Raising the Bar

A Review of Protein Bar

     I recently stumbled across a place called Protein Bar and it caught my eye, thanks to the bright, orange color scheme.  The windows advertised shakes, bowls, and burritos, oops I mean BAR-ritos.  I love all three of those things, so I had to check it out.  I read about it online and discovered that they make all of their menu items super healthy.  The bowls and bar-ritos are made with quinoa instead of rice, all natural and organic proteins, whole wheat wraps instead of flour tortillas, and home made sauces with all organic ingredients.

“Our mission is to change the way people eat on the go. This means our menu, service, stores, and work are all focused on healthy food that can be served in a quick, engaging way for active, on-the-go customers.” From The Protein Bar

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I tried a protein shake my first time at the Protein Bar, and it was named Wrigley Peeled – how cute is that?  And since I just moved to Chicago I think I found particular joy in it, but the shake was delicious in itself.  I had to choose a protein – whey, soy,  egg, or vegan – and then choose a milk – 2%, skim, almond, or coconut – and you can add optional boosts.  Boosts include Aloe, Energy Blend, Fat Burner Blend, Fiber Blend, Flax Oil, Flu Fighter Blend, Hangover Blend, and Multi-Vitamin Blend.  Some are self explanatory, like Energy and Far Burner, others I really don’t know the benefits of, like Aloe or Flax Oil.  I don’t know what good they would do for my body or when might be the right time to add them in my shakes, so I have a little research project on my hands.

The Wrigley Peeled shake was amazing – it was made with my choice of whey protein, almond milk, organic peanut butter, banana, and organic agave nectar at about 290 calories (530 for the larger size) for $4.39 plus tax.  Gotta love the chocolate, peanut butter, and banana combo.

Today, my order was the Millennium Perk milkshake with the BBQ chicken Bar-rito – the sticker on my bar-rito says “We do healthy…healthier.”  Both were seriously scrumptious, so I am yet to be disappointed by this place.

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The Millennium Perk shake which was made with chocolate protein, espresso protein, my choice of almond milk, and house-made cocoa malt at about 150 calories (again for the small size/ the large is 250).

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Here was my BBQ Bar-rito, made with all-natural chicken, organic quinoa blend, cheddar, house-made agave BBQ sauce, and Protein Bar’s “Super 6 Salad Mix” wrapped in a whole-wheat flax tortilla and then grilled, at about 570 calories and cost $7.29 plus tax.  The organic quinoa blend consists of red quinoa, golden quinoa, white millet, amaranth, and flax seeds.

Both the shake and the wrap are recipes I want to try to duplicate in my own kitchen very soon, so check back with me!  Some other things on the Protein Bar’s menu include breakfast items like Greek Yogurt bowls, scrambled egg bowls, and Breakfast Bar-ritos; they also have chicken chili and vegetarian chili, Signature Salads, some high protein snacks and sides, and a kids menu.  They have a Protein Bar app that you can record your credit or debit card number onto and scan your payment using your phone if you are a regular customer as a rewards program…when you sign up you get $2 off and for every $88 you spend you get an $8 credit.  I signed up right away.  There are thirteen locations in Chicago and other Protein Bars in Colorado and Washington, DC.  If you live near one, I suggest you give it a try!

My rating for the Protein Bar is 4.2 stars.  My only criticisms are that price is a little high for food on the go, and that although the wrap was delicious, it wasn’t extremely flavorful.  Also, I ordered the 12 oz shakes and they seemed to disappear way too quickly.  But at almost $5 for a small shake, I’m not willing to spring for the larger portion.  Altogether, the quality of the food trumps the little extra spent on it.  I love Protein Bar!

Happy eating,

Chelsea 

 

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