Lately, my kids and I have been experimenting with making fruit smoothies at home. We’ve tried an array of concoctions that included milk, yogurt, ice, assorted fruits, juices, etc. Sometimes I land the perfect combination; other times, well, not so much. So when a friend of mine raved about the smoothies at Tropical Smoothie Café in Maumee, the kids were begging to go.
Locals Julie and Bill Munson opened Tropical Smoothie Café in 2007, and three sons assist with managing the café. It became so popular they are opening a second café in Rossford (also near Meijer). The Munson family are the proud owners of the only two Tropical Smoothies in northwest Ohio.
Island getaway close to home
My brood loves the beach and all things tropical. Upon entering the café we immediately loved the atmosphere. There were bright splashes of color everywhere and large tropical island paintings adorning the walls. (You can’t help but smile around decor like that.) The friendly staff only added to the ambiance.
I said to my husband, “I feel like I’m back in St. Martin.”
“You have a very good imagination,” he replied.
Okay, so maybe it’s not quite St. Martin, but we loved the island feel. Reading more about the restaurant online, I found their goal is having an atmosphere that reflects a tropical vacation — mission accomplished.
They also strive to provide fresh, tasty food and smoothies with a healthy appeal. We were a bit overwhelmed by the selection at first glance. Thankfully, the employees were very knowledgeable, helpful, and patient with us as we worked our way through the menu.
Too good to be so healthy
The menu offers a total of 28 mouth-watering smoothies and four kid smoothies. They are categorized as “supercharged,” “indulgent,” and “low-fat.” For 79 cents more, you can add supplements to your smoothie such as whey, soy protein or multi-vitamins. All smoothies are prepared with turbinado, unless Splenda is requested. Turbinado sugar differs from granulated sugar in that it is made at an earlier period in the processing method of the sugar cane. Because it receives less processing than regular sugar, some say it is healthier than granulated sugar, and it has slightly fewer calories. Most smoothies are simply fruit, ice, and turbinado. According to Ms. Munson, each 24 oz. smoothie is equivalent to 3 to 4 servings of fruit.
As for the rest of the menu, they offer an array of unique toasted flatbreads, sandwiches, wraps, and salads. I made sure my family ordered varied sandwiches, wraps and smoothies so we could conduct a taste test around the table. Flavors were bold, fresh, and everything was enjoyed to the last bite and the last big slurp.
The Thai chicken toasted wrap was light yet filling, and my daughter enjoyed her king caesar wrap. The wasabi caesar roast beef sandwich on toasted ciabatta (with pepper jack, lettuce and the spice of wasabi caesar dressing) was another excellent choice. Other tempting selections include a hummus veggie wrap (accented with pesto, parmesan, provolone and crunchy veggies), chipotle chicken club flatbread, and a turkey guacamole sandwich just to name a few. Forget about coffee and donuts — Tropical Smoothie is open for breakfast too, and offers morning creations that are available all day.
Sandwiches ($6.79) and wraps ($6.49) are served with fruit or chips. “I think some of the things people are tickled about is that we offer fruit, not just chips,” said Ms. Munson. She acknowledged that kids have more varied palates than people realize. I will attest to that — my oldest has truly had her fill of chicken tenders and cheeseburgers. She is always happy to try something different on the menu.
We were delightfully surprised to learn that kids eat free on Sundays. My sons loved their 12 oz. smoothies (they are STILL talking about them) and two cheese quesadillas. Also on the kids’ menu are turkey and cheese or ham and cheese wraps, chicken caesar salad, and cheese pizza. They offer a choice of chips, fruit, or a cookie with each meal. Complete kids meals are regularly $3.99 and $4.99, but items may also be purchased a-la-carte.
Bottom Line: Any time of year is a great time to enjoy a fruit smoothie and a taste of the tropics. At the Tropical Smoothie Café you’ll enjoy fresh flavors that fill you up but won’t weigh you down. Your kids will flip over the smoothies (and they don’t even need to know they’re good for them, too).
Tropical Smoothie Cafe
1385 Conant St. E
Maumee, OH 43537 (near Meijer)
Karen Zickes is a mom of three active children and freelance writer who resides in Holland, OH. She can be reached in c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.