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Protein Bar Opens A New Location In Downtown DC

Cary Pollak for Whisk and Quill
July 6, 2014

Napkin dispenser inspires diners to spread the word

It seems like branches of Protein Bar are sprouting up all over the Washington, DC area, not to mention other parts of the country.  The fourth and latest local edition of the fast food eatery opened two weeks ago at 925 17th Street, NW near K Street, joining thirteen other outlets in their home town of Chicago and three in Colorado.

As an opening day promotion the first 100 customers received $100 gift certificates – an offer that attracted a lot of media attention and some eager customers.  Notwithstanding the generous incentives, athletes and health conscious diners have already found the food to be creative and delicious, while simultaneously living up to the eatery’s motto, “We do healthy … healthier.”

Organic quinoa blend

Organic quinoa blend

There is a method to ordering here – building a meal by creating it yourself.  Start off by choosing the base protein for the “Protein Bar-ritos” – either all-natural chicken or organic tofu.   Or try the “Quinoa Bowls”.  Using a blend of red quinoa, golden quinoa, white millet, amaranth (a grain biologically similar to quinoa) and crunchy flax seeds, this base features the ancient, high protein, naturally gluten-free grain first cultivated in the Peruvian Andes.  Then add toppings like Black Bean, Spinach and Pesto, Buffalo, Chili (there are chicken or veggie versions) or Healthy Parm, made with chicken, house-made marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Super 6 Salad Mix

Super 6 Salad Mix

“Signature Salads” use a house blend of raw veggies for maximum nutritional value.  The “Super 6 Salad Mix” is a combination of romaine, spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots and purple cabbage, and is served with your choice of several house made dressings.  More complex salads appear on the menu with geographically inspired names like Southwest, Memphis, Buffalo and Baja.

Samples of the filling for the Buffalo Protein Bar-rito

Samples of the filling for the Buffalo Protein Bar-rito

At a recent sampling of the menu’s offerings, guests enjoyed several different items including the “Buffalo Protein Bar-rito” made with chicken, quinoa blend, blue cheese, house-made Buffalo sauce and the crunchy good salad mix.  The bold flavors work well together and the Buffalo sauce gives it a spicy kick. The “Superfood Vegan Signature Salad” features tasty marinated tofu.  Here it is paired with kale, pepitas, chickpeas and creamy chia seed dressing.

Abbas Lochina preparing a “Hi-5” juice drink

Abbas Lochina preparing a “Hi-5” juice drink

“Signature Drinks” and “Raw Juices” are naturally sweet.  No refined sugar is used.  Instead sweetness is achieved with agave syrup or ripe fresh fruits like pineapple used in the leafy green drink, “Hi-5”.  Along with extracted juices are the smoothies.  The “Blue Line” Signature Drink, a blend of vanilla protein, blueberries, banana and choice of milk, 2%, skim, almond or soy, is as high in flavor as it is low in fat.

The Protein Bar’s concern with the nutritional value of food is evidenced by the information printed below each menu item, listing the number of calories and the grams of fat, carbs, fiber and protein.  Their commitment to providing flavorful menu selections is just as serious.  Protein Bar defines its mission as “to change the way people eat on the go.”  Next time you are on the go, give them a chance to change your mind about what fast food can and should be.

Select locations serve breakfast till 10:30am on weekdays and 12:30pm on weekends.  To find a location near you visit www.theproteinbar.com.

Photo credit Cary Pollak

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