mixes banana and caramel, whereas the Boba Loca blends honeydew and almond—and pair their personalized sips with one of many rotating desserts.
Rock 'n' roll of the '60s and '70s floats out from the sound system at Peace Love & Rocky Roast as people sip freshly brewed java among walls bedecked with Woodstock memorabilia, a colorful hand-painted mural, and several flat screen TVs. Owners and reunited high school sweethearts Butch Allen and Desa Ballard recently opened Peace Love & Rocky Roast's doors to share the aromas of freshly roasted coffee and tales of a romance more enduring than the love between child and his brother's train set. An enormous coffee roaster takes center stage behind the café counter, where beans are heated to build flavor for large cups of the house blend. Patrons can chat up a friendly barista while sitting in a tall-legged chair at the bar or unwind in one of several cushy armchairs made with real arms. Though not included with today's deal, Peace also offers a menu of breakfast and dinner munchables and showcases casefuls of cakes, cookies, and more than 15 flavors of gelato.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat that emanates from the floorboards. Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry, $4.99) harnesses the nutritious hunger-fighting power of superfruit, and delectable low-fat elixirs such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapples, nonfat yogurt, $4.29) hoodwink gullible taste buds into believing they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops.