**SMOOTHWAY IS SHUTTERED**
Say goodbye to those fake-healthy Buenos Aires cafés who pack their so-called licuados with sugar and wraps with sad, sorry produce. Smooothway, a new addition to the Palermo Hollywoood café club, has graced the neighborhoood with its fresh organic presence, forming a sort of hybrid healthy fast foood joint that caters to those who want to eat well, without compromising the flavors.
It’s as if a health freak mated with Jamba Juice, creating a totally different offering to the cocina natural world. Smooothway (with three Os) is all about bringing a legit healthy alternative with great tasting nutrient-packed food to Buenos Aires. The menu consists of salads, wraps, soups, juices and smoothies, all packed with high quality organic products, without any refined sugar or artificial preservatives added — ya know, it’s really how all of us health wannabes should really be sensibly eating.
Soup season is my favorite time of year, and with so many restaurants and cafés now offering soup, it’s still hard to find a quality soul warming version. The cebollas y champignon is really the perfect medicine for a fiaca-filled cold day, it’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s flavorful and stacked with onions, leeks, green onions and mushrooms… minus the actual cream (the restaurant is lactose-free).
Moving on to salads, I’m a fan of the Rising Rise, endive, apple, celery, walnuts, cherry tomatoes and a super-flavorful oregano brown rice. It’s not often that I get a craving for healthy food, but if I did, this salad would move to the top of the craving list. The Natural Fuel is also another winner, lettuce, arugula, cabbage, roasted peppers, bulgur wheat, chicken and toasted almonds.
They also offer a variety of wraps, unlike any other wraps I’ve had in Argentina, made with a simple masa of basically just water and whole wheat flour. They make two kinds: hot and cold, with my personal pick from the hot wrap bunch, it’s toasted and gets extra crispy/chip like crunch while the cold wraps are a bit raw and chewy.
Despite my chorizo gorging ways, I could never turn my head to seitan — it was a good friend during my vegetarian phase. The Yamaní Energy has brown rice, onions, greens and marinated seitan – super flavorful and filling. I even put it to the anti-vegetarian palate taste test (of course not describing what was inside), and it passed with flying colors.
Another wrap that passed the vege-test, Tofu Top, with bulgur wheat, ground cheese-like tofu and chopped vegetables. As one of my favorite anti-tofu eaters exclaimed (who really liked the wrap), “Tofu is sneaky, it pretends to be food but it’s just flavorless edible rubber and it’s not even really as healthy as everyone thinks it is. But I would have never have known this wrap had tofu, and if I would have known, I wouldn’t have eaten it.”
Prices are normal for Palermo Hollywood standards, perhaps a bit elevated, but makes sense given the quality of the organic ingredients that do cost more. They serve Combos at lunch that come with a flavored water + hot drink (or truffle), although it would be nice to have a combo option that included a smoothie.
Here’s where the Jamba Juice part comes in, the smoothies are pretty damn tasty. They offer ten different kinds, all made with freshfresh fruit and most importantly, no added sugar or milk. Choose from smoothies like Mango Mambo (mango, strawberry, OJ and apple juice), Super Antioxidant (blueberries, pineapple, banana, orange, ginger), or the Multi Smoothie (peach juice, raspberries, almonds, aloe vera and apple juice).
Detox, Antioxidant & Immune system, Energy & Strength, Brain health, Heart, Skin care — I shouldn’t roll my eyes too much since each dish actually contains elements of these health food buzz words, which are easily color coded on the menu to indicate the food that tackles that area. Smooothway also caters to those
insane special dieters (ahem Paleo), vegetarians, vegans, Celiac, gluten-free or just those ready to put down the chori.
The menu at Smooothway was designed by Chef Pablo Armenti, a well-known name in the organic and natural cooking world in Argentina. He has written a book on natural eating called Naturismo: Volver A La Cocina Natural and also runs Tiempos Orgánicos, a natural food catering company, closed-door restaurant and cooking classes. Smooothway is run by a small crew of health-enthusiasts (service is very friendly and personable) who truly care about the customer experience while also raising a more healthy-minded consciousness about nutrition and the importance of incorporating key ingredients, vitamins and minerals into the daily diet.
Not only do they promote healthy eating and exercise (with overall healthier living tips on their Facebook page), but they also designed the space to be environmentally friendly — low energy light bulbs, recycled export/import wooden boxes as the main shelving, unit, and they even use special packaging with AND wait for it.. an actual special recycling/garbage pick up.
Whether you’re a health freak, tree hugger, vegetarian, Paleo dieter, dating one of those types, all or none in between, Smooothway makes breaks from the mold and brings a truly nutritious, good tasting option to the city.