Situated in the corner of Mary Jemison Dining Hall and somewhat antithetical to what was formerly Taco Bell, Campus Auxiliary Services’ juiced creation is now open. The juice bar is touted as a product of student choice, as CAS conducted a survey in fall 2013, beating out a proposed candy bar, according to the organization’s website.
At first the approach is vibrant, with color integrated into the design of the concession; it is a bit lonely, however, and has yet to create a consistent flow of customers. As you approach the billboard-like menu, there are items named by their apparent health benefits. I tried “Purify and Restore,” a ruby-red mixture of apple juice, beetroot and carrots. The apple juice was slightly apparent but was quickly overwhelmed by the earthy beet flavor. There is also a “Make Your Own” option.
Each beverage prepared is heavy on the vegetables and uses orange or apple juice as a base. Beets, kale, carrots and ginger are among the options available. CAS’s new offering is unique in its approach and a somewhat refreshing addition to the standard purview of beverages offered by the food service.
The options, however, are a bit inaccessible to most college students’ taste buds, especially the beet’s intense flavor. Notwithstanding the fact that a can of V8 V-Fusion juice sold just down the counter is $1.59 versus $3.99 for a small cup of vegetable juice, I can appreciate the merits of a glass brimming with health benefits like antioxidants and nutrients like iron. But the juice blends that taste somewhat familiar and simpler – like “Bright Eyes” with apple juice, carrots and ginger – can appeal to unsure palettes. Forego Coca-Cola and try something new in a time when the bitter cold has us carb loading and reaching for fried foods.