There was an era when Jamba Juice didn't really deal with solid foods, besides a few baked goods behind the glass. But they've grown the menu to include more non-blender fare like oatmeal and chorizo wraps, and we have to say, they're not bad. Especially the steel-cut oatmeal—it's shockingly good.
When SEHQ was located just a couple blocks away from a Jamba Juice store, many of us grabbed their oatmeal en route to the office (normally $2.95 except on $1 oatmeal days). Neither slimy nor soupy, it's a cup of hearty steel-cut oats slow-cooked in soy milk until tender and nubbly. They offer three different fruit toppings, all very sweet, spiced, and reminiscent of pie fillings: Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry and Blackberry, and Berry Cherry Pecan (dried berries and cherries with glazed pecans). Anyone else into pie-oatmeal? Like the morning after Thanksgiving when you get to scoop leftover pie on your oatmeal? No, just me? If you want to go lighter, they also offer banana slices or just a scoop of brown sugar.
Jamba's oatmeal is exciting for oatmeal fiends: it's tasty, filling, excellently prepared steel-cut oatmeal—which would take at least 30 minutes to prepare on the stovetop—from a chain. What you usually find with chain-oatmeal is the instant stuff, all runny with lackluster toppings. This is not that.
As for the rest of the breakfast menu, there are three breakfast wraps, which they pop into their little toaster ovens and serve warm: Turkey Sausage and Cheese, Spinach and Cheese, and Southwestern Chicken Chorizo.
"They taste like real food!" agreed our office. The wraps, a decent breakfast-size but not monstrous burritos, are rolled up with scrambled egg whites, some melted cheese but not gobs of it, and white, medium-cooked potato flecks. The chicken chorizo wrap contained impressively colorful, varied innards: a few corn kernels, black beans, bell peppers, salsa, and chiles. (They were out of the Spinach on our visit.) For $2.95, they're not bad for a grab-and-go, no-utensils-required breakfast.
The three fruit and yogurt parfaits ($4.95 for 12-ounce, $5.60 for 16-ounce) are basically smoothies with granola—crunchy with pumpkin seeds and flax seed—layered on top. Fruit gets whizzed up with soy milk and yogurt, pouring out thinner and soupier than a smoothie.
Mango Peach has a little of that orange-fruity tropical flavor with a banana-y finish. The Berry is blueberry-dominant with some strawberries in the background. Chunky Strawberry, by far the thickest of the three, swirls peanut butter into the blender. It's kind of like a PB & strawberry jam smoothie. The parfaits didn't appeal to me as much, probably because they didn't really feel like parfaits—they're smoothies with granola on top.
Jamba Juice serves the breakfast menu all day. Has anyone else tried the non-smoothie food?
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