After a rigorous spin class at the YMCA and a brief argument over whether we should shower first, four of us headed to Om Boys Juice and Smoothie Café in Liverpool. Located on First Street across from Johnson Park and its gazebo, Om Boys seeks to provide Central New Yorkers with a healthy, conscious, compassionate alternative to drinks found at other places.
Like, for instance, a beverage experience I had at a national chain. They could not accommodate my request for a combination of two offerings on the menu because the one drink was made with a coffee “base” and the other drink was made with a vanilla “base,” which I am sure didn’t contain anything close to real vanilla. I admit I went forward and ordered, but that was an “ewwww” moment. Cheers!
That moment won’t happen at Om Boys.
Chatting up one of the owners, Todd Brundage, we learned that nothing but natural, raw ingredients go into the juices and smoothies, with an effort to source their ingredients locally whenever possible. Their waste is composted and returned to local farmers for their re-use.
Don’t go expecting a super-sweet experience, either. Most of the sweetness will come from the fruit or maybe some agave syrup. So when you get to the end of your 16 ounces you are not going to feel like you overdosed on sugar or artificial anything.
They use almond milk or coconut water, not ice, as the thinning agent. Even in the absence of water, the shakes are super-hydrating, with great vitamins and good fats, and containing more electrolytes than a sports drink. They use no enzymes, soy or gluten in the drinks or their food.
Probably the sweetest-tasting smoothie we tried was the Pura Vida—with coconut, mango and pineapple. It was creamy and white with the sweetness of the pineapple punching through. Chocolate lovers have options. Starting with cacao for a mild chocolaty taste, the Purple Haze adds banana and blueberry while the Almond Buttercup uses banana and almond butter. The Berry Nuts smoothie was made with real coconut, strawberry and almond butter. For mint lovers, there is the Mint Patty, which combines coconut milk, cacao, mint, honey and hemp seeds. Another of the sweeter options is called the Creamsicle, and includes orange juice, coconut, vanilla, coconut butter and orange.
While we only tried four of the specialty smoothies, the menu also offers the basics like strawberry, orange and banana. Overall, you’ll find that all the smoothies are very balanced, and that not one of the flavors overpower the others. We left feeling refreshed, revitalized and actually pretty darn full, but not overdosed on sweet.
On the juice side, Go Orange mixed pineapple, orange and sweet potato. The Wheatgrass Lover added pineapple and ginger to the wheatgrass, which can also be imbibed by the shot. True Blood combined beet, carrot, orange pineapple and ginger.
While Om Boys primarily serves drinks, there are a few items around for grazing. There was a slightly sweet and delicious soft cashew cookie, crackers containing flax seed, zucchini and walnuts, and a chewy, chocolaty, coconut macaroon. There is also a selection of salads, and a grain bowl made with brown rice and veggies.
When you enter Om Boys you will find a super-clean space with lots of pastel green, nature-based branding and glass tile. We were proud to hear that their advertising logo was the creation of a Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts graduate.
The owners are new to the food business and have started small. But they have some big plans, like movie nights and the introduction of body-cleansing drinks (we hope not on the same night, though). They also plan to open a new location in Armory Square this summer.
While we sat and enjoyed our drinks, at least 16 people came in to order, and not everybody had purple hair. Most of those patrons were clearly repeat customers, often indicating they were stopping in for a healthy drink or snack they were taking with them on the road.
Now that the best of Syracuse weather is almost upon us, picture this: a beautiful day, a walk/run/ride/skate along the lake at Onondaga Lake Park, and then banking all that healthy karma by taking a quick stroll across the grass to the north of the visitor center’s parking lot to indulge in a healthy concoction.
Admittedly, junk food has a place in my life, but we could all do a little better for ourselves and, for sure, cut back a bit on the sugar and the fake food. At Om Boys you can have a tasty treat and then go about the rest of your day knowing you did something good for yourself. Namaste.
Om Boys Juice and Smoothie Café, 137 First St., Liverpool (451-1200), is open Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.