Everybody is talking about Robeks, the quirky little juice joints that are popping up across the U.S.
"Brimming with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts and energizers," is how the company has positioned its smoothies.
High schoolers are choosing these fun, frothy and fruity drinks over last year's mocha lattes. Health enthusiasts need look no further for their wheat grass fix. And parents can sneak several servings of fruits and vegetables into their little ones in the guise of a milk shake.
Sounds good, doesn't it?
This was my first experience with in 2007. I was looking forward to trying a few varieties and really wanted to see how I would feel upon consuming consistent doses of good-for-me juices.
Day One: 8:00 a.m.
I had just taught my spin class at the YMCA. Upon entering Robeks, I noticed that everybody else was in workout clothes, too!
I took the lead of the gals before me and went for the Mahalo Mango. Papaya juice, mango, pineapple sherbet and non-fat yogurt were blended with ice into a light, slightly sweet and satisfying smoothie.
The Robeks "small" was large enough to last the entire morning while I ran my errands. It hit the spot and I didn't even miss my morning coffee.
Day Two: 6:30 a.m.
Yep–Robeks opens really early. Think coffee house, but with a nutritional boost in place of caffeine.
At this unearthly hour, "Power Smoothies" seemed the way to go. The Cardio Cooler caught my eye. Labeled as high protein, fiber, vitamin A-C, it's a blend of passion fruit, mango, peaches, orange-pineapple sherbet and ice with added Robeks Boosts (powdered form) of Cardiobek, Fiberbek and Soy Protein.
I enjoyed the tartness and found it to be quite refreshing. I could not single out any one particular fruit component, as the combination came together nicely to create its own unique flavor.
I was unable to finish it and stuck it in the fridge. When I went back to it a few hours later, it was watered down a bit but just as tasty.
Day Three: Noon
After a long morning meeting, I needed a pick-me-up. I passed up my usual coffee stop and continued with my good-for-me fix at Robeks.
The store was quieter than usual, so I took my time perusing the varied menu. Categories include Berry Smoothies (Berry Brilliance and Raspberry Romance), Acai Special, Exotic Blends (Pomegranate Power), Tropical Smoothies (Pina Koolada) and Fresh Juices.
For my afternoon boost I went for the Fresh Juice option with the G-Snap of carrot, orange, and ginger. It didn't pack as strong of a punch as the two juices prior, and I didn't feel as satisfied, portion-wise or flavor-wise.
Other veggie options include beet, celery, and spinach; other fruits are apple and banana.
Day Four: 9:15 a.m.
The place was jammin'. While waiting I struck up a conversation with a young girl, who said she comes for the Awesome Acai. Of course, that meant that I had to have one too.
This delicious shake is composed of Acai puree, raspberries, bananas, raspberry sherbet, non-fat yogurt and ice. It was sweet and tart, and the banana gave it more body than the other blended drinks.
This one is a keeper. Lots of flavor and I could taste each fruit.
More Pricy than Designer Coffee
There's so much more to try. I look forward to sampling their yogurt milkshakes, throwing in my choice of fresh fruit along with a "Nutritional Boost" or two.
Robeks Smoothies/Juices run in the $5-$7 range. Each drink includes one free Boost and 50 cents for each additional Boost.
It's indeed more expensive than a caffeine fix, but I must admit, I felt great starting my day with one.
Perhaps the folks at Robeks can come up with a healthy, high-powered concoction using coffee?