Rush Bowls (227 Euclid Avenue), the Colorado import that opened its first St. Louis-area shop last month in the Central West End, may remind you a lot of Jamba Juice. It's quick. It's healthy. It's incredibly noisy. And even though you can get them in bowls, its offerings are basically smoothies.
That's because at the base of those bowls is blended fruit. Depending on which bowl you order, you can get yours blended with fat-free milk, fat-free frozen yogurt or vanilla soy — but if that's where smoothies end, Rush Bowls is just getting started. You can get them with a variety of toppings and stir-ins, including acai, chai and granola. One option even includes a really big scoop of fresh peanut butter, along with house-made jelly (naturally!). And if you don't want to mess with all those additions, sure, you can just get a basic smoothie. There are seventeen varieties of those, and they're all $6.50.
The "Peanut Butter & Jelly" comfort bowl.
Bowls are sorted into four options, all of them priced at $7.95 each. "Enlightened Bowls" include a half-dozen items, including such offerings as the "Yoga Bowl" (mango, pineapple, banana, green tea and your choice of dairy, topped with organic granola and honey) and the "Oasis Bowl," which is made with coconut milk, mango, pineapple and peach juice and organic granola and honey.
Acai bowls are much the same ... only they're topped with acai, everyone's favorite super food. The little palm seeds became super trendy a few years ago for being packed with fiber, calcium, anti-oxidants and other healthful goodies, and here they come atop four different options.
Finally, in addition to four seasonal bowls (one for dogs!), Rush Bowls is serving up "Comfort Bowls." Rest assured, these are not comfort bowls in the Midwestern sense — there are no piles of mashed potatoes or cheese, no nachos, no rice. You can't even get frozen yogurt with fat in it. The comfort is all in the toppings.
Still, they're a big step up from the other offerings in the decadence department. In addition to the aforementioned peanut butter and jelly, you can get a "Chocolate Covered Strawberry," a "Peach Cobbler" or "Apple Pie (a la mode)." The "mode" is actually an optional frozen yogurt, but with granola and a dusting of cinnamon, surely no one will complain.
Customers order at the counter and then wait for their items.
All those blended fruit bases, of course, means that it gets loud in the shop. You order at the counter, and by the time your bowl is ready, you may feel the makings of a serious headache. With a high ceiling and nothing but hard surfaces, the sound of the blenders reverberates.
There are a few stools along the walls for those who want to eat their bowl inside, but you might be better off walking over to the fountain just two blocks away on Maryland. On the morning we visited, it was busy enough you couldn't get a seat anyway.
But this growing chain isn't catering to people who want a three-course meal anyway. Befitting its Rocky Mountain State roots, Rush Bowls is meant to fill you up after a workout or get you fueled for the next one on your schedule. In that sense, the Central West End is the perfect location for the company to make its St. Louis debut. You could stop over after running in Forest Park or on your way to a class at Steel Wheels
. You could even take a LimeBike.
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