the ultimate food high
Natural light floods a room with a clean interior design. The atmosphere at Koinonia Juice Bar and Cafe’s new branch is refreshing and seems to be the only place in Syracuse where spring actually exists.
The juice bar is managed by the same owners of the Koinonia Center of Health, located in Fayetteville, NY. Its new location in the Westcott neighborhood—settled directly above Taste of India on Dell St.—just opened two months ago, serving an assortment of organic fruit and veggie juices, wraps, soups, and salads.
It has all the vibes of a hip coffee shop along with the Zen feel of a yoga studio. Soft wood covers the floors and the walls are stocked with all-natural dietary supplements. Large artisanal bulbs complement the natural light. If you type “hip juice bar” into Google images, this should be the first result.
I am greeted with a friendly face from the wait staff and free samples of their “Sunrise” and “Tropical Vacation” smoothies. Both have a clean, refreshing taste. It feels more like a blast of floral happiness instead of a blend of fruit and veggies. Key words of the day: clean and refreshing. No matter what you order at Koinonia, you will leave feeling like your body just went through its annual spring-cleaning.
I am not really a fan of the whole “juicing” trend, but I am willing to give this place a try. My only experience with the fad was my mom’s epic failure of a “juicing” phase and Naked drinks. I figure, it’s time to educate myself. Koinonia offers all of its smoothies and juices in two sizes: 10 oz. and 20 oz. Since I am unfamiliar to the idea of liquefying any and everything in sight, I decide to dive in headfirst.
I order the “Green Goddess,” which is a special blend of apple, lemon, spinach, and spirulina, and the “Tropical Vacation”—something we all need from the endless Syracuse Winter (#tbt spring break)—that is a mix of pineapple, banana, coconut, and coconut milk ice-cream. Upon first sip of both smoothies, I am whisked away to a land where I could frolick through the fields of happiness and flavor.
So, I guess it’s safe to say I am a convert to the juice craze.
For an entrée there are numerous options, from the “Chicken Spiedie” to “Bison Meatball”wrap. Unfortunately, they ran out of chicken and bison meat, so I opt for the supreme veggie wrap. As a self-proclaimed carnivore, I am less than optimistic about the veggie wrap. To my surprise, however, the wrap packed with an array of rainbow vegetables, guacamole, and seeds is not only loaded with flavor but is probably the most colorful thing I have ever eaten. It has a nice crunch from the almonds, a smooth texture from the guacamole, and a killer dressing that releases flavors I have never experienced before.
I have a huge sweet tooth, so naturally I’ve been eyeing dessert. For dessert, Koinonia offers these rounds of natural sweetness called “Power Balls.” They offer three types: peanut butter, sun butter, and almond butter. You can also get them covered in a topping like coconut, granola, or hemp seeds. Yea, that’s right, I said hemp. I order the peanut butter covered in granola and the sun butter covered with hemp. It’s a delicious option and a sweet end to my meal.
It’s a far walk from campus, which may deter many students from grabbing a quick, healthy lunch here. Too bad for it’s poor location because Koinonia could’ve easily gave Strong Hearts Café on Marshall St. a run for its money.