You can get first-rate smoothies and squeezed-to-order juices all over town these days (no need to go the chains!), so the fact that Melvin’s Juice Box, on the border between Soho and Greenwich Village, sells invigorating concoctions isn’t all that unusual. Except that Melvin of Melvin’s Juice Box is Melvin Major Jr., who perfected his craft over the course of 18 years, squeezing and pressing his creations up at the LifeThyme Health Food store.
And Melvin’s Juice Box shares a kitchen with the always-surprisingly-good Jamaican restaurant Miss Lily’s (I say surprisingly because it’s such a beautiful-people scene at Miss Lily’s, and the cooking at such places often lacks the love it deserves), so the food menu here goes WAY beyond muffins and pre-made salads. Plus: Melvin’s Juice Box boasts excellent music and a fun crowd. So I guess it is unusual?
Anyway, I’ve stopped into Melvin’s Juice Box several times since it opened in the spring, and have always left feeling happy, healthy and satisfied. The Melvin’s Juice Box liquid menu is divided into the likes of Shakes (the Tropical Storm, coconut with two fruits AND wheat grass, is great); Protein Shakes (the Peanut Butter and Jelly is, basically, lunch); and Fresh Juices (elaborate creations like Green Light, Sweet and Dandy, and Lightning Bold Immune Booster).
Everything Melvin has made me has been tasty and tingly in that feel-yourself-getting-healthier-as-you-drink sort of way. Yes, they all hover around the $10 mark, which some say is too much, but think of them as appetizers, or salads, or, in some cases, as a complete meal (see the PB&J), and it makes it feel less like a splurge. Also: less expensive than a cocktail!
As far as the food goes here at Melvin’s Juice Box, courtesy of the Miss Lily’s crew, well… I like the Chicken Roti so much I’ve ordered it every time–remarkably juicy chicken, steamed veggies, a spicy curry sauce, all folded into a flaky/chewy pastry… it’s like eating a jacked-up chicken pot pie!–and so don’t have much experience with the rest of Melvin’s Juice Box food menu.
Except for the Miss Lily’s Famous Beef Patty, and that’s very good too, nicely spiced, hearty, but it’s not as good as the roti. All the food’s super-cheap though (at least for this area), so it’s easy to supplement your juice with a snack. All in all, a total winner.
Melvin’s Juice Box and Miss Lily’s Bake Shop is located on Sullivan Street just north of Houston Street, around the corner from Miss Lily’s proper. More info and a complete Melvin Juice Box menu, on their website.
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