Saturday, August 04, 2012

Blue Hawaii

I've got a cold.  With a killer sore throat.  The only things that sound remotely good to me right now are ice cream, frozen yogurt, puddings, and icy drinks.  Ok, perhaps some nice warm drinks too.  But for the first time in recent history, I can honestly say that I have absolutely no interest in foie gras, or anything else I normally crave.

I also just realized that my GoPago credits are about to expire.  Gotta get my free stuff!  So many places to choose from, but when I searched to see what was open and nearby on a Saturday, one place immediately jumped to the top: Blue Hawaii.  I'd heard about them a year or so ago when I was forced on a liquids only diet for medical reasons, but never went in, since the bowls all include granola and fresh fruit, both of which were high on the banned list for me.  Sure, I could get it without, but it didn't seem worth it.

Anyway, they were open Saturdays, a few blocks away, and the idea of the icy açaí blend did sound quite comforting for my sore throat, even though it was a typical FREEZING San Francisco "summer" day.  (Hello, August in San Francisco, how I've missed you!)  Plus, when sick, boosting up the antioxidants can't hurt, right?

I was the only customer the entire time I was there.  Not sure if they normally have more business, I guess the FiDi is notoriously slow on Saturdays, and as I said, the weather wasn't exactly inspiring for cold treats.  The friendly staff member took the time to tell me about all of the different variations of the bowls, giving me a sample of the base mixture before I committed to one.

This was also my first time using GoPago, and it worked like a charm.  Normally you order in advance on your phone and then they have it ready for you when you get there, but since I didn't know what I wanted, I ordered from my phone while standing two feet away.  The process was simple and flawless, and immediately sounded an alarm in the store to let her know that my order had come through.  And unlike LevelUp, you don't need to hold it up to the scanner or anything, since it already knows what you ordered.  So far, I'm a fan.
Small Blue Hawaii Bowl: Proprietary blend made with organic açaí, fresh banana, berries, and organic soy milk  topped with bananas, berries, honey, & granola.  $5.45. 
Doh! I must have moved as I took this photo ...

This is their classic dish.  The other bowls offered are variations on this, omitting ingredients or adding a few other things.  Since it was my first time there, I figured I should stick with the standard.

The majority of the container was filled with the açaí blend, a sweet, icy mixture.  It was well blended, with no chunks, and was exactly what my sore throat ordered!  I can't believe I'm saying this, but it was a little too sweet for me.  I blame my sick taste buds, when is anything too sweet for me!  It was topped with a layer of crunchy granola.  Not particularly notable, but I did enjoy the contrasting texture that it added.  My throat however, did not.  Normally I think I'd be a big fan of this element.  Finally, it was topped with sliced banana, sliced strawberries, and blueberries.  The fruit was all sliced to order, very fresh, and there was a generous amount.  It was all ripe and perfectly fine, although I had come directly from the farmer's market, where the strawberries were better!  A little drizzle of honey finished it off.  The honey tasted great with the blueberries, but I think I'd leave it off next time, as I said, it was overall too sweet, and this added even more sweetness.

Overall, it reminded me of a fruit, yogurt, and granola parfait, in that it was a smooth base with crunchy topping and fresh fruit, but it was sweater overall, since the açaí blend is much sweeter than greek yogurt.  It was refreshing and enjoyable, and I could imagine getting one again if I was in the mood for a frozen treat that wasn't ice cream/froyo, but it isn't something I think I'll ever be craving or go out of my way for.

$5.45 seemed a little steep, but the fruit was all sliced to order, and it was pretty sizable, even though this was the small size.
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