Those who did not bask in the weekly 90s sitcoms on NBC may have no idea what I’m talking about. Those who did may be experiencing a brief flashback of the fun-sized, hot tempered redhead who angrily belted the phrase: an eyebrow-raising stress-reducing technique if there ever was one. (I’m laughing hysterically as I think of Frank Constanza of Seinfeld fame.)
But enough about 90s pop culture. Let’s talk about SereniTeaz and Juice Bar, an eatery centered around healthy food options. Located at 17 Academy Street downtown Newark, SereniTeaz is nestled among the neighborhood’s corporate buildings, apartment buildings and universities.
Serenity was the watchword when I stepped into the location. Thanks to a very user-friendly website, I was able to narrow my choices down ahead of time. As far as juice was concerned, I knew that I wanted to try an adventurous-sounding drink—the King of the Jungle. More on that later.
I had narrowed my choice for a lunch meal down to two polar opposite options: either a savory panini or a sweet smoothie bowl.
I chose the Veggie Heaven panini.
As I waited for my lunch, I basked in the tranquil glory of the cafe. Serenity was written in so many ways in every corner of the location, including small plants of various varieties (sorry, can’t name them) that adorn the interior.
Wall affirmations. Photo by Laureen Delance
Twenty minutes later, my juice and food were ready. Now, if one were to take only a cursory glance at the veggie panini platter, you could mistake it for a simple toasted white bread with hummus spread and some potato chips. That’s not exactly wrong, but with this mindset, you may not pursue this platter with the fervor it deserves, and that would be quite the disservice. This panini was packed with flavor.
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I could simply say the hummus added a zesty twist to the sandwich, but that would give short shrift to its smoky notes. And I could say it was the combination of smoky and zesty flavors that won the day, but that would deny the roasted red peppers, spinach and kale their due—they added a sweet pepper flavor and a fresh green feel. And then there was the pink Himalayan salt. Salt plays a critical role in enhancing and harmonizing food flavors. In this case, there’s no question that the salt helped bring the zesty, smoky, and sweet flavors together into a bold but well-balanced taste.
Veggie Heaven panini and King of the Jungle juice. Photo by Laureen Delance
And now onto my grayish-purple juice, the King of the Jungle. I must be honest, I consider myself pretty adventurous when it comes to juices, but when I was handed the drink I doubted I would like it.
How wrong I was.
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After digging into my panini, I sized up the drink, which included green tea, chia seeds, spinach, kale, banana, blueberries, chlorella, and honey (that is, the entire produce section at Whole Foods down the street). I was a bit fascinated with the idea of ingesting chlorella, a form of algae—yes, algae—which has been touted for reducing the risk of anemia and boosting immunity. A shot at reducing the risk of cold, flu and fever this upcoming winter? I’ll take it.
What a delightful drink it was. If you’ve ever had chia-seed puddings and juices, you know the seeds add a gelatinous texture. Coupled with the creamy banana, the dark leafy greens and blueberries, the drink had just the right amount of thickness.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience at SereniTeaz and Juice Bar. I would go again, but probably not too frequently. You can easily spend $15 to $20 on lunch. But I will be back, and I look forward to experiencing their tea bar next time. It offers diverse flavor options, and where there is flavor, Laureen is there!
Recommended: Veggie Heaven panini and King of the Jungle juice. You’ll thank me later.
SereniTeaz and Juice Bar is located at 17 Academy Street. The café is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. SereniTeaz is closed on Sundays.