June 8, 2016
2 mins read

There’s just something about going tothe beach that makes you crave tastes that are refreshingly light and fruity. For me, sometimes it’s a piña colada, but this trip I was craving fresh-squeezed juice and an açaí bowl, which I found at Robeks Fresh Juices & Smoothies in Neptune Beach.

Robeks specializes in fresh-squeezed juices, paninis, salads, and wraps, but one of my favorite features is its build-your-own juice bar, in which the juice you create is sold by the pound. Here’s how it works: Grab a great big colander, then, like the sun-kissed god(ess) you are, fill it with your choice of fruits and veggies, displayed like gems in a jewelry box. Try a combo like watermelon, pineapple and jalapeno or stick with straight-up carrot juice. Robeks tries to keep its options seasonal, so you’ll always be able to create unique, hand-crafted juices.

The juice bar offerings are quite varied; the Cool Cucumber hit the “light and refreshing” spot dead-on. The Cool Cucumber ($5.99) is exactly how you want a fresh-squeezed juice to taste. With cucumber, apple, lemon, and ginger, it’s the coolest kid on the block, plus it has the added bonus of not having too much of a veggie flavor.

Meanwhile, good things abound on the sandwich and salad sides of the menu. (All sandwiches are available as a panini or a wrap.) We opted to try three customer favorites, a turkey pesto panini ($5.99), chicken avocado wrap ($5.99) and a beet salad ($5.99).

The beet salad and avocado chicken wrap are both tasty choices, but the real winner is the turkey pesto panini, with its warm, crusty ciabatta exterior, just the right amount of turkey and cheese, and the pesto — oh, the pesto! The rich flavor of basil enlivened the whole sandwich — Robeks doesn’t make you do with just one tiny spoonful of green goodness.

Though Robeks originated in California, the Neptune Beach location has strong local ties to our community. They source wheatgrass from Berry Good Farms at North Florida School of Special Education, a great teaching farm right here in Jacksonville.

Robeks also offers a wide selection of smoothies, with lots of boosts you can add, like extra protein, soy milk and probiotics. I was most excited about the açaí bowls — one of my favorite ways to convince myself that I’m treating my body by “eating healthy.” If you don’t order Robeks’ signature bowl, Açaí Especial ($6.89), you’ll miss out on an incredible exotic frozen treat. Creamy açaí bowls are traditionally blended with frozen bananas and sprinkled with granola; Robeks has options available in smoothie form.

The surprise of the afternoon was the açaí lemon shot, which was the most potently tart and sweet and ultra-tasty shot of a health drink I’ve ever had, and the perfect end to a meal fit for goddess!

Folio is your guide to entertainment and culture around and near Jacksonville, Florida. We cover events, concerts, restaurants, theatre, sports, art, happenings, and all things about living and visiting Jax. Folio serves more than two million readers across Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, including St. Augustine, The Beaches, and Fernandina.

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