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Zen Den:  Not Your Average Smoothie

By: Iona Cotton and Tabitha Volin

Bay State Commons has recently welcomed yet another interesting establishment, a smoothie and juice bar called Zen Den. Upon entrance, you may immediately notice the faux grass chairs and benches. These decorations really tie into the natural theme and the large chalkboard decorated with flowers and speciality drinks covering the wall.  They also allow the feeling of creativity to flow. The low key and relaxed atmosphere of this drink and smoothie bar gives real meaning to the name Zen Den. It is an excellent place to sit down and take a minute to enjoy one of the various drinks offered.

There is a wide variety of drinks at Zen Den including juices, smoothies, and “shots”- small portions of fluids such as lemon, ginger, and cayenne. A lot of the menu items are not exactly appealing to patrons who don’t normally drink smoothies.  And although some are delicious and sweet, there are some beverages that taste bitter and different from what you might imagine. For example, the Beet/Cherry/Pomegranate juice did not taste much like pomegranate or cherry for that matter. There was an overpowering flavor of beet that ruined the drink.

In terms of healthiness, the drinks are outstanding due to the all of the protein and minerals included, but the taste does not live up to the same standard. Food is not served at Zen Den, so don’t expect to leave with anything to eat besides a bag of chips. Beverages and breakfast bowls are the only items on the menu. The drinks were also delivered at room temperature and a lot of people prefer to have their drinks chilled to quench their thirst.

Zen Den also is not a place for the faintest of smoothie-drinking hearts. Zen Den offers a lot of advanced juices and smoothies that contain ingredients most people have never heard of. Many of these ingredients are very healthy super foods such as chia seeds, omega 3, and acai. But if you’re looking for a basic strawberry smoothie, you may be disappointed. Each drink is a complicated mix of ingredients that may taste foreign to the untrained tongue. Some examples of smoothies include the Aloe-ha and the Avocado Zinger. Overall, if you are aware of the ingredients and have experience with them, more enjoyment could be ensured.

Although Zen Den is a nice place to relax, it is not a great option to visit if you find yourself in a hurry. The drinks took a long time to come out after being ordered and the wait became downright frustrating despite the friendliness and warmth of the staff.

After the long wait, the drinks were somewhat disappointing and not worth the steep prices, ranging from $6- $8 for a single smoothie or juice. If you are in the area and in the mood for something healthy then go to Zen Den, however, it is nothing to go out of your way for.

600 Union Street, Bay State Commons Westborough

(508) 330-9999

Mon- Sat. 7am -7:30pm

Sun 12am- 5pm

 

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