When you walk into Bananas, your eyes immediately go into color over drive. From the bright red, green and orange wooden chairs to the fluffy bright yellow couches in the corner of the room to the multi-colored walls, it feels like several buckets of paint exploded and went every which way. In fact, one of the walls does look like paint splotches were thrown upon it.
Once your peepers adjust and you make it to the counter, you'll be able to order any one of several Mexican beverage specialties that are for sale at Bananas. There's the Diabilito Chilemon which is fresh squeezed lime juice blended with shaved ice, sugar, salt, chamoy and comes with a tamarind stick or the Escamocha, which is fresh squeezed orange juice poured over a mix of fresh fruits and veggies, including mango, grapes, cucumber and jicama. You can also order any variety of licuados, agua frescas, liquados, etc.
Hungry for something more substantial? Than order a torta and/or soup for a quick bite and if your sweet tooth needs satisfaction, there are desserts and sweets displayed either in the case or in baskets on the counter that will do the trick. If that isn't enough, you can also order fresh fruit baskets as gifts for business or pleasure.
For my first visit there, I tried the Banana Raspado, a shaved ice drink with banana syrup topped with freshly sliced bananas. While I liked the addition of the bananas, the drink was overall too sugary sweet for my taste.
I took home a Mango-on-a-Stick and yes, it really was on a stick as well as the Fruit de Gallo which had a mixture of mango, pineapple, watermelon, jicama and cucumber. Both were topped with either fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice as well as salt & chile and definitely appealed to my love of tart-sour-spicy flavors, especially when they're combined with fresh fruit and veggies.
When I went a second time, I tried the Cucumber Agua Fresca, a combination of cucumber, water and sugar blended all together. Now that was quite refreshing and something I'd definitely get again, especially on a hot summer day. Since I hadn't eaten yet, I decided to try one of their Tortas.
I settled for the Carne Asada Torta that was filled with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, avocado and jalapeno. I've never had a torta before, so I wasn't quite expecting the large roll this sandwich came in, but surprisingly, I ate the whole thing up. Suffice to say, I was pretty hungry.
I wouldn't say that this was the best sandwich I've ever had, but it was filling and other than the carne asada meat itself being a bit chewy, all the ingredients came together to satisfy my palate, especially the jalapenos which added a nice kick. :)
I think that Bananas is a great alternative to all the Jamba Juices out there. You get drink combinations that uses ingredients that aren't as mainstream and flavors that offer something a little more unique. I certainly will be returning and am looking forward to trying more items from their drink menu.
1345 Huntington Drive
Duarte, CA 91010
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