By STEVEN DeSALVO
For MONTCLAIR LOCAL
In Montclair Eats, food writer Steven DeSalvo compares dishes at Montclair restaurants. DeSalvo has a degree in hospitality business management from the University of Delaware, and has worked extensively in restaurants and hotels.
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Sometimes I’m in the mood for a glass of fresh-pressed fruit juice or a freshly blended fruit smoothie. These moods usually strike me when it starts to get nice out. This week I decided to not limit myself to just juices or just smoothies. I wanted to play it by ear at each establishment. Ask questions of the people there and sort of go along for the ride. The three places I visited this week are The Cornert, which has an exceptional fresh juice program; Joyist, where I opted to try a specific smoothie that came recommended, and finally, Manhattan Juice Bar and Cafe, to round out my experience with another delicious fresh-pressed juice.
- At The Corner, one of my favorite juices is the “Bounce Back.” It is a delightful combination of grapefruit, grapes, lemons, oranges and beets. The beets give it an amazing red color along with the necessary sweetness to balance the acidity of the lemon and grapefruit. (Beets have a lot of sugar!) This juice finds the perfect line of acidity and sweetness. The balance is just right, so that neither element takes the forefront. I strongly suggest giving this juice a try! Don’t slouch on the food either. Try the chocolate chip cookie. You will either love me or hate me for it.
- Joyist has an extensive smoothie menu, in addition to their vegetable bowls, fruit bowls and coffee and tea. When I went in, the people working there seemed passionate about “The Luke” which is a blend of unsweetened almond milk, banana, unsweetened peanut butter, lucuma powder (an all natural sweetener derived from the lucuma fruit), dates and ice. I opted for the addition of fresh spinach, which was included in the price. The tagline for this smoothie, “not just good … milkshake good” is not an exaggeration. The spinach adds no discernible flavor and the creamy deliciousness of a milkshake is achieved without sacrificing health for it.
- Manhattan Juice Bar and Cafe provided me with a truly delicious juice called the “OGC” — Orange, Ginger and Carrot. The orange provided necessary acidity. The carrot provided classic sweetness we associate with carrots. And the ginger added an exceptional spiciness that is impossible to replicate using other ingredients. While this was a juice, the press must have extracted some of the starch from the carrot because the drink had a rich, syrupy, texture. Don’t forget that they are a fully functioning café, serving breakfast and lunch.
Overall, you cannot go wrong with any of these selections. They all have something wonderfully distinct and interesting about them: The Corner’s use of beets, a relatively unpopular food; Joyist’s perfect healthy “milkshake;” Manhattan’s use of ginger in a perfect application that enhances its qualities. I would suggest trying them all and let us know which one is your favorite!
In this article:
- The Corner
115 Grove St.
617 Valley Road
- Manhattan Juice Bar and Cafe
446 Bloomfield Ave.