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  • Writer's pictureJeb Brack

Food Blarg!

I do not normally fall for the "pop-up" food vendor, but when it is the first day of spring, you're out walking, and you see a pop-up juice bar, you throw caution to the wind, right? At the very least, you're supporting a local small business serving organic, handmade refreshments in environmentally friendly premises, right? That's my assumption.

Well once again my faith in all of humankind has been dashed, this time by the unnamed "Juice Bar" at the corner of Burns and Durrell Avenues. Totally overrated!!

The decor looked quaintly retro, even nostalgic, constructed out of a piece of plywood and two sawhorses set up in the front yard of a suburban house. The signage (hardly visible from the street, and mostly illegible) consisted of two lines written in brown crayon on brown cardboard (interesting design choice) read: "Lemonade 25 cents, Cookies 25 Cnets (sic)". Turns out that was the menu as well!

The wait staff, three tow-headed moppets, were enthusiastic if not knowledgeable. They fought for the privilege of taking my order, arguing over who would pour the lemonade and who would collect the money, meanwhile leaving me waiting for a good five minutes. I could have picked up the cookie or poured the drink myself and been out the door (if they had one) before they got around to it, but I'm too patient and polite to do such a thing. At last I was served a cup of lemonade and a cookie and paid a dollar. Instantly the staff forgot about me, more interested in their phones, my money, and someone they all knew named "Oliver". I had to remind them to make change, then actually help them with the math.

As for the "food": the cookie closely resembled a Chips Ahoy, and came served on a napkin. No plate. Hardly suitable for such a crumbly, messy cookie. I got crumbs all over my vintage bowling shirt. But that was preferable to the lemonade which came to me in a STYROFOAM CUP!!! In this day and age! Not only that, but the liquid contained therein was nowhere near "fresh-squeezed" or "handmade", even though the staff assured me they had "helped make it themselves".

Needless to say, I summoned the manager. The staff tried to stonewall, saying they didn't have one, but I told them I wasn't leaving until I spoke to someone in charge. One of the moppets went into the house and returned several minutes later (while I waited I tried to spot the establishment's sanitation rating certificate, to no avail) with a man who identified himself as Jerome and asked what the problem was. I told him and he reacted angrily, even childishly, insisting that I leave the premises at once. I have never been treated so rudely by a business. (Tip: If you want return customers, then remember the food blogger is always right!)

I left, but returned several minutes later hoping to take candid photos of this fly-by-night juice joint. The staff, the bar, and in fact almost everything else about this place had vanished. I was able to get one shot, showing how poorly they had cleaned up their site. So in short, if you should be in this area with a hankering for fresh, local beverages, don't be taken in by this one!


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