I don’t know about you, but I grew up on orange juice. My dad was a huge fan of Tropicana, and still is, and we always had at least one carton in the fridge for a go-to drink on a hot day, or something to sip while you had your sandwich for lunch (as long as it wasn’t tuna–those definitely do not go together!) We always got the brands that were not from concentrate so you knew you were getting the freshest, best quality juice available. Fresh orange juice, while not as healthy as eating a full orange for the added fiber, has only 100 calories per cup but is packed with that sweet, tart orange flavor, and has 250% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. It’s the official state drink of Florida, the second largest region for cultivating oranges (Brazil being the only other place to beat it). It became popular only as a nationwide breakfast drink in the early 20th century, when mass production developments and refrigeration techniques allowed every kitchen in the country to enjoy a cool glass of OJ; before then, only those with their own orange groves who juiced them by hand could have it on a regular basis. Now, it’s so ubiquitous with breakfast that we see it alongside every bowl of cereal in advertisements and have Donald Sutherland’s soothing voice extolling the virtues of the Florida orange. Orange juice is everywhere!
But finding restaurants known for their premium orange juice? That’s not an easy task, my friend. You can tell a quality establishment by the fact that they fresh-press their own orange juice, especially for health stores and places that specialize in organic, fresh produce and foods. One of these great, healthy restaurants with a kick-ass orange juice is the Brooklyn Crepe and Juice Bar in Prospect Heights. Here, alongside freshly made crepes of both savory and sweet varieties, they serve a number of energy-boosting smoothies that provide a punch of nutrition as well as flavor. Their special blends mix the perfect fruits, vegetables, and supplements to provide just what you need to kick a cold, boost your energy levels, or give you the protein that their sweet crepes may lack. Try out the Cold Killer juice, a blend of orange, lemon, and carrot juices with a hint of spicy ginger–this blend is super concentrated with Vitamin C to kick your immunity levels up a notch. When I go visit for the Spicy C Train smoothie (with mango, honey, cinnamon, and pineapple), I’m also going to check out their Brooklyn neighborhood-inspired crepes–my hometown, the Sheepshead Bay, is filled with cinnamon apples, caramel, and whipped cream! What’s your neighborhood taste like, Brooklynites? 😛
Brooklyn Crepe & Juice Bar
274 Flatbush Ave (between St Marks Ave & Prospect Pl)
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“The Spicy C Train smoothie wards off colds and brings forth sighs of deep satisfaction. It’s ginger, mango, orange juice, honey, cinnamon…. and happiness. Summertime. Wintertime. It’s always a good time for this smoothie of love. And it will be served to you with a smile.”–Bianca B.
“I got a cold buster(apple,ginger, orange, carrot, lemon) this week and it was great!”–Lyn D.
But let’s be honest; we’re all adults here. (At least that’s what my WordPress stats tell me…) And as much as we claim that we’re healthy, sometimes the only way to get your daily intake of orange juice and all of its healthy nutrients is through a big glass of mimosas. Made of orange juice and champagne, the mimosa is a perennial brunch favorite, right alongside the Bloody Mary, for a bit of hair-of-the-dog on a Sunday morning. You can even use last night’s champagne to make it! That’s resourceful! But you can believe that the mimosas at Kittichai aren’t made with yesterday’s stale champagne. This interesting Thai eatery in the South Village has a $25 all-you-can-drink brunch menu that has everyone raving. Classics like eggs benedict have a slightly South Asian twist–can you believe Penang curry hollandaise sauce?–and their selection of drinks also do not disappoint. Using fresh fruit in their fruity morning cocktails, you have a choice among a spicy Bloody Mary, a flowery lychee bellini, or a delicious blood orange mimosa. Blood oranges look like the horror film version of a regular orange: same bright orange rind, but the flesh and juice are a vibrant red. It gives Kittichai’s mimosas a tarter flavor, as well as a distinctive pinkish-red appearance. But the best part about Kittichai’s mimosas? During their prix-fixe brunch, it really is all-you-can-drink: the waitstaff makes sure no one’s glasses are ever empty. Bottomless drinks and a Thai-style brunch menu for only $25? I may get my orange juice intake like this every Sunday!
60 Thompson St (between Spring St & Broome St)
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“I LOVE this place. I came here for brunch on Sunday and gladly stepped out of chaotic NYC into this peaceful, sexy, tranquil and beautiful escape of a restaurant. Orchids were everywhere and we sat right beside the gorgeous pond with floating candles. I felt so relaxed. I ordered the Blood Orange Mimosa and it was PERFECT — Light, refreshing and crisp.”–Jen B.
“blood orange mimosas: Can I have that jug of this, please? Even better, our waiter suggested he could refill my glass with both the bellini and mimosa. Guess what I had the rest of brunch? I lost count, btw.”–Jean L.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!