Appetite For Instruction: Mango-Banana Coolie

 Recipe Demonstrated by Scott Whittall of Buli

The half-mile stretch of Cedar Springs from Oak Lawn to Wycliff has remained staunchly Starbucks-less in a world where corporate coffee shops are as common a sight as burger drive-thrus and SUV's. But nobody on the block seems to care. Who needs one of those cookie-cutter storefronts, pumping out bitter coffee and charging for WiFi, when you've got Buli instead?

Scott Whittall and Allen Goode's one-of-a-kind café opened five years ago, and quickly became a local favorite. Serving up espresso drinks and ice cream and soups and sandwiches, Buli attracts morning people as well as lunch hour and after-hours crowds. Whittall especially welcomes the "hangers", as he calls them--retirees and job-hunters for whom Buli is a home away from home.

The tall, affable owner points out that anything iced or frozen moves fast this time of year (natch), and his Buli Coolies are among the most popular warm-weather drinks. A "Coolie" is sort of like a smoothie...okay, it's just like a smoothie.

Whatever he calls it, it's really easy and really pleasing.

Step one: Prepare your mango puree: whir up two sliced mangos or one bag of frozen mangos, thawed, in a blender with a touch of water or fruit juice. Sweeten with a teaspoon or two of honey, if desired.

Step two: Combine one cup mango puree, one banana and two cups ice (crushed is preferable) in a blender. Blend 'til smooth.

Step three: Garnish with whipped cream and serve. We're also thinking a shot of vodka or rum would be a really nice addition in here. Or one of each--we won't tell.

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