28 June 2006
I Heart Orange Julius
Trapped inside for too long last weekend by crappy weather, I told Caroline I'd take her to the movies and then out for ice cream. Unfortunately, every able-bodied suburbanite -- the mall-enthusiasts and the mall-averse alike -- had the same idea, descending upon the movie theatres like a pack of vultures with Vera Bradley bags. Before noontime, all tickets for "Cars" or "Over the Hedge" were sold out for the entire afternoon. Since Caroline was way too young for Nacho Libre, we headed into the mall where we inevitably collided with another mob of Capri pant-wearin' mamas hell bent on bumrushing Friendly's. We instantly changed course and on our quest for an alternative ice cream source, I experienced something completely unexpected (aside from running into Eric Donovan and his entire family in the arcade!) Across from Friendly's, there it was: ORANGE JULIUS. I thought it was a mirage.
The old school food court staple of yore is suddenly back from the dead. Who could forget the Julius serving up that baffling combo of chemically-altered OJ (called orange julius) and hot dogs throughout our youth? I never have. In high school, we'd often head to the Corner Mall in Downtown Crossing after school. And even when Sbarro and Wok-n-Roll were all the rage, I would saddle up to O. Julius for a dog and large Julius with crushed ice.
Still, Orange Julius 2006 is not the Orange Julius of 20 years ago. Like so many retro chains, it's been rebranded and paired with another diehard staple of suburban Americana -- in this case, Dairy Queen or "DQ" as it's now known. So, now we have Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins where you can have a Supreme Omelet Sandwich and a Peanut Butter Pie Sundae; Subway/Pizza Hut where you can order up a slice of Meat Lovers' Pizza and a Six-Inch Cold Cut Sub via the drive-thru; and of course, you can now enjoy a Chalupa at Target as Taco Bell is opening at Greatlands across the country. Is it any wonder we're living in Back Fat City.