Adventures in Eating & Cooking
Although they all look like the same metal box from the outside, the fruit carts are all inherently different based on freshness, portions, and their smoothies.
I used to always go to the newly opened fruit cart on Drexel’s campus (33rd & Market) for the sake of convenience. Although their fruits aren’t as fresh as the ones served at 37th & Spruce, they still got the job done. Plus, the nice Vietnamese lady also makes some refreshing summer blended fruit shakes (choose and combine from a list including mango, pineapple, strawberry, banana.) The only problem is, she pumps them with sugary syrup, making the shakes way too sweet. And if you ask for no sugar, the ice doesn’t break down well enough due to lack of syrup. (I’ve tried this and the result was yucky…)
But today I discovered the solution to this problem: the fruit cart on 36th & Spruce. (Do not confuse this with the one on 37th & Spruce!!) One of the few fruit carts that opens early in the morning, this place also serves fruit shakes! And even better, they have an extra fruit on the choice list: kiwi!
They only have one serving size, which costs $3.50, fifty cents more than what the Drexel fruit cart charges. However, there was a noticeable difference in serving size and taste. I watched as the lady added the fruits and some ice to blend. Then after a minute of blending, she added a little more ice to the concoction. Such a simple technique to break down ice smoothly, but it worked like a charm!
My strawberry-kiwi shake was cool, fruity, and delicious, sweetened with natural fruit sugar instead of that sugary crap. The large-diameter bubble tea straw also made it easier to suck up the shake to prevent ice chunks from getting stuck. (Not that this was a problem at this fruit truck.) The Drexel fruit truck uses thin pathetic straws that are difficult to drink with in ice chunks. Although straw size seems like such an unimportant factor, it made a huge difference to me in terms of fruit enjoyment.
I still think the best fruit-ice blends in Philly are served at Bread Top House, since they use fresh chilled fruits and charge you only $2.50. Too bad it’s all the way in Chinatown, but with all the fruit carts planted in University City, I think I could manage.