Where to Liquiteria in Harvard Square.
What for Smoothies, cold-press juices, cleanses, to-go meals, and playful patter from twinkly blenderistas. Even jaded juicers should bow down: This place first opened in Manhattan way back in 1996.
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The scene Squeaky clean. There’s shiny blue tile everywhere, smiley staffers who ask each customer if they go to Harvard, and fluorescent signage aplenty: “Sip What’s In Season” framed by watermelon graphics; “Get Your Daily Dose of Goodness” superimposed above a smoothie. There’s even wheatgrass in the windowsills. But lest you cry for a lost Harvard Square, there’s also a woman near the doorway claiming to be Mary Poppins..
What you’re eating Liquiteria trades mainly in potable purity, but there’s food to be had, too: Greek yogurt chicken wraps ($7.50); turkey bacon and egg muffins ($5.50); and hummus packs with sliced veggies ($7) appear in to-go cases. At the counter, order steel-cut oats ($5.50 and up) or an acai parfait ($9.50).
Care for a drink? Cleanses ($33 and up) cater to many desires, from “Explore & Nourish” to “Deep Dive & Heal.” Twenty-ounce, made-to-order smoothies run the gamut from a kale-and-spinach “Mean Green” ($8) to a “Hangover Cure” that combines apple cider with vitamin C ($7). For an extra dollar, treat yourself to a digestion booster like fresh ginger. For those who mean business, a one- or two-ounce wheatgrass shot ($2.25 and $4, respectively) comes with a complimentary thimble of juice to chase the aftertaste. Brightly colored cold-press juices with names like “Royal Flush” beckon from a cooler, promising a better life. (Do Harvard students have roommates?)
Overheard Questions about academic pedigree, frustration over pharmaceuticals, impersonations of iconic fairy tale characters. “You look young today! Do you go to Harvard?” a chipper cashier asks. The woman blushes. “No, I’m just wearing a jacket with the logo,” she admits. A sullen chap accompanied by his wide-eyed parents plants himself by the door and studies the menu indefinitely. A herd of short-shorted teenagers plow past. “After this, we’re going to CVS!” one cries. “Dude, you always want to go to CVS,” another says. In the doorway, a young woman gushes to her friends, “I just got the most amazing smoothie from this wicked fancy place over there, Liquid-teria!” She’s nearly knocked over by another happy woman, sinewy and tan, shouting, “I! Am! Mary! Poppins!” Ah, the power of wheatgrass. 1440 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-588-9955, www.liquiteria.com