Tropical Smoothie Cafe: Is it the perfect blend?


Tropical Smoothie Cafe

By Nina Figurelli, Annie Fenner, and Ava Duman

Tropical Smoothie Cafe opened a new location on 3631 N. Western Ave. on June 24. This new Lane student hotspot has kept the establishment very busy with the sudden rush of students since the start of the school year. 


The atmosphere is below average; there is a slight sense of stickiness and mustiness, and upon entry the lights and ambiance can be quite blinding and overwhelming. But once you adjust, the interior also has a very colorful and joyful theme. Plus, the employees are welcoming and make the experience much more pleasant. With that being said, the restaurant is pretty difficult to find since you have to walk through the parking lot to reach the hidden entrance behind the building. 


Chia Banana Boost Smoothie ($8.19)

This banana protein smoothie is a great post-workout drink as it’s packed with chia seeds, almonds, banana and oats, with an optional choice of peanut butter or strawberries. It is fairly thick and isn’t the most flavorful smoothie on the menu, so if you have a sweet tooth the Chia Banana Boost may not be for you.


Acai Berry Boost Smoothie ($8.19)

This crisp smoothie seems to be a universal choice that everyone can love. Although it left our tongues purple, the acai, pomegranate, banana and berry flavor profiles make it a great refreshing treat for anyone’s summer day. 


Beach Bum Smoothie ($8.19)

This smoothie will fulfill any sugar craving. The classic strawberry and banana flavor did not disappoint. With the option of adding chocolate, it is an amazing addition to any savory meal, and can act as a healthier dessert alternative. For a day when we needed a sugar boost, this smoothie was perfectly satisfactory. 


Thai Chicken Wrap ($10.19)
Where’s the chicken? While the peanut sauce was a nice, sweet juxtaposition to the savory chicken, there was barely any chicken in the wrap itself. We were left very underwhelmed and disappointed by both the lack of chicken and flavor. 


Chipotle Chicken Club ($7.39)

The Chipotle Chicken Club was praised by the staff, and their recommendation did not disappoint. The combination of the crispy bacon with a nice kick from the pepper jack cheese and chipotle mayo earns this meal a gold star rating.


Chicken Pesto Flatbread ($7.39)

The grilled chicken, tomatoes, parmesan and pesto were promising but it wasn’t anything special. While this flatbread was the perfect portion for our lunch, we found it generally unsatisfying as it lacked anything truly noteworthy. However, it would be tasty for any hungry, tired and desperate high school student. 


Three Cheese Quesadilla ($6.19)

The three cheese blend of queso blanco, cheddar and a smoked cheese with grilled chicken was a tasty mid-day snack perfect for any picky eater or simple palette. And don’t worry, we didn’t forget about our vegetarian friends because this quesadilla can be requested to be made without chicken! With that being said, it may have been good, but was it $6 good? No. 


Final Thoughts

While Tropical Smoothie can be a great place for an occasional splurge on lunch, the $8 smoothies are probably not affordable for the average Lane student. At the moment, there aren’t any student discounts available, but there is a “Pair and Save” option where you can order both a food item and a smoothie to save a few bucks. 


Thankfully the Tropical Smoothie app also allows patrons to collect points to get free smoothies. However, we wouldn’t recommend ordering through the app anyways since it can be very unreliable. Even if ordered in advance online, the wait for food might take the whole lunch period especially during the lunch rush. But this may also be due to the fact that most of the employees are still being trained, so we remain empathetic and hopeful that the wait times will improve in the future.


Not to mention, there aren’t many food options available for our vegetarian and vegan friends. 


So would we recommend Tropical Smoothie Cafe? The bottom line is the smoothies are definitely worth trying. Go figure. With over twenty smoothie options and a variety of different substitutes and add-ons, there is something for everyone. The food menu on the other hand is painstakingly mediocre for the expensive price tag. Regardless, we encourage you to try some of our favorite smoothies like the Acai Berry Boost or the Beach Bum. You might be late to class but hey you win some, you lose some.