Take a good look at this glass of juice. Does it look orange to you? It should, because the last time I checked, orange juice was supposed to be, you know, orange.
But when I stopped by Columbia Firehouse recently for brunch, this is what they served when I asked for orange juice. It looks more like pineapple juice — mostly because the glass is loaded down with enough ice cubes to raise the Titanic. Lots of space-filling, OJ-extending ice cubes.
For this I paid $2.75?
Listen, I know there’s a recession out there, and restaurants are hurting. I also know orange juice isn’t cheap. My local Whole Foods sells a half-gallon of freshly squeezed organic orange juice for $5.49. That’s real money.
But when I pay $2.75 for — what? — an eight-ounce pour of OJ, I want eight ounces of pure, unadulterated orange juice. I want a direct hit of Florida sun and soil as filtered through those orange balls of sweet-tart pulp. I don’t want ice cubes.
When I see ice cubes in orange juice, I have two immediate thoughts: The orange juice will suck because it’s watered down, and the restaurant is cheap, trying to extend its product at the expense of the product.
Now, I don’t mean to pick on Columbia Firehouse. The rest of my brunch, particularly my steak and eggs with these succulent (if slightly overcooked) slices of Roseda Farms strip steak, was terrific. But really what’s the excuse for watering down OJ?
I realize this is probably my little beef, and it doesn’t bother the rest of you. But I was annoyed enough to express my disapproval via 140 fiery characters on Twitter: “Ice cubes do not belong in OJ. Makes me think restaurants are cheap, trying to stretch more glasses out of their oranges (or OJ cartons).”
One person responded to my outburst:
oh yes it does. i like everything cold
Well, here’s an idea: Keep the OJ in the refrigerator.