LANDSTUHL, Germany — Schnitzel, pommes frites and beer are good, but not so good for you.

And after a while, eating fried everything gets old — not to mention the toll it takes on your ticker.

In Germany, it can be hard, well nearly impossible, to find an eatery that one, offers healthy fare and two, can get you in and out fast.

Monsoon Bar in Landstuhl does both. With a menu of fresh-made smoothies, toasty panini sandwiches and salads, Monsoon Bar offers a heart friendly refuge in the land of pork.

Located near the oh-so-unhealthy McDonald’s in Landstuhl, Monsoon Bar opened about three weeks ago and has seen steady business since.

Owner Patrick Thompson, who speaks German and English, got the idea from traveling in the States and seeing the popularity of the smoothie chain Jamba Juice.

Even in cities like Frankfurt, you won’t see smoothie places, said Thompson, the son of an Englishman and German woman.

"I think in 10 years, you’ll see juice bars all over Germany and Europe," he said. "If it all works out well here, we’ll do another one in Kaiserslautern next year."

The 21 smoothies available range in flavors from Mango Mango and Rasberry Razz to Colada and Peach Passion. One of Thompson’s best-selling smoothies is actually made with the popular energy drink Red Bull.

"I think I’m the only one doing a Red Bull smoothie in the world," he said.

The panini sandwiches can be made vegetarian with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil or you can get them with meat — either Parma ham, cheese and rocket lettuce or salami and the fixings. You can substitute sundried tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes as well. Thompson and manager Mario Zivkovic use a 70-percent yogurt, 30-percent mayo mix instead of applying full-fledged mayo to their sandwiches.

After a few minutes in the Panini press, the sandwiches are hot, crispy and ready to enjoy either at bar-type seats inside or at the outdoor seating area.

For two Parma ham panini sandwiches and two medium-sized smoothies, the total cost was 13.80 euros.

Monsoon Bar

Landstuhl, Germany

Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Closed Sunday.

Drinks: Fruit smoothies, coffee, bottled water, etc.

Prices: Smoothies are between 2.95 euros and 4 euros. Sandwiches run from 2.90 euros to 3.20 euros.

Clientele: Germans and Americans.

Menus: Menu board is listed above counter and outside.

Dress: Casual

Address: Bruchwiesenstrasse 10, Landstuhl. It’s just south of the McDonald’s that’s near the Autobahn in Landstuhl; look for the sidewalk signs outside the juice bar.

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