Jamba Juice Might Have Been on to Something: A Cheeseburger Smoothie Isn't Bad

Categories: Ethical Eating
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Jamba Juice put out a viral ad campaign recently by posting a YouTube video for the new "Cheeseburger Chill" smoothie. The ad was a fake, meant to mock McDonald's and its new line of fruit smoothies. But it also got me thinking: How bad could it be? So this morning, I tried it.

First off, we had to find a quality burger, so I called Guy Castellano, owner of Big City Dogs and Big City Dogs II, which New Times readers smartly picked as Best Burger in this year's Best Of Broward-Palm Beach readers' poll. Castellano sounded unfazed, really, when I asked him if he'd be willing to drop a burger into a blender. He mainly just wanted to shore up the particulars. "Are you thinking," he asked, "of using juice or milk as the base?"

Good question. We went with milk, thinking it'd be something like when you take a bite of burger and then take a sip of milk. Not a bad mix, really. So Castellano picked up a bottle of milk, and we met him out at his location in Davie this morning.

First, Castellano had his cooks prepare a bacon cheeseburger with the works -- that's mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickle spears, grilled onions, bacon, cheese, bun, and a just-ground burger patty fortified with lard.

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Photos by Eric Barton

Figuring we couldn't just drop a whole burger into a blender, Castellano cut it up into quarters. He added about a cup of milk and then a quarter of the burger.

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Blended, it was clear that we needed more burger. So we dropped in the other half. Still too thin, Castellano added some cornstarch to thicken. To create a smoothie consistency, he added a scoop of ice and blended it one more time.

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In the blender, it looked like a salad dressing, with bits of lettuce that didn't get chopped up providing a parsley-like color and bits of bright green pickle skin suspended in the ooze.

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It poured just like a smoothie, sort of thick and slightly chunky -- no big bits of burger like in the fake Jamba Juice ad.

The smell was undoubtedly burger, meaty and bacony, like a grill. Except in a cup. And the taste? The taste surprised the hell out of us.

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