Food review: Playa Bowls

Inplaya bowls
Leanna Smith/THE REVIEW
Playa Bowls sweet meals come at a price.

BY
EVENTS AND CULTURE EDITOR

While Playa Bowls is a new addition to the ever-growing food scene on Main Street, its fresh flavors and beachy storefront are familiar and nostalgic for many students at the university. Founded at the Jersey Shore, Playa Bowls is “NJ’s Original Acai Shop” and has multiple locations along the East Coast. With so many New Jersey natives at the university, it is unsurprising that the arrival of this summer-time staple created a lot of buzz on campus.

The expansive menu of fruity bowls is displayed in the store on colorful chalkboards bordered with weathered wood, adding to the casual tropical atmosphere. The store is famous for their acai bowls, which are pure-blended acai fruit topped with granola, fresh fruits and drizzled toppings. You can also venture and try different fruit bases like blended coconut, pitaya, banana or a healthy “green” bowl. They also offer chia pudding bowls, oatmeal bowls, fresh juices and smoothies.

I decided to try the “Nutella” bowl, which seemed to be a fan favorite based solely on the number of Instagram and Snapchat stories it was featured in. The bowl has a classic acai base and is topped with a generous amount of granola, banana, strawberry, coconut flakes and, of course, a thick Nutella drizzle.

I did, however, decide to customize the bowl by getting a “mixed bowl” with a half coconut base and half acai base. While the acai was refreshing, smooth and flavorful, the coconut base fell flat. The gritty texture combined with the lack of any sweetness or distinct flavor made the coconut taste like sad, cold oatmeal.

The biggest problem with Playa Bowls is the price tag. At $11, the Nutella bowl makes a significant dent in the average college student’s food budget. It is hard to justify spending upwards of $10 on a snack when you could get a substantial burrito for less.

Overall, Playa Bowls delivers exactly what you expect it to — it is a great place to get your filling on fruits if you aren’t satisfied with the typical dining hall selection, to grab a quick on-the-go breakfast or to sit and snack with friends. Just keep in mind, that while your tastebuds might be pleased if you make visits to Playa Bowls a habit, be careful because your wallet will certainly feel the consequences.

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