Bennett: Battle of The Restaurants – Acai Bowl Edition

Annie Barnish, Susan Ramsey and Lianna SanFelice enjoy food from Playa Bowls. This was the restaurant that Kariyah featured in this week's edition of "Battle of the Restaurants." - Photo / Kariyah Bennett

In this week’s “Battle of the Restaurants” duel, things are becoming fruitier in the kitchen with a new trending option, the Acai Bowl. Whether you’re in the mood for a snack or you need a healthy breakfast. Acai bowls are an amazing alternative to have and there are two amazing restaurants in the Glassboro region that serve acai bowls among other options.

Playa Bowls, a fan favorite in the Rowan Community and their competitor, have been around since 2014. They originally opened as a smoothie and milkshake establishment, recently, however,  I’ve seen them branch out and expand their products. This establishment is known as California Shakes and Juice Bar. This competition is going to get juicy. 

Playa Bowls, located right on the strip in downtown Glassboro near Pizza Hut and 7-Eleven, is a popular stop for college students right before they have to rush off to their class. After visiting I can see why. When I approached the establishment they offered an array of Acai Bowls. Ranging from coconut bowls, Pitaya, Kale and so much more.

After trying the different varieties of bowls I have to say my go-to is the Nutelloco bowl. A coconut base blended with granola, bananas, and strawberries and topped off with delicious coconut flakes and creamy chocolatey Nutella. When I tell you it is like taking a vacation in the paradise of sweet and creamy, it’s so satisfying to anyone with a sweet craving. However, the Nutelloco bowl costing $12 per bowl is definitely a once-in-while treat. Although they do offer various paying methods you can use including dining dollars and Rowan bucks. 

Not too far from Rowan’s Campus, California Shakes and Juice Bar has two locations; one on Delsea Drive and the other located in the Deptford Mall. They offer more of a variety of milkshakes and smoothies compared to Playa Bowls. However, as far as acai bowls are concerned, their variety is a little bit limited compared to their competitor.

Some amazing options that I would highly recommend if you’re in the mood for something sweet are their Oreo crunch – it is out of this world. If you have a dairy intolerance like myself you can substitute the ice cream for frozen yogurt and the milk itself for almond milk. The best part is it has fewer calories than your traditional milkshake. If you’re looking for something extremely healthy their Green Monster smoothie and Monster Bowls are my picks. They are similar price-wise to Playa Bowls which means you can’t go wrong with either option; it just depends on what you’re in the mood for.

Overall, both restaurants offer amazing healthy options but the winner for this fruit edition of Battle of the Restaurants would have to be Playa Bowls. Mainly due to the fact that the bases for their bowls and smoothies have a creamier texture compared to California Shakes and Juice Bar. In Addition, their ingredients blend together a little bit better to create that mouthwatering goodness.

Even though Playa Bowls won this round of Battle of the Restaurants, both establishments are amazing and I would highly recommend both of them. The best part is both restaurants are spreading throughout the United States.  

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