BY THE LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL –
Acai bowls are a common sight on Instagram these days: perfectly-designed dishes of layered fruit and granola on top of blended frozen berries, drizzled in honey and sprinkled with granola, coconut chips or chia seeds.
While smoothie and health-food joints such as Jamba Juice have added a few acai bowl options, several fast-casual restaurants recently have popped up with the acai bowl at the heart of the menu. Eager to get in on the trend, Antonio Mesquita and Charlie Belcher have opened Vitality Bowls, in the Albertson’s shopping center at Blue Diamond Road and South Decatur Boulevard.
It is the franchise’s first location in Nevada — another is set to open in North Las Vegas in August — and offers 10 meal-sized bowl options. Vitality Bowls also has offers paninis, fresh juices, salads, soups and smoothies. Medium (20 ounces) bowls are between $9 and $12, and large bowls (28 ounces) are between $10.50 and $13.50.
The company was founded in 2011 by Roy and Tara Gilad of San Ramon, California, after discovering that their daughter had severe food allergies. The company began franchising in 2014 and has over 40 locations across the U.S.
Belcher, a recruiter for the National Guard, was attracted to the health benefits of the fresh fruit and vegetables in the blended bowls. Mesquita, originally from Brazil, said acai is popular in his home country.
One of the most popular items on the menu, Belcher said, is the namesake “Vitality Bowl.” The base consists of blended blueberry, pomegranate, acai, moringa, camu camu, mangosteen and aronia, and it’s topped with granola, sliced bananas, honey, flax seeds, strawberries and goji berries.
Another favorite is the “Nutty Bowl,” which is blended with a hearty helping of peanut butter and almond milk.
Vitality Bowls has about 15 employees. Half of them are recruits of Belcher’s from the National Guard. The business partners said they want to open more Vitality Bowls locations across the valley, including Summerlin and Henderson, and Belcher said he hopes to hire more recruits and veterans as they expand.
The chain also offers a rewards program. For every dollar spent at any Vitality Bowls location, customers earn one point; 100 points can be redeemed for $10 off an order.
BY THE CULTURED LOCAL – A few weeks back I got to check out the new superfood cafe called Vitality Bowls that is located in Miami Beach. The cafe offers a variety of healthy food options ranging from panini(s) to salads to Acai bowls(which are their speciality) to fresh juices and more! The vision for providing a casual healthy food restaurant experience that uses safe food alternatives in consideration of those who have food allergies was brought to life in 2011 when founders, Roy Gilad and Tara Gilad founded Vitality Bowls in San Ramon, California. Currently, there are over 40 cafes open and still in development nationwide with Miami Beach being one of the newest locations and who’s current owner moved down from Indiana just to open up a franchise here in the heart of South Beach.
With that being said, I had the opportunity to come into the store for a private tasting to try some of their menu items in the beginning of June. To start off with, I ordered the Matcha Green Tea Latte since I’ve never had it before and the Dragon Acai Bowl which is a local favorite. The Acai Bowl was made with several fruits and ingredients such as: Pitaya, Mango Juice, Coconut Milk, Bananas, Pineapple, Raspberries, Immunity Boost and is topped with almonds, honey, and even bee pollen! The bowl was super delicious and tasted so fresh and was very filling! There was even some left over that I decided to take some home for a late afternoon snack. What I loved the most about the Acai Bowl was how refreshing and nourishing it was making it the perfect summer treat for a typical hot day in Miami!
Besides the Acai Bowl, I also got to try the Roasted Turkey panini which had natural turkey, mozzarella cheese, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, dijon, and pesto inside. The sandwich was perfectly toasted and delicious just like the acai bowl so I was really satisfied with the quality of the ingredients! Last but not least, I ended my healthy meal by trying three different Organic Kombucha fermented teas: Ginger, Blueberry Passionfruit, and Strawberry Mint. At first I didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never tried Kombucha teas before and didn’t even know what it was (Plus, I’m more of a avid coffee drinker anyways) but I was actually really amazed with its taste when I tried them, especially the Blueberry Passionfruit tea! All of the teas had a light, refreshing, and semi-sweet flavor to them and were served at a cooler temperature than your typical hot tea. It was definitely different from what I was used to but none the less I love the fact that I got to try something new!
Overall, if you’re looking for a healthier option for breakfast and/or lunch and happened to be in the Miami Beach area then I highly definitely recommend for you to check out Vitality Bowls! They offer plenty of healthy choices that are both nourishing and replenishing to the body and it’s a great spot to grab a quick smoothie or latte from their coffee bar!
To see their full menu you can visit their website: https://www.vitalitybowls.com/