It's certainly possible for non-Jamba smoothie joints to offer quality smoothies. Don't get me wrong. But I'm always skeptical of smoothie places that aren't Jamba. Here's why.
The Juice Emporium
85 Pike St
Seattle, WA 98101
I could hardly have a cinnamon roll without a smoothie. Who do you think I am, an omnivore? So because this place was just a couple shops down from Cinnamon Works, I popped in for a Real Raspberry smoothie at $5.50 after carefully determining from the smoothie-rista that none of their smoothies have dairy. Which is definitely commendable.
My first few sips were delicious; I have a healthy appreciation for raspberries and would eat them all day if they weren't so expensive. The smoothie was smooth and tart, and the fresh raspberries and raspberry juice gave it a very authentic taste. Things were going well!
A little bit further in, I saw what was happening. You remember my reference a few sentences ago to the high value of raspberries. You can't just make a smoothie completely out of raspberries and make it cost $5.50. It would cost way more than that, right? So you put lots of ice or water in. Like, maybe half the smoothie could be ice or water. Except I could tell so bad. It got old fast.
Oh well. I suppose water with raspberries in it is better than water with no raspberries in it.