I’ve switched teams. No, this has nothing to do with the Japanese girl. It has everything to do with blended fruit. If I had been campaigning in 2008 for the future President of Smoothie Joints, I would be going door-to-door with brochures for and riding around with a bumper sticker clearly supporting Smoothie King. There had been no question about which smoothie place was worth the outrageous price they charge to throw mashed up bananas and ice in a blender: the King, of course. I like to talk about Smoothie King because I get to see people’s reactions when I casually mention that I worked there my senior year of high school. And that they fired me.
I can’t blame the owner for her decision. I mean, I wasn’t like all the other employees. During their down time, they liked to discuss our manager’s stripper past and how she came to acquire the store with lots of help from a very old, very rich client who had taken a possibly genuine, definitely generous, interest in her and her entrepreneurial spirit. I, on the other hand, studied the menu so I could be as efficient as possible during the after school rush for those especially important 14-year olds. The other employees liked to make bets about how often the owner and her steroid-shooting boyfriend/co-owner/pimp/drug trafficker had sex in the office. I memorized the supplement labels just in case someone waiting for their Caribbean Way had a life or death question about ginkgo biloba. There were obvious differences. The turning point arrived when a regular came in one afternoon and ordered his normal drink, which included almost every additional supplement we had to offer, about six or seven energy and muscle and metabolism related powders. I didn’t charge him for the “muscle builder.” And those 50 cents cost me a job. The owner told me that she was starting to stiffen up the discipline, and the best way to get her point across was to make an example of me. Seriously, she told me that – stripper, remember? She also threw in the fact that if I wasn’t leaving for college in two weeks, she wouldn’t have fired me. A peach, really. A sweet, drug-addicted, surgically-enhanced peach.
The point is, despite that hideously uncomfortable and most likely illegal experience, I have still sworn by Smoothie King smoothies. Until yesterday. After work, I worked out and needed to stop at the grocery store on the way home for what I knew would be a long, tedious trip down every aisle. Instead of being that shopper who grabs a munchable and portable snack at the grocery store, starts eating it while doing the rest of her shopping and then has to hand the cashier a crumpled bag of crumbs to ring up (already been there and, trust me, the look the cashier gives you is so not worth it), I decided to get a smoothie at not-Smoothie King. Not only was my smoothie a bit of blended, refreshing deliciousness, I talked to the girl working there like we were best buds chatting about how our days were going. It was one of the best retail experiences I have had in the past few months. So, as a result, I am throwing my full support behind my new favorite smoothie joint: Planet Smoothie. You can thank the strawberry Mr. Mongo smoothie.
You can find a new favorite here.