With temperatures heating up and spring pushing its way into the Valley, we pinned two chocolate peanut butter banana smoothies against each other to answer the ultimate question: which smoothie has what it takes to satisfy our sweet tooth and cool us off?
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In This Corner: Original ChopShop Co.
The Setting: ChopShop is a classic eatery for students and professionals on Arizona State University's Tempe campus. This charming little restaurant is hidden on University Drive among college buildings, but features a large, shady outdoor patio with rustic white picnic benches. The inside is just as delightful with its bright, yet intimate atmosphere and friendly staff. There are also locations in Old Town Scottsdale and downtown Chandler.
The Good: We ordered the "Muscle Malt" here, which includes chocolate whey protein powder, peanut butter, banana, chocolate syrup, malt, and non-fat milk. Yes, this one is technically a protein shake. The drink wasn't too thick, had the perfect amount of ice, and combined the three flavors well. It wasn't too sweet, so the giant 24-ounce drink is manageable. Overall, it was a perfect afternoon cool down drink and could definitely take the place of a small meal.
The Bad: Although this is a protein shake, we found the drink to be kind of chalky. The drink sticks to your throat, as is to be expected with malts. The flavor did get a little boring near the end so next time, maybe try it with a food item and not by itself.
In This Corner: Naturally Sweet food truck
The Setting: Just like with every food truck, the setting depends on the day. This food truck has a bright, fun pattern on the outside. The food truck has a variety of smoothies, drinks, desserts, and even acai bowls and the staff is fun and friendly. They provide gluten and dairy free options as well as vegan options.
The Good: Here, we ordered "The Curious George", a combo of — once again — chocolate, peanut butter, and banana with a couple other ingredients. This drink was smoother and was definitely classified as smoothie, not a malt or shake. The drink was not overpowering at all, but once again had the perfect combination of chocolate, banana, and peanut butter.
The Bad: There weren't too many bad things to say about this one, other than the fact that if you don't drink it fast, it warms to room temperature pretty quickly and loses its smooth texture.
The Winner: Besides the obvious difference in texture, we really focused on the flavor and taste of how the chocolate, banana, and peanut butter flavors played with each other in that plastic cup. Naturally Sweet's smoothie came out victorious, for its smooth, even taste that we never got tired of from the first to last sip. You could really taste the freshness, and it was unique.