by Lina McDermott and Raquel Gerard
So, we aren’t exactly sure when teenagers started preferring antioxidant rich berries over a bag of potato chips (like come on, potato chips were practically designed for us), but acai bowls are starting to take over the teenage diet. We don’t typically order things we don’t know how to pronounce (you know, typical teenage self consciousness) but we made an exception for these. And boy, are we glad we tried them! Acai (ah-sigh-ee) is an exotic berry found in Brazil, and it is blended with other fruits to make the base of an acai bowl. The bowls are comprised of: an acai sorbet blend base, fresh fruit, granola, and for the people who think they aren’t sweet enough naturally, honey (not gonna lie, honey makes us gag…it’s worse than seeing sixth graders talk about swag). These are a delicious and sweet treat, perfect as a meal or a snack. They will fill you up and satisfy you to your heart’s content. Now that you’re ready to taste one of these marvelous concoctions, here are some places to go try:
Paradise Bowls is the new talk of the town. There are a lot of things that make this place attractive. Location, for starters. Until these hands touch a steering wheel (six months left!!), everything’s gotta be walking or biking distance (unless we find a way to charm and bargain with our very loving parents). So their downtown Manhattan Beach location is a great plus. Next, the place specializes in acai bowls, and they are wonderful! They have a variety of acai bowl blends ranging from peach and berry to banana and lemonade. Our fave is their most popular flavor, “Manhattan Peach.” Their acai bowls are very refreshing and filling (yumalicious definition make them boys go loco…..sorry, the Fergie pun was too irresistible). However, it seems like there’s more fresh fruit and granola than there is acai. This could be good or bad, depending on your tastes. At $4.50 for a very small bowl though, we’re looking for some more acai. Overall, a nice little spot.
919 Manhattan Avenue in Manhattan Beach.
Beach Bowls Acai Cafe
Beach Bowls Acai Cafe was like that ridiculously amazing shirt you find hiding in the corner at your favorite store. In other words, we didn’t know we absolutely needed it till we tasted it, and once we did, we were hooked. Upon first look, we noticed that their menu consisted mostly of acai bowls, which we found out from Paradise Bowls is usually a good sign. Another thing that caught our eye was that you could pick your blend and toppings separately, which was amaze, because us “difficult” teens like things the way we like them.
Receiving our order (tropical blend with pineapple and strawberry topping) was definitely a yay moment. The acai bowl comes in large, deep, wide bowls. The shape of the bowl allows for enough room to mix up all the ingredients without spilling any of the precious acai. What’s even better is that, because of their great granola layering technique, there’s minimal mixing involved! The only mixing you have to do is to mix in the fresh fruit, which means that you can start eating even faster. Another thing that made this acai cafe yumtastic was the amount of frozen acai they give you. The bowl was about two-thirds blended acai, which is the best part. Their price was reasonable for the amount of acai, fruits, and granola you get (a $10 bowl is perfect for two people). The only downside to this amazing yummy cafe is that, for us, it was not walking distance (sigh). Guess our super great parents will have to take us.
1622 S Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach.
Apfel’s menu is pretty smoothie heavy, with only one acai bowl available. We have enjoyed these smoothies in the past, so we thought, why not try the acai bowl? No one likes to be a tough cop, but we have to be for this one. First of all, it’s called an acai bowl. Not cup. There’s too much work involved to dip the spoon far enough to get a bite with everything in it. Especially for a teen. Even with our hardworking, totally not lazy demeanors, it’s a snack, not an x on a treasure map. We shouldn’t have to dig! The acai was super thin, like the texture of melted ice cream. Not appetizing. Plus, the strong flavor of cinnamon in the granola clashed with the fruits, just adding to the bad experience. Just stick to the smoothies here, they are what this place does best.
403 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach.
Now you know where to go to get your acai fix, so go! Don’t forget to send in suggestions for future columns to firstname.lastname@example.org as well!