Subscribe
Omer Serbetci and Erica Inlavong move quickly during the lunchtime rush at The Afterburn. The open-air snack bar at the gym at RAF Lakenheath serves up salads, smoothies and more throughout the day and even delivers on base.

Omer Serbetci and Erica Inlavong move quickly during the lunchtime rush at The Afterburn. The open-air snack bar at the gym at RAF Lakenheath serves up salads, smoothies and more throughout the day and even delivers on base. (Charlie Reed/ Stars and Stripes)

RAF LAKENHEATH — Gym regulars consider The Afterburn a perfect place after a hard workout.

You grab a fresh juice on the way out the door and smile all the way home, the endorphins teeming.

With fruit smoothies, salads, sandwiches and more, The Afterburn is the Shangri-La of snack bars. Offering some of the freshest, fastest and cheapest eats on base, it’s the perfect lunchtime destination.

And you don’t even have to go to the gym to enjoy The Afterburn’s offerings. They deliver anywhere on base, said owner Omer Serbetci, who has run The Afterburn since the addition of the juice bar during the gym’s 2006 makeover.

Meal deals such as a panini sandwich and smoothie for $6.95 are too good — and good for you — to give in to the temptation of fast food.

The Afterburn is not a hippie-dippy health-food place. They don’t serve gluten-free bread or tofu. It’s a modern-day juice bar along the lines of Jamba Juice or Planet Smoothie in the States, a place where you can get a frosty cup of fruity goodness and a hearty, but not over the top, bite to eat.

The most popular menu items include the Mexican chicken panini and the "lift me up" smoothie, said Serbetci, who hopes to open another juice bar at RAF Mildenhall.

But if the kick in the Mexican chicken sounds a bit too spicy or the peanut butter in the "lift me up" a little too rich, just ask The Afterburn crew to make it your way.

"We prepare everything fresh to order," Serbetci said. "You can have whatever you like, however you like it."

Omelettes — including egg-white-only versions for the uber health conscious — and waffles recently debuted on the menu and have been generating more morning business, he said.

"With fresh spinach and feta cheese, you can’t beat the Mediterranean omelette," said Serbetci of his personal favorite on the breakfast menu.

And with one of those fancy-schmancy coffee machines, The Afterburn can brew up a variety of caffeinated concoctions sure to satisfy most people’s morning requirements.

The juice-only options are another form of liquid energy worth a try. And before you go mocking carrot juice, make sure you try it first. So orange it looks like a liquefied crayon, carrot juice is as invigorating to look at as it is to drink. Try the carrot-orange-ginger combo, it’s got a zing that makes it not too sweet and way better than eating your vegetables, or at least different.

So whether you actually go to the gym or not, make sure to grab a bite to eat or drink there sometime. Located in the lobby of the gym, The Afterburn is not much on ambience, though it’s definitely a place where friends, workout buddies and colleagues catch up throughout the day.

Everything on The Afterburn’s menu is between $4 and $6. It’s good, well-run, relatively cheap and definitely worth a try, especially if you’ve grown tired of all the fast-food options on base.

Location: The gym, RAF Lakenheath.

Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m Saturday.

Menu: Smoothies, juices, sandwiches, salads, omelettes, coffees.

Call ahead for deliveries or preorder at 226-3607 or civilian 077 066 45 825.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up