isclaimer: I am not fully on board with the juicing trend. Perhaps it’s because I enjoy eating too much, or perhaps it’s because when someone calls a liquid combination of romaine lettuce, lemon juice and cucumber “delicious,” I just can’t relate. The Weekly Juicery, however, while enthusiastically committed to the juicing concept, is about much more than juice.
The Kentucky-based company just opened its first Cincinnati location in December, strategically placing the cozy, colorful shop in the very center of Hyde Park Square. With successful juiceries in Louisville and Lexington, their well-established concept places The Weekly Juicery a few steps ahead of its OTR counterpart, Off the Vine.
The juicery boasts an almost entirely gluten-free and vegan menu, and the staff is sensitive to just about every allergy imaginable. Their weekly juicing programs offer three, four and five-day juicing regimens in the $27 to $54 price range.
My first visit occurred shortly after they opened and I was eagerly offered a juice tasting. I sampled options from their cold-pressed line as well as their beet juices, carrot juices and blends (ranging from $8.75 to $9.50 and served in reusable glass bottles). Most of the cold-pressed juices are greens-heavy and many of them feature fresh ginger. Did I feel great after drinking them? Sure. But the combination of burning ginger and bitter greens on the back of my throat was hardly enjoyable. The beet-based juices tasted just like they sound, and the carrot ones are not for everyone. For juicing cynics like me, I recommend the “blends” list; their Pineapple Passion is popular and on the sweeter side.
Where The Weekly Juicery really excels is in their other options. Their smoothies are eons away from what you’d find at the mall — in a really, really good way. That said: If you’re used to a shovel-full of turbinado in your beverage, then you might not like it here. The smoothie-makers at this juicery lean on the natural sugars in fruit to sweeten their drinks, only occasionally adding honey. But the use of ingredients like almond and coconut milk, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and chocolate plant protein really add something to the generous amounts of fruit packed into each $7.50 serving. The result is well worth the steep price tag.
The smoothie menu is always subject to change, but a few stand out. The Blue Suede Shoes has what appears to be an entire carton of blueberries in it, combined with healthy additions like almond butter and flaxseed. It is smooth, only the slightest bit sweet and very almond butter-forward. The Green Gracious, a kale-based smoothie with banana, pineapple, almond butter and cayenne pepper (among other ingredients) is lacking in depth and sweetness and not necessarily worth a second try, though I swear I’m smarter after drinking it.
By far, the juicery’s best contribution to my palate is the Fire Island smoothie. I’ve visited the Weekly Juicery three times since it opened, and each time I have heard someone order it eagerly. The combination of pineapple, banana, coconut milk, goji berry, cinnamon and cayenne pepper tastes like a tropical vacation with a sexy travel mate. Everything about this smoothie is divine, and I find myself thinking about it on even the coldest, why-would-I-drink-something-with-ice-in-it winter days.
The shop’s second best contribution to humanity is the Mason Jar Salad. Not only is the concept adorable but it is also actually quite brilliant. Bright, fresh, colorful salad ingredients are layered carefully on top of a bed of homemade dressing in a large mason jar. I tried the roasted corn salad with cashew dressing and about fell over in delight. The dressing-on-the-bottom idea keeps the greens from getting soggy and also allows the eater to choose the amount of nom-licious dressing they want to add. Most salads ring up under $10, and they tend to run out quickly — they’re pre-packed and stored in a grab-and-go fridge with the juice.
Other snack options include items like the Thai Shebang, a tiny container of carrot and zucchini “noodles” paired with peanut sauce. They also carry raw veggie wraps and creative options like sweet potato hummus and carrot cupcakes. These snack items at The Weekly Juicery are small and slightly overpriced, but extra fresh. I ordered the carrot “cupcakes” ($7.50), an uncooked mixture of carrots and dates with a mysterious “cream cheese” icing. The cakes were gooey, tasty and extremely filling. The bellyache I had after eating them is only a testament to the fact that my body is not used to eating so many veggies at once.
The Weekly Juicery’s Hyde Park location still has a few kinks to work out — updated takeaway menus, price tags on their to-go items — but the fresh produce that regularly comes through its doors makes the whole New Year’s resolution/healthy eating thing a little easier.
The Weekly Juicery
Hours: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily.