First Impressions: Juice Press

Juice Press Tribeca grassFour days at a resort not of my choosing on Mexico’s Riviera Maya—buffeted by too many buffets—and baby, I needed vegetables. So yesterday’s opening of the Juice Press at Greenwich and Laight was fortuitous. This is the chain’s 16th branch—a future one is in the works on Murray—and the first with a salad bar.

The ceilings are high and the windows big, lined with seating at one-tops. The walls, meanwhile, have been painted an unappetizing seafoam green. Quirkiness abounds: There’s a patch of real grass by the salad counter, along with a “Keep on the grass” sign; an empty fridge will soon house an art exhibit of some kind; a couple of swings are hung against the windows—out of anyone’s reach, you’ll be relieved to learn. (What about the children?) The sweet staffer who helped me explained that owner Marcus Antebi has a curious sense of humor that they don’t always get, and my hunch is that these idiosyncratic touches are to help Juice Press grow without seeming like one more soulless corporation absorbing everything in its path, like the Blob. (It’s just possible that I have a natural inclination against fast-casualness in general, and fast-casual chains in particular.)

You enter on Greenwich, where there’s a counter at which you order (if you’re getting a smoothie) or pay (if you’re picking something out of the fridges full of cold-pressed juice and prepared food). You can also order a salad there, or you can squeeze past the fridges—it’s going to get jammed in that passageway—back to the salad counter, along Laight.

Faced with a menu of 26 smoothie options, I asked for a recommendation, and got the Fountain of Youth (coconut water, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, banana, agave, hemp protein powder, coconut oil). It was fine, but then all smoothies taste fine to me.

The salad counter looks like other salad counters around town; rather than building your own by pointing at items, however, there’s a core menu (see below) of seven salads that you can customize. I selected the first one, with mesclun, guacamole, shredded jicama, adzuki beans, yellow peppers, kale chips, and lime-chipotle dressing. Given the relentless chatter about heathfulness—the menu goes on about enzymes and molecules and poisons and “rawmesan dressing”—I was wildly surprised that the salad was very good, with a freshness and zestiness and heftiness (thanks to the adzuki beans) that’s hard to find in Tribeca. Or used to be, anyway.

Note: The main menu is so big I didn’t try to shoot it; you can read it all online. And Juice Press delivers.

Juice Press is at 415 Greenwich (at Laight);

Juice Press Tribeca saladJuice Press Tribeca salad menuJuice Press Tribeca cornerJuice Press Tribeca juice fridgeJuice Press Tribeca pimpJuice Press Tribeca facadeRecent New Kid on the Block/First Impressions articles:
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  1. I don’t remember the last time I had sticker shock, but that place is crazy expensive. $10 for a small cup of yogurt with nuts. Wow.

  2. Wow prices of salads… that’s right, SALADS… just continue to skyrocket. Hard to find a decent to-go salad these days without paying a full-service restaurant price.

  3. Down right rude and not knowledgeable about the products
    Poorly run business . Not the staffs fault at all just not managed well. I tried 3 times and the last time they were out .never going back