As part of a longstanding tradition to review new restaurants and eateries opening in State College, our staff naturally had to stop by the new Yallah Burrito Company, which opened just in time for the semester inside the former Underground Burgers & Crepes storefront.
At first glance, you might think a second Yallah location in State College is unnecessary. But after a look at the success of the original Yallah, it only makes sense to extend the taco classic further east with an expanded menu featuring burritos, bowls, salads, quesadillas, and chips with guac and salsa.
Here’s how our staff thinks the new Yallah stacks up:
Steve Connelly — Chicken Taco
Food wise, my order was the same as I would get at the old location. My usual chicken taco order pretty much tasted the same at the new location, so I imagine there won’t be much of a difference in the quality food-wise if you order the same thing at both places.
Yallah Taco quickly became one of the signature drunk foods in town — open until 3 a.m. on weekends with lines stretching around the shack. It’s interesting the new location is getting away from that, but the new indoor setting with a decent amount of seating is definitely a perk to trying out Yallah Burrito.
Elissa Hill — Chicken Quesadilla
My only complaint is the quesadilla was literally just a tortilla, cheese, and chicken, despite a full lineup of toppings just a few inches away from where you order. I didn’t know exactly how the ordering would work at the new Yallah, but the employees were generally helpful and pleasant, so I’m sure you’d be able to add other fillings if you asked.
I live on the east side of town, so I’m glad we’ve got our own Yallah for regular meals. I’m sure I’ll be even happier to have this option when it starts to get cold and sitting outside at picnic tables near Yallah Taco doesn’t sound quite so appealing.
Derek Bannister — Chicken Burrito Bowl
I went to the second edition of Yallah Taco this week, and I can honestly say that it did not disappoint. As a massive fan of casual Mexican food, I find myself getting burritos from around State College on a somewhat regular basis. Yallah absolutely stands up to the other major Mexican-style eateries in the area, like Chipotle, Qdoba, and California Tortilla.
I ordered a burrito bowl with chicken, corn, lettuce, queso, and medium salsa. The burrito creation experience was just like the stations you would find in Chipotle or Qdoba – a line of ingredients put together to one’s liking. I was in a bit of a hurry, so I got my bowl to go. They wrapped it up neatly in a nice box and I was on my way. I scarfed it all down in a matter of minutes. The flavors were not quite the same that one might find at Chipotle, but they were very good, nonetheless. I would highly recommend taking a trip to the new location for anyone who likes Mexican food.
Anthony Colucci — Fish Burrito
I quickly became a fan of Yallah Taco last year so the news of the new Burrito Company opening on Calder Way over the summer got me excited that Hitham Hiyajneh’s fresh Mexican food was coming to right down the street from my dorm. I took my first trip over the weekend and the new location exceeded my already high expectations.
The variety of salsas and sauces, from spicy peanut to pineapple jerk, offer a great selection and palate of exciting flavors. Sure, Chipotle is a great go-to for fast Mexican food wherever you are, but I can’t see any reason to go to the one across Calder over the new Yallah location. Yallah has more selection, juicier flavors, and better prices. In fact, it’s actually cheaper if you want to order steak, given its standardized $7.00 pricing for meat, compared to Chipotle, where meat ranges from $6.85-$7.85.