Ashker’s Juice Bar (1002 Elmwood Ave., 886-2233) has become a dispensary of sorts to Elmwood Village denizens who get a kick from fresh-that-moment juices.
Since it opened at the former site of a Mediterranean restaurant, Ashker’s has tried to become a sort of neighborhood center, with activities – and pricing – aimed at making the place a part of customers’ weekly routines. There’s a boardroom in the store that’s available for community use, open mic nights and so on.
When it comes to the eats, “We try to do healthy, fast and affordable,” said owner Sarah Nasca, who runs the place with founder Angelo Ashker, her boyfriend. Breakfasts, like waffles and omlettes, are served all day, plus sandwiches, salads and more.
It’s $3.99 for 16-ounce cups of freshly squeezed juice blends. The proprietors aim to charge barely enough to stay in business, she said, “so you can come daily or a couple times a week instead of having it be a treat.”
Come they do, for offerings like Ashker’s flagship Zinger, which packs the flavor and nutrients of a whole peeled orange, a quarter lemon, hunk of ginger, two apples and three or four carrots. That’s pretty much hitting for the cycle on the FDA servings chart.
Another popular choice as the weather warms up is the Basil Rejuvenator, sporting fresh basil, apple, lemon and cucumber squeezings.
“We see people sometimes twice a day, if not every day, because we’ve made it so readily available that they can incorporate it into their daily diet now,” said Nasca. “People will use it as a meal substitute.”
FOODIE FIND: Food Truck Eats at Peller Estates Winery
A bonanza for food truck lovers, more than 20 food trucks will gather for ambitious mobile cuisine in a verdant setting Saturday and Sunday in Peller Estates (290 John St. East, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.). The $15 admission includes a glass of wine; food is extra. Limited tickets sold out last year, so buy tickets through peller.com before you make border-crossing plans.