Wheatgrass Growing in NYC

28 08 2009

wheatgrass 1At first I thought health food stores, smoothie stands, and cafes just wanted to add some foliage behind the counter when I noticed the little patches of potted grass. Then I saw a waitress cut a chunk out with a knife, toss it in a blender, and pour it into a shot glass; I knew I was wrong.

“Shot of wheatgrass, please,” the woman in front of me ordered. Guzzling grass? I was intrigued. After researching, I discovered that this green beverage is actually a popular request in restaurants across the city. At “Greener Pastures Wheatgrass Stand” in Union Square Park you can purchase a shot of wheatgrass, or even your own wheatgrass plant if you perfer. Most health food stores and cafes also carry the plant; if you are in the Lower East Side you may want to head to Earthmatters on Ludlow Street. Here, not only can not you buy the shots, but also smoothies, such as “High Energy,” which contains wheat grass, greens, and celery.

Why are New Yorkers demanding wheatgrass in their diets? According to WebMD, it is packed with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, E, B12, Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron. Many believe it cures colds, fevers, digestive ailments, and skin conditions, and can even prevent serious diseases like cancer and AIDS, but nothing has been scientifically proven.

I have never tasted this trendy drink, but I hear its an acquired taste. If you have, leave a comment and let me know what you think of it! If I hear good things, I’ll give it a shot.



Get Juiced

27 08 2009

juice barUpon moving to New York City, one trend became visible to me as I walked down the streets, the popularity of juice bars. Despite what neighborhood you are strolling through, you are likely to find a shop flowing with fruity mixtures. Besen Retail most recently leased a client’s property, 778 Lydig Avenue in the Bronx, to a couple with plans of selling smoothies and juices of “any combination you want.”  For those of us that know exactly what we want, the ability to customize is key.

The Hartford Courant  recently noted the popularity of juice bars among professionals. Kevin Lamb, co-owner of Robeks, a juice bar in West Hartford said, “Everybody is so busy today and not able to sit down and get their nutrients. More and more lately, our customers are business people who don’t get to eat right during the day and will drink a cup of fresh juice to get the nutrients that they need.” Since much of the population of New York City is people on-the-go, local juice bars become popular after-work and lunch-time destinations.

Liquiteria in the East Village “presses” their fruit for juice extraction, creating juices containing more 3 to 5 more vitamins, enzymes, and minerals than other juices. They also offer their bottling system, which ensures a shelf life of four days when refrigerated. Some of their featured flavors include, “Grasshopper,” a combination of apple, pear, pineapple, wheatgrass, and mint, and “Beets Me,” containing carrot, beet, apple, lemon, and ginger.


778 Lydig Avenue, Soon to be juice bar, previously New Jhankar

778 Lydig Avenue, Soon to be juice bar, previously New Jhankar


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