By JIM WILLIS
With Healthy Habits Natural Foods setting up shop right next door to Smoothie King and advertising a smoothie and juice bar of its own, PieHole stopped in both shops to suss out the smoothie landscape in downtown Red Bank.
Rob Bianchini, who mans the juicer machines at Healthy Habits, said a defining feature of the juices and shakes he serves is that they’re all made with 100-percent organic fruits and vegetables, including the celery that he tells PieHole is key to staying hydrated on a hot day.
Bianchini also explained the cleansing benefits of juicing, which we hope still apply when you’re drinking your juice with a nice sausage and pepper sandwich.
If you’re new to the juicing, Bianchini suggests wetting your whistle t with something that’s a little sweet a first.
“The ‘Bittersweet,’ with apple, spinach, kale, lemon and ginger, is good if you’re just starting out,” says Bianchini.
He tells PieHole the juices are popular because of pent-up demand.
“A lot of customers tell us they’ve been waiting for a good juice bar to come in downtown so they could walk around town and grab something healthy.”
As for the smoothies, Bianchini recommends ‘Tango Mango.’ “It’s all fruit and good one to try if you’ve never had a smoothie before,” he said.
Next door at Smoothie King, the vibe is less about organic cleansing and more about getting some good post-workout nutrition replenishment.
Vincent Liguori, who was mixing up the smoothies, tells us he’ll talk to customers to see if they’re looking for meal replacement or a snack, and steer them towards the right kind of fruit smoothie.
“We’ve got high-protein smoothies, and we’ll do smoothies that do potassium and sodium replenishment,” Liguori said.
Smoothie King also has a few new smoothies made with Chobani yogurt on the menu. As for vegetable juicing, Liguori says Smoothie King limits its juicing to wheatgrass.