Last week I was iridescent. I could have been passionate or relentless or scrumptious. I could have been wild or awake, but I was iridescent. Not for the usual reasons—walking through rainbows or rolling in unicorn powder before work—but because I’d ordered, from the list of juices and other elixirs at I Am the Juice Place downtown, the smoothie with dragon fruit and strawberries.
The new juice spot belongs in the new generation of coffee shops and juice bars. In the middle of downtown, it’s an oasis, with its tones of harmonious white and the air crisp with the invigorating smell of fresh things. The produce and milk are organic, their sweet fennel and ginger chai teas are from an Austin purveyor; they like to focus on products that are “clean” in their sourcing.
It reminds me of the first time I went to Café Gratitude, a small vegan and mostly raw chain in California, where every item has its own affirmative moniker. When you order a digestion aid with peppermint and citrus oil, you venture, aspirationally, “I Am Opulent, please.” An Ayurvedic tonic with raw honey: I Am Immortal. When they deliver your summer bruschetta, the server announces, “You Are Present.”
The magenta-colored dragon fruit, with its crazy leaf-petal scales and a black-and-white speckled interior like a work of modern art, is what gives this particular smoothie its wild color. The fruit’s flavor is mild; with pineapple and coconut water, the smoothie is refreshing and close in flavor to a piña colada. The barista will have written on the side, “_____ is Iridescent.”
When you leave with it in hand, you will also be stopping traffic.