When you accidentally snooze your morning alarm one too many times or have to run straight from class to a club meeting, sit-down meals at the DUC-ling aren’t always realistic. If you can’t factor a full meal into your schedule, then take advantage of the multiple Emory cafes that offer smoothies to grab before you go on your way.
The Depot by Kaldi’s Coffee
Home to many late-night studiers and midnight snackers, Kaldis is by far the most underrated smoothie spot on campus, especially with this semester’s updated smoothie menu. My favorite is the “Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana” smoothie, which can be consumed as a dessert or a meal. At first glance the drink seems unhealthy, but it’s actually made only with banana, peanut butter, milk, cocoa powder and protein powder. Cocoa powder isn’t nearly as unhealthy as nutella or added sugar, and still adds a kick of sweetness. The drink is one of the thickest smoothies I’ve ever had, making it extremely filling and satisfying. However, the smoothie isn’t always blended well — I often find myself sipping up chunks of peanut butter. But for a meal-replacement smoothie that has both protein and carbs, the $6.49 for a 16-ounce cup is worth it once in a while.
While Highland Bakery serves up some quality coffees and meals, smoothies are not their strong suit. I ordered the “Mango Tango” when the cafe was nearly empty and waited at least 15 minutes to receive my smoothie. Highland only offers 20-ounce smoothies, which cost $6.99. The drink is overwhelmingly large, and, despite being hungry, I could only finish about three-fourths of it. The smoothie is made with mango, strawberries, banana, milk, mango juice and protein powder. It had a thinner consistency than I prefer and tasted like sugary orange juice. Instead of a creamy drink, it tasted icy, perhaps because it lacked yogurt. It’s safe to say that my first time trying a Highland smoothie was also my last.
With drinks ranging from “Tropical Therapy” to “Jamaican Jammer,” Freshens offers an intriguingly diverse smoothie menu with unique ingredients, such as peaches and pom-raspberry sorbet. I tried the “Jamaican Jammer,” the classic strawberry and banana smoothie, and was instantly overwhelmed by the sweetness of the supposedly healthy snack. Blended with an additional scoop of fat free yogurt and a protein “booster,” the texture was thick, more similar to that of an acai bowl rather than a smoothie. It tasted like a strawberry milkshake served at a diner, and left me on a sugar high. For a small $3.99 cup (16 ounces), I recommend it as an afternoon dessert. However, for students seeking a healthy boost to their day, Freshens might not be the best place to fulfill their smoothie cravings.
Starbucks’ smoothies tasted like mystery sugar water. Instead of tasting like fresh fruits, the strawberry banana smoothie tasted like sweet juice without nutritional value. However, the regular size (16 ounces) costs only $4.52, which is in my Dooley Dollar budget. Also, the employees are extremely efficient and had my drink ready within minutes after I ordered it. Students who need a quick pick-me-up before their last class of the day can rely on Starbucks to be efficient, but they might not be satisfied.
Smoothie options are scattered all around Emory’s campus. Next time you’re rushing to class, give a Kaldi’s smoothie a try as a meal replacement or a Freshens smoothie for a cheap and sweet dessert.