By: Lauren Rittermann
Begun by a Chicago native looking to lose weight by cutting empty carbs and upping his healthy protein intake, Protein Bar is taking DC by storm, at least judging by the location I visited. For now it's the only one, but others are on the way, welcome additions to the lunch scene for DC and Northern Virginia professionals looking for a nutritious, fast lunch, breakfast or even dinner.
The atmosphere of Protein Bar, located on 7th and D, was vibrant, young and fresh, just like its food. Its goal is to 'change the way people eat on the go,' and it seems that young professionals in DC are taking notice of this bright, clean, high-energy space.
Everything I tried was delicious and flavorful, but more than that, it felt healthy. Let's face it, often an unfortunate consequence of a delicious meal is feeling sluggish, tired, and overstuffed. Not at Protein Bar! I felt energized, nourished, and ready to take on the rest of my day.
Two of my favorite items from the menu were the Spinach and Quinoa Pesto bowl and the Buffalo chicken wrap.
I also had the chance to try the Guac and Roll and the Southwest Salad, which came highly recommended.
But, the main reason for my visit was to try Protein Bar's seasonal Winterberry Blended Drink.
It starts with vanilla protein in your choice of formulas: I chose whey, but you can choose from whey, soy, or egg, which is a nice touch. It also included a choice of milk product, including a vegan option, and I chose skim. Blueberries, organic micro-ground coffee, and an acai fat-burning boost rounded out this delicious shake. Unlike many other smoothie bars, the 'boosts' are free of charge in these shakes. Here were the stats on the shake I chose: 210 calories, 25 grams protein, 0 grams fat.
I never thought the combination of blueberries and coffee would taste good, but I was definitely wrong. This shake was more than delicious, and I found it hard to put down. Not too sweet or heavy, and a lovely combination of flavors with just the right caffeine boost, it made me very intrigued to come back and try more.
I loved everything about this place. From the extensive menu including breakfast items, salads, bowls, bar-itos, shakes, and juices to the freshness of the food, to the organic and clean feel of the atmosphere. It is exactly what DC (and many other cities) need to feed the ever-growing need for healthy food, fast.