Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
One more juice bar
It turns out that Grantville has a very good juice and torta shop with spicy sweets and tostilocos to boot!
Just when you think that all the juice has been drunk, the smoothies sipped, and tortas nibbled, another option in the vast panoply of Mexican juice bars reveals itself. This time, it’s Tropical Fruit Paradise on Friars Road. And damn if it doesn’t have some outright awesome qualities.
The torta selection lists a few meat-stuffed novelties for $6.99 each. The “Cubano” sandwich has a breaded cutlet, ham, a fried egg, chorizo, cheese, and vegetables. “La Raza” has chiquen (best sensical misspelling ever!), ham, and cheese. They even have “pierna,” which is some kind of braised pork leg in a sauce that tastes of sweetness and raisins. The bread underperformed--too sweet and somewhat unfulfilling--but the metric ton of meats and cheeses got the job done nonetheless.
I should definitely mention that they have tostilocos, which are de rigeur on the other side of the frontera but not quite so commonplace up here.
Juices are all pretty awesome. “A+ Circulation” enamored with a pineapple and celery combo, but the pears and oranges in “Weight Control” looked pretty amazing as well. Frosty smoothies were a bit more conventional, with lots of berries, bananas, and sweet fruits blended with ice. Prices on juices was average at $3.75 for a small and $4.99 for a large.
The did the fruit salads and escamochas that make me swoon, but the real joy was (of course) mangoneada and, a newer one on me, “chamarindo.” I had to try the latter, natch. It was a sweet, tamarind slushie laced with chamoy and served with a straw covered in a layer of spicy candy. Between the two, I think I prefer the version with mango because the fruit is so much sweeter. Tamarind already has a sour flavor, so it doesn’t create the memorable contrast with the chamoy. “Chamarindo” was still pretty rad, however, and I will definitely drink another one!
10387 Friars Road