YOUR COOLER FRIENDS may have told you about the new açai bowl place in downtown. They probably texted you in order to avoid trying to pronounce it (ah-sigh-eeee). They serve their water in mason jars and make their own almond butter, so you know it has to be good.
The brainchild of Sarah Lipps, BARE Bowls opened this past fall in order to offer health-obsessed Palo Alto a chance to try a Brazilian transplant: the antioxidant-rich açai berry. You may think that you’ve tried the superfood before. No, dude. Wrong. You’ve tried sugar flavored with a little açai, since most places sell açai sorbet of sorts (looking at you, Arillaga Late Nite).
This stuff is different. With a mission statement revolving around staying totally transparent, you know exactly what you’re eating. The BARE team has done all it can to make sure that every bowl is natural and tastes-like-sunshine wholesome. The granola topping each bowl is made in small batches by a local partner, and the açai, naturally sugar-free, is blended with fruit. The bowls have different bases, but they’re all subtle and taste like yoga feels: down to earth but with some soul. Juices and added sugars have been nixed in favor of bananas, mangos, with some including leafy greens. The Cardinal and Rincon bowls are both lovely and a great introduction to the berry and BARE. If you’re not feeling an açai bowl, you could try one of their blends for a nice pick-me-up. They’ve got some killer smoothies with fruit and cacao or bee pollen. For when you need something more filling, like after your weekly Soul Cycle class, their daily oatmeal is great (the flavors change, but our favorite is the banana bread).
While more expensive than an ice cream sandwich from CREAM or some Late Nite, an açai bowl will leave you feeling a bit better, though maybe just because they’re all-natural. The açai craze has hit California hard, and these creations are, honestly, delicious. However, apart from the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of all antioxidant-rich foods, no special açai affects have been proven. So don’t expect to drop pounds or get rid of anything other than hunger pangs.
BARE is on Emerson Street, right off of University and a couple minutes off of campus. It’s a very doable bike ride and you can always lock your bike to a pole. Please bike. It’s been a long California winter, and you could do with a bit of sun.
For more information on BARE, feel free to check out their website.
By: Eleni Spanos