Little Rock’s newest hotspot for juice, the I Love Juice Bar in the Midtown Shopping Center held a “friends and family” soft opening today, and they were kind enough to invite me to come sample some of their juice, smoothie and food offerings. I know that Eat Arkansas has a reputation of being the sort of place that revels in burgers, barbecue and the finer points of deep-fried everything, but we aren’t complete savages. It can’t all be nachos and pork. Sometimes you need a little healthy pick-me-up and I think I Love Juice Bar is going to be a great spot for it.
The juice bar has a full line-up of vegetable and fruit juice concoctions, smoothies, shots and some tasty food items, too. I was lucky enough to try a few samples, and I didn’t taste anything that was less than great. The juice bar will be open for their regular business hours of 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday starting tomorrow, October 1. Stop by and try something good (and good for you).
So what’s good at I Love Juice Bar? Well, here’s what I tried, and a few thoughts.
*Fresh Greens: This was my favorite of all the juices I tried, because it isn’t at all sweet. A tasty blend of celery, kale, spinach, cucumber, parsley and lemon, it has a very fresh, slightly tart flavor with the zippy bite of celery and cucumber to back everything up. Looking for the healthiest thing on the menu? It’s probably this juice, and I think it will be my go-to order when I’m in.
*Sweet Greens: Need something with a touch of sweetness? Go for the Sweet Greens. This mix of apple, kale, spinach, cucumber, parsley and lemon is sweeter than the Fresh Greens juice, and makes for a perfect “starter” juice for folks just discovering the tasty world of fresh juice.
*We Got the Beet: Probably my second favorite juice of the day, this combination of beets, carrots, apples, ginger and lemon was just the right amount of sweet, with a good warming kick from the ginger that left me feeling nice. The lovely red color is also quite compelling.
*Orange You Glad: This carrot, apple, pineapple, lemon, ginger and mint juice was a little too sweet for my tastes, but it was just as fresh and good as any of the others I tried. So if sweet is your thing, this is a tasty choice.
*Green Smoothie: Smoothie fans will love the I Love Juice Bar’s smoothie lineup. I tried a spinach, kale, pineapple, banana, lemon and apple smoothie and I was in love. Banana is one of my favorite flavors, and its presence here was a creamy delight.
*Ginger and Cayenne Power Shot: Another delicious thing I tried was a Ginger and Cayenne shot. To call this thing intense is an understatement. It brings the heat and leaves the entire body feeling warm and good. This shot will wake a body up as good as a cup of coffee, so I’m looking forward to knocking one back as the weather gets cooler.
There are also food items available at the juice bar. I tried one of the fresh spring rolls, and found it to be very crunchy and delicious, with a light dipping sauce that was tangy, spicy and just downright great. Not being a huge fan of quinoa, I was hesitant at first to try the kale and quinoa salad, but one bite made me a believer.
It’s good to have healthy options in town, and a quick juice can be a nice change of pace when looking for something tasty and good when you’re in a hurry. I think the friendly folks at I Love Juice Bar will brighten many of my days to come, and I’m looking forward to adding their tasty products to my weekly repertoire. There are more options than what I’ve listed here, of course, so let me know down there in the comments what your favorite juice, smoothie or food item might be.