By Rina Rapuano
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Your mother wanted you to eat your greens. Jo Anna Hawthorne wants you to drink them, too.
Hawthorne, 46, had been blending healthful juices for herself for 18 years. In January she opened Hawthorne Homemade Organic Juice Bar & Market with her sister Yolanda, 45, a graduate of Manhattan's Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health, and a third investor.
Inside their tiny storefront in Northwest are a three-stool bar where customers order; a refrigerated case holding a few vegetables and prepared foods; shelves stocked with pantry items; and a produce stand that Jo Anna Hawthorne says was custom-built from old wood she salvaged from the shuttered Hawk 'n' Dove on Capitol Hill. That last item "really gives it a market feel," says Hawthorne, a former real estate agent and spa manager. "It's brought people into the store."
The shop's produce offerings are local, sustainable and organic whenever possible, Hawthorne says. For example, free-range eggs, herbs, arugula and mixed greens come from the Farm at Our House in Brookeville, Md. The wheatgrass is grown by Hawthorne herself.
She's also the one who created the juice bar recipes; her sister put together the food menu.
The staff is small, so it can take up to 20 minutes to order and get your food and juices.
We liked the vibrant green Abundant Energy juice ($7 for 12 ounces; $8 for 16 ounces), served in biodegradable cups or take-away Mason jars (an extra $2). It gets its color from a mix of seasonal greens and romaine lettuce, but the prominent flavors are green apple, lemon and celery.
At first, we mistook the Raw, Raw, Raw Turnip-Nut Green Wrap ($8.95) for a side salad. It's a small portion of turnip-cashew crunch, almond spread, parsnips, carrots and other ingredients, wrapped in collards. Although deliciously punched up with a citrus-tarragon vinaigrette, this would be a very light lunch.
Hungrier customers should try the panino of Turkey Hill smoked turkey breast, cheddar cheese, plum tomato and guacamole on multigrain bread ($9.95), served - as are all of the sandwiches - with a small side of Napa cabbage slaw.
Yolanda's mostly vegan soups have included a garlicky zucchini-potato-basil bisque ($4.50 for 12 ounces; $5.95 for 16 ounces; $8.95 a quart).
Jo Anna also offers juice cleanses ($99 to $195).
The shop seats eight inside and four outside. Hawthorne says she might add a picnic table out front when the weather improves.
And with the approach of summer, other changes are in store: "I'm adding tomatoes . . . to the juice bar - people love that - and cucumbers," she says. "I've been waiting for them to come in season."