Sep 142005
 
Authors: Katie Kelley

 

Ma's Juice Bar

1300 West Elizabeth

970-416-7725

Hours Open:

Monday – Saturday

11 a.m. to close (approximately 11 p.m.)

Sunday

5 p.m. to close (approximately 11 p.m.)

Ma's Juice Bar

New to Fort Collins is the spiked smoothie; the best invention to hit this town since sliced bread and oversized burritos.

These smoothies, which are a fresh and modern twist on the old juice bar trend, are available only at Ma's Juice Bar. The drinks are made from fresh fruit such as cranberries, raspberries, pineapple, mangos and peaches.

The fruit is then blended with either a nonfat vanilla yogurt or fruit sorbet and then four shots of your favorite liquor are added to create a luscious blend of flavors for those who are age 21 and up.

However, for those who may not yet be of legal drinking age, simply order a virgin at $3.75 and still enjoy the freshest tasting smoothies around. All smoothies are blended into an intoxicating and uniquely tasting concoction.

For the spiked smoothies, a choice of over 48 liquors and 14 blends allows for a tropical vacation for the taste buds and the mind. Because these smoothies are packed with such a punch, there is a limit of three per person.

Local entrepreneur and CSU graduate, Denise Hakim, is the creator of these fabulous new refreshments and owner of Ma's Juice Bar, which opened approximately five to six weeks ago.

"It took me a long time to actually get the menu. I had to make almost 70 smoothies to make these 14," said Hakim. "I love it, I especially love people enjoying the drinks and enjoying the atmosphere."

Ma's Juice Bar offers three different categories of smoothies to choose from including Berries, Citrus and Tropical.

In the Berries category, a choice of five smoothies are available that include a varying blend of either raspberries, cranberries, blueberries, bananas and/or strawberries.

The Citrus category offers four choices with either oranges or orange sorbet as the primary ingredient. 63rd & Broadway is a customer favorite under the Citrus category, blending pineapple, bananas, oranges, strawberries and orange sorbet together.

The final category is the Tropical, where mangoes, pineapples and peaches are used to authenticate the exotic experience. Under this category is the Punch Me smoothie. This delicious blend of pineapple, strawberries, bananas, mangoes, peaches, notfat vanilla yogurt, coconut rum and banana rum really does add a kick and a punch, so be sure to sip slowly or you might just fall off your bar stool.

For those health gurus another option to personalize a smoothie is available. Feel free to add supplements such as immunity, energy, ginkgo, Vitamin C, calcium and multi-vitamin for an additional $.50.

Hakim is not only the inventor of all the beverages served at the juice bar, but she also works the counter to ensure that the best tasting and freshest smoothies get served to her customers.

"It's just me all day right now, just to see what sells," Hakim said. " I've already taken a few things out of the menu and I'm adding a whole special blend of Arabic coffee smoothies."

Hakim offers a unique adventure for customers through her spiked and unspiked smoothies. She also serves flavored fresh fruit mojitos, a variety of wines, beer, and is currently working on a martini menu which will offer one-of-a-kind smoothie martinis.

After sampling the raspberry mojito, which is made with homegrown mint, lime, sugar, raspberries and rum, I decided it was the all-time best beverage I've ever consumed – and at only $5 is well worth sampling any time.

The atmosphere is relaxed and casual at Ma's Juice Bar, which is like no other smoothie cafe around. Hakim helps to develop this feeling while she jokes with customers and really gets to know them, adding a personal touch that every local bar should incorporate into their customer service.

"Denise makes the place," said Mark Dolezal, senior recreation and tourism major. "It's unique, and there's not really juice with alcohol around this area."

Everyone is sure to find something to enjoy while visiting this juice bar and if you don't see anything enjoyable on the menu, Hakim allows you to choose your own ingredients for a completely personalized smoothie.

"You get to know your customers," Hakim said. "This place is like cheers, where everyone knows your name."

When asked about what makes Ma's Juice Bar so enjoyable for returning customer Andy Farner, a Front Range student, said, "Denise. And then obviously the innovative business venture of combining smoothies with the spiked smoothies; it's always a good time."

Be sure to check out this smoothie stop soon and while you're there, try some of the food served at Yum Yum Restaurant, which is directly connected to the juice bar.

 

Yum Yum Restaurant

1300 West Elizabeth

970-493-7937

Hours Open:

Monday – Saturday

11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday

5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Yum Yum Restaurant

Today: Help victims from Hurricane Katrina by eating at Yum Yum Restaurant, where most of the profits received during the day will be donated for this cause.

The glow of light from inside the restaurant lures me inside and away from the gray clouds, which are sure to open a downpour of rain at any moment. After entering through the glass doors, the aroma of the grill and spices hit me, instantaneously making my mouth salivate; and with a name like Yum Yum, I really couldn't go wrong in choosing this restaurant to dine at. I was right, Yum Yum offers Lebanese cuisine, which is similar to other Middle Eastern food. However, Yum Yum adds a splash of culture through a variety of seasonings, spices and meals made from scratch to develop a distinctly different taste to the authenticated food served here.

"[The food] it's not spicy but it has a lot of spices like: oregano, peppers and salt, fresh squeezed lemon juice," said Denise Hakim, daughter of the restaurant's owners as well as owner of Ma's Juice Bar. "Everything we cut by hand: parsley, tomatoes, cilantro – everything is freshly made."

Adding to this experience are the restaurants owners Philippe and Samia Hakim, who not only operate Yum Yum but along with Denise, do all of the cooking. The Hakim's make every item on the menu from scratch and use recipes past down from previous generations in their family.

"The restaurant has been here for 15 years and it's my mom's cooking," Hakim said.

Hakim said the top three favorite foods among customers include the Gyro sandwiches, Hommoss spread and the Falafel.

The Gyro is the traditional grilled lamb and beef, which tastes incredible stuffed into pita bread with rice, hommoss, fatouch and topped off by a sesame sauce. The Hommoss, spelled differently because of the Lebanese culture, is a puree of garbanzo beans, sesame tahini, fresh garlic and fresh squeezed lemon juice.

The Falafel is made by blending cilantro, onion and garlic with dried garbanzo and fava beans; it is then deep fried to a crispy delight, which is sure to hit home with any vegetarian looking for an alternative dining option. Half of the food on the menu is designed to include vegetarian choices with items such as the Baba Ghanouj sandwich made from eggplant.

A total of ten plates are offered in addition to the appetizers and sandwiches. All plates are served with pita bread and are easy on the wallet. Definitely try the rice with your meal, it is made with Samia's homemade butter and is utterly delightful as it melts in the mouth.

"For any of the plates you can open the pita up and stuff everything in, and I'm talking everything," Hakim said. "Then you can pour the sauce on top."

A new top favorite of mine is the Sheesh T'Aouk, which is made of chicken, onions and tomatoes grilled in special spices. Try this as a plate with the rice and Tabbouleh Salad wrapped up in the pita bread or for those looking for a lighter meal, simply opt for this under the sandwich section of the menu.

Either way, this dining experience will be enjoyable especially with the option to order drinks from Ma's Juice Bar to be served on either side of the two connecting restaurants. Also, stop in today to as most of the proceeds received from meals will help to benefit victims from Hurricane Katrina.

 

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