February 8, 2009

The oddity of the Orange Julius

Orange Julius stands seem like the Tupperware carts. There's one in almost every mall, but you never seem to know anyone who frequents them.

Which isn't to say they never have any customers -- in fact there is often a line. It's just made up of people you don't know. They must be the same people who shop at Wal-Mart after midnight but never show their faces anywhere else in society.

Maybe they know something. I headed up to Orange Julius and tried the place's namesake beverage to find out.

Let's start by saying it isn't a bad drink. Tasting something like a cross between orange juice, a slushy and a vanilla ice cream cone, Orange Julii don't have any unpleasant flavors. Unfortunately, those pleasant flavors all taste a little watered down.

In contrast the texture is nearly perfect. On the "slushie-to-milkshake-meter" of frozen drinks Orange Julii are pretty close to the middle -- maybe leaning slightly to the milkshake side. They are smooth and frothy without being thick like a milkshake, and they also have none of the large ice particles native to the classic ICEE.

It's just too bad Orange Julii don't have a stronger orange juice flavor. Admittedly, my taste buds could still be coming down from the cheap-taste high that is McDonald's mocha. I may also enjoy the drink a lot more in the heat of July as opposed to the dead cold of winter. But I was looking for a little more bite to satisfy my thirst.

Good texture with "blah" taste balances out to about three sporks out of five. Maybe it's a sign I should reschedule that 1 a.m. trip to Wal-Mart, too.

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