No. 83, Strawberry Basil Lemonade at Mick's Karma Bar

No. 83, Strawberry Basil Lemonade at Mick's Karma Bar
Edwin Goei

Hey, kids: guess what time is it? It's time to restart that Long March known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!!

Hey, don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it is rather fun to do this for us Forkers--an opportunity to highlight dishes from restaurants we'll never fully review, or secrets from old standbys. Anyhoo, let the march begin...

I've spoken effusively about the burger at Mick's Karma Bar but I've yet to even mention Mick's strawberry basil lemonade. It deserves at least an an equal amount of words as I've devoted to everything else about this juice bar turned burger destination.

What? You haven't had it? Well, I'm sorry to say that you've been doing it all wrong.

See also:

If you've only ordered the burger but not the combo, or the combo but opted for Coke instead of this lemonade, you've missed the point. This beverage, which is now probably the best thing at Mick's after the burger, is drinkable gold. To not order it with the combo is tantamount to throwing away money.

Here's why.

The burger by itself is $5.50. The lemonade by itself is $3.25. The fries by itself is $3.95. But the burger combo with all of the above? $8.75.

What you need to know about the drink is, of course, already in the name: mulled strawberries, crushed basil leaves, topped off with lemonade and ice. While the sweetness of the strawberries softens the tartness of the lemon, the basil leaves tames them both. It is absolutely the perfect thing to sip after a bite of burger and a mouthful of fries. There's something about this ambrosia that resets your mouth, much like what a swirl of good red wine does to a rich steak. Is it the herby basil? The fleshy strawberries? The citric acid?

I think I'm over-analyzing. It's refreshing. Period. And so popular these days, they've set up an assembly line of cups with the basil and chunky strawberry puree ready to be mixed with a pour of homemade lemonade. The drink will be made-to-order before you have the time to pay for it.

Heck, I'd go as far as to say it's worth the $3.25, if you just want the drink and not a meal. And there's this: it's apparently refillable with more lemonade!

The list:

84. Lemongrass Chicken Salad at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop 85. Tofu Soup at Tasty Thai 86. Take-Out Dim Sum at Capital B.B.Q. and Dim Sum Express 87. Hodo Gwaja at Cocohodo 88. Popcorn Chicken Salad at Guppy House 89. Fried Okra at Memphis Soul Cafe & Bar 90. Salted Egg With Bitter Melon & Scrambled Egg at Tasty Noodle House 91. Boysenberry Lemonade from Bautista Creek Local Produce at SOCO Farmers' Market 92. Scallop Carpaccio with Curry Oil and Yuzu Vinaigrette from Cafe Hiro 93. White Board Specials at Taco Adobe 94. Coney Dog at LinX 95. Halal Pizzas from San Giovanni Pizzas 96. Clayuda at El Fortín 97. Lunch Buffet at Dosa Express 98. The Meats at Darya in Orange 99. Panocha at Taquería Zamora 100. Bean-and-Cheese Burrito from Del Taco

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