When word of a $16 cup of coffee surfaced last week (it's in San Francisco, naturally), we shook our heads. But then a pal informed us of a smoothie here in our own city costing — yes, you're reading this correctly — $18. Suspecting it might just be, for that price, a magical elixir of immortality, we hightailed it to Juice Press in the East Village to scope things out.
We found the "Guru" specially advertised on a sign near the cash register and politely inquired what made it so expensive. "It's got a lot of different super-foods," the juicerista told us, and indeed, the sign boasted gogi berries, raw cacao, hemp protein, and raw açai berry, among other ingredients. And what effect would it have on us? "A lot of energy," we were assured. So we forked over a crisp twenty (with tip) and several minutes later received a brownish concoction in a plastic cup.
The taste was bitter, slightly tart, and mildly grainy. While browsing at American Apparel just across Houston (don't judge), we choked once on some finely ground substance or another. Twenty minutes and several impulse buys later, we felt not energetic but rather a bit queasy, as though we'd swallowed a bunch of vitamin pills on an empty stomach. Perhaps there's such a thing as too much super-food? Luckily, Russ & Daughters was right there, and a mini-sesame-bagel with horseradish cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers, and onions straightened our blood sugar out. It cost $8.45 and was worth every nickel.