Dining Deals

Fast Times: My Smoothie Obsession Continues at Smoothie King

Last week I fell hard for the Mango Pineapple Real Fruit* Shake from McDonald's. The real smoothie/shake lover in my house is my husband, and I was surprised when my mind kept wandering back to that shake.

Recently, after a truly bitchin' three hours at the DMV, my husband and I were super-hungry and super-cranky, but short on time, so when we passed by Smoothie King, I heard an angel's choir calling me home. We zoomed up to the drive-thru window and practically begged the person on the other side of the microphone for food: a "Blueberry Heaven" from the Stay Healthy menu for me, a "The Hulk Chocolate™" from the Build Up menu for my husband.

So is Smoothie King the king of smoothies?

Blueberry Heaven

The Blueberry Heaven smoothie is made of blueberries, banana, "protein blend," and honey. The smoothie was appropriately sweet, but more milkshake-like than the McDonald's Real Fruit Shake. What I liked best about the Mango-Pineapple shake was that it was more fruity than milky. The Blueberry Heaven shake tasted strongly of blueberries, with a distinct banana aftertaste. The use of honey isn't heavy-handed, and the shake isn't so sweet that I couldn't finish it -- a common problem I have with fruit-flavored shakes and smoothies. I thought this was a pretty successful attempt at a fruit-forward fast food smoothie and I am ready to try a few more flavors from Smoothie King.

Blueberry Heaven Nutrition Info (20 oz.): 325 calories, 1 g fat, 64 g sugar, 7 g protein, 2 g fiber.

The Hulk Chocolate™

This shake is where Smoothie King gets a serious demotion -- we're not even talking prince here. Maybe a duke's half-cousin or something. A dodgy, related-by-marriage royal hanger-on. The shake was terrible: chalky flavor and texture, and whatever is providing the chocolate flavor should try harder to taste like chocolate. The ingredients are listed as Weight Gain, Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Bananas, Egg Protein, Soy Protein, Non-Fat Milk, Carbohydrate Mix, Vanilla, Wheat Germ, Turbinado, and Honey. Is it just me or does the combination of Butter Pecan Ice Cream and non-fat milk strike you as hilarious? Anyway, there was nothing pleasant about the flavor or the texture; they need to use a better quality protein mix I think. I will steer clear of the Smoothie King menu for body building beefcakes and stick to their lighter fare.

The Hulk Chocolate Nutrition Info (20 oz.): 876 calories, 31 g fat (12 saturated), 90 g sugar, 26 g protein, 6 g fiber.

*McDonald's lists one of the ingredients as a Mango-Pineapple base, which I would guess is a mix rather than portioned fresh fruit.

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Christina Uticone