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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Review: For a tasty 'shake' without milk products, try Jamba Juice

By Diane Denning

November 3, 2008 | It is typical and sometimes even traditional to grab a shake after dinner, or get an ice cream cone after an accomplishment. It is also common for people to slather ice cream over brownies, cake and even cookies. As delectable and mouth watering as these desserts sound, it isn't good news for those individuals, me included, who are unable to have dairy products thanks to the wonderfully wicked illness known as lactose intolerance. I find it incredibly embarrassing when friends and family feel they have to rearrange their dessert plans because I can't eat it. I don't know how many times I have heard, "Oh, sorry, I forgot you can't eat this."

Yes, it is hard to sit back and watch everyone else enjoy their satisfying dessert while I grudgingly sip my water, hoping some luscious flavor will all of a sudden sneak in and take my taste buds to a new level. So, what can those of us do who no longer enjoy ice cream's simple, cold, creamy, delicacy? I have taken it upon myself to do a little searching to discover the secret dessert restaurants in Cache County that tend to get overlooked due to the famous, and sometimes overused ice cream.

I decided to go to three different restaurants where desserts are one of the main sources of business. The first place I stopped was Charlie's Supreme Ice Cream, more commonly known as Charlie's, at 1219 N. Main St. I know it is an ice cream shop, but, they astonishingly they did have something to offer. Lucky for me, I don't have one of the most severe cases of lactose intolerance. Sherbet, in small amounts, is the only type of ice cream I can digest. Charlies does offer sherbet, but the downfall, they only carry two kinds; raspberry and orange. Now I know beggars can't be choosers, but I wished for a little bit more variety.

Next I ventured to Sweetly Divine Pastries, located close to Charlie's at 1309 N. Main. I had high expectations about this restaurant, which were shattered as soon as I walked in. I disappointedly looked around at their beautifully crafted desserts filled with cream cheese, decorated with whipped cream and stuffed with pudding, each looking delectable, but unfortunately, all off limits. I stared at the counter for ten minutes hoping there would be one dessert available to eat. I saw some muffins and a few cookies that I probably would have been safe to eat, but compared to the other desserts in the glass case, the cookies and muffins looked rather boring.

The last place I went to satisfy my intensifying dessert craving was Jamba Juice. This may not classify as a dessert to some, but for me, this is as close to a shake as I can get without experiencing the dreadful after effects. Unfortunately some of their smoothies do have frozen yogurt mixed in, but some don't and those that don't are delightful. I studied their creative menu, while listening to fresh, upbeat music, and decided to try Caribbean Passion. This drink is made primarily of passion fruit-mango juice, strawberries, peaches, and orange sherbet. These flavors intricately combine to create a sour, but refreshingly tart tasting drink. The first sip through an adequately sized straw sent shivers down my spine, but left my taste buds craving more.

The smoothie only consisted of 270 calories, and gave me 2.5 servings of fruit, which always helps with the guilty feeling that comes when eating desserts. The employees were very friendly, efficient and quick. Within ten minutes I had ordered my smoothie, paid and was happily slurping this dessert quenching drink.

If you decide to follow my advice and visit Jamba Juice you can find it at 130 E. 400 North, across the street from Smith's. It is open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., closed Sunday. Have at least $6 in your wallet and you will be able to afford any drink of any size.

This dessert-seeking adventure wasn't very promising. I was sadly disappointed by the lack of desserts offered without diary products. Don't get me wrong, the desserts offered at each of these restaurants were exquisite and divine, just not compatible with a stomach unable to digest lactose enzymes. Of the three restaurants I experimented with, Jamba Juice was the best option. It offers the most diverse menu with uniquely satisfying drinks and prices comparable to a shake. A Jamba Juice smoothie can never replace ice cream, but it satisfies my need for dessert without causing immensely unwanted side effects.

NW
MS

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