For the 9-to-5 working man looking for a Jamba Juice alternative or the dehydrated tourist who spent the last 45 minutes staring blankly into the nearby Bean, Simply Fresh offers a relaxing 15 (or 30 ... or 45) minute break from the hustle and bustle on Michigan Avenue.
This small cafe within the Smurfit-Stone building has a soothing, organic feel, with an orange/green color template and pictures of berries and coffee beans on the wall, inviting you to indulge in nature's bounty. Should it be at the crack of dawn, chances are you'll be pining for a strong, rich, microbrewed cup of Joe, supplied by the fine people at Metropolis Coffee. But if it's mid-afternoon, plop down the $3.50 for 16 ounces of fresh-squeezed juices, as a myriad of combinations await for your palette: orange and grapefruit; carrot, apple and orange; apple, beet and ginger. There's pretty much any fruit you could possibly imagine squeezing juice out of, even a "cucumber, celery and tomato" mix for the V-8 crowd. And for a smoothie that's just as flavorful as any Jamba Juice concoction (just without the Omega-3), try any of Simply Fresh's strawberry, banana, mango or pineapple blends.
There's plenty of chairs, tables and comfy seats that provide the proper decor for a couple of personal minutes with a newspaper, allowing that extra bit of serenity before you hit the office to make a crapload of money or hit the shops to spend a crapload of money.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert