Vitality Bowls’ smoothie is worth the expense

Janie Akers, Editor-in-Chief

This week, I revisited one of my favorite acai bowl spots to see what their smoothies are like. Vitality Bowls is a cafe in Carmel with a variety of organic food options, including juices, salads, bowls and smoothies.

Despite being a frequent Vitality Bowls customer, the traffic of Carmel’s Main Street never fails to stress me out. The abundance of cars and the lack of parking availability are an unfortunate combination, so I ended up parking far away.

Although the driving situation is not ideal, that is a minor inconvenience which the food certainly makes up for. Plus, Vitality Bowls is right by the Monon so I got to take a nice little walk from my car to the store.

I chose to order the Acai Elixir smoothie, made with acai, VB blend, bananas and strawberries. My younger sister came with me and ordered the Dragon smoothie. Even though she is fully capable of paying for herself, I somehow ended up paying for her. The total cost of both drinks was $19.60.

I was not thrilled about spending $20 on two small smoothies, but I expected a high price after being there multiple times before. It is not the most affordable place, however every experience I’ve had there has been great. 

When I tried my drink, I forgot about the hard hit to my bank account! It was fresh and the perfect consistency. None of the flavors were overpowering, and it was just what I needed on such a warm day.

While the parking situation and pricey menu are not ideal, Vitality Bowls never ceases to impress me when I go. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a high-quality smoothie or healthy meal and is willing to spend the money!

Smoothie King impresses, despite being a chain – September 30, 2022

As the smoothie connoisseur I claim to be, many find it shocking that I have never been to a Smoothie King before. Aside from the two times I’ve been to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, I never really go to chains for my smoothies. This week, I decided to change that.

First off, I didn’t even know where Smoothie King was, so I had to look it up. The closest one to my house is on Rangeline in Carmel, so I made my way up north after school.

When I walked in, it was just about what I anticipated. Smoothie King logos everywhere, a bold red and white color scheme and a few seemingly bored teenagers working at the counter. The menu was extensive, and it took me a couple minutes to decide what I was going to try.

I ordered a Pineapple Surf smoothie because it sounded good and was marked as a popular menu item. It was primarily made up of pineapples and strawberries, with a few other flavors and juices mixed in.

It cost me $6.27 for a 20 ounce drink, which was a huge step up from my pricey encounter at Greenleaf a couple weeks ago. Service was quick, and I don’t think I was inside the store for more than five minutes.

When I tried my smoothie, I was impressed! It was really tasty and perfectly blended, so it wasn’t too runny or too thick. I found myself taking sips the entire time as I drove home and I can’t really complain too much about anything.

I will say that it has a very sugary taste. Since I typically gravitate towards the artsy, organic and overpriced little cafes, I am not used to having added sugars in my smoothies. While it was certainly not the healthiest one I’ve ever had, it tasted good nonetheless.

I can definitely foresee myself making more trips to Smoothie King in the future. It was quick, relatively cheap compared to other places and the taste is definitely above average. I would not recommend it to anyone trying to cut down on sugar, but it is a great place for a treat.

Greenleaf smoothie is underwhelming – September 16, 2022

Smoothies are one of my favorite snacks. I typically make my own at home, but I am always down to try a new smoothie spot.

This week, I decided to try a smoothie from Greenleaf Juicing Company in Nora. I’ve been to Greenleaf before to order acai bowls, but this was my first time getting a smoothie. Their acai bowls are some of the better ones I’ve had, so needless to say I was looking forward to trying a Greenleaf smoothie.

Upon walking in, I was greeted with the same bright and clean atmosphere as always. The greenery on the walls and complimentary jug of lemon water offered a calming environment, which is always nice. 

Greenleaf has an extensive menu, and since I was not craving anything specific, I asked the lady working at the counter for a recommendation. Per her opinion, I placed my order for the dragon berry smoothie. 

When she turned the screen around to show me my total, my experience started going downhill. I was shocked. My smoothie cost $9.76, so I expected something amazing.

When my smoothie came out, the cup was sticky with blender remnants. This was slightly frustrating because it made my hands sticky, however I was still hopeful for the taste. If their acai bowls stand out, their smoothies couldn’t possibly be too different, right?

Wrong. This was one of the most average smoothies I have ever had. It was an aesthetically pleasing shade of pink, but that did not make up for it tasting bland and leaving a strange texture in my mouth. 

Before I get too worked up, let me clarify that the smoothie was certainly refreshing and I finished the whole thing while I did my homework. But for a $9.76 smoothie, I was underwhelmed. It was no show-stopper, and the sticky hands simply added to my disdain.

While Greenleaf will still be a regular acai bowl spot for me, I do not foresee myself purchasing another smoothie any time soon. The overall pricing, flavor and experience simply was not up to par with what I anticipated, and I left feeling somewhat disappointed.