BY THE MERCURY NEWS – Tasty açaí berries are the core of the eating philosophy of Sunnyvale’s newest restaurant, although its cold, fruit-based lunches are a concept that may take adjustment for some.
“Because it’s cold you feel it’s a dessert rather than a lunch,” says Praveen Kumar, owner of the Vitality Bowls. “Even I had to take time to get used to it. It was just after realizing the health benefits rather than me eating carbs. Me being Asian, my life is pretty much eating rice or wheat. I used to eat a lot of salads and I lost a lot of weight during that time, but I didn’t find that really nourishing because it’s just a filler.” read more
Vitality Bowls started in San Ramon in 2011, but quickly found that its fruit-based meals struck a chord with diners and since has spread to other locations throughout the Bay Area.
Founders Tara and Roy Gilad were impressed by açaí as a street food in Brazil and decided to bring it back with them to use as the main ingredient and base for healthy meals.
The bowls at Vitality Bowls start with a base of what Kumar calls a frozen fruit blend–frozen açaí or other fruit high in antioxidants blended with different fruits but no additional juices or sugars, topped with granola for crunch and then additional sliced fruit.
Kumar began eating at the Vitality Bowls in Pleasanton’s Stoneridge Shopping Center while looking for a healthy lunch option that also catered to his vegetarianism. After eating lunch there for nearly a month he was sold on the concept and decided to take a break from his job as a developer of iPhones and iPads to open his own Vitality Bowls in Sunnyvale.
“I moved out of Sunnyvale in 2009, but it always has a place in my heart. I live in Morgan Hill but I feel like Sunnyvale is where I want to be, but it’s too expensive for me to get a good home,” said Kumar.” I used to live right on El Camino and Wolfe, and so I was used to that area, I couldn’t find any healthy eating options. Other places offer healthy bowls but put in fillers.”
Besides the bowls, the restaurant offers paninis, smoothies and snacks. Everything can be made gluten-free or in other ways to accommodate people with allergies.
“I’m a vegetarian, but I learned to make even the meat paninis,” Kumar said. “I didn’t eat it, but I was slicing the meat and my dad said, ‘Wow, you must really believe in this.’”
Vitality Bowls is located at 605 Tasman Drive in Sunnyvale.