A new family-owned eatery has popped up on Franklin Street offering a unique menu: acai bowls, toast and eclectic beverages.
Staff writer Samantha Yi spent an afternoon trying popular items at The Purple Bowl.
The interior of the shop is polished with pops of color, contrasting with the worn bricks and pavements of Chapel Hill. Right next to the register is an diverse array of drinks: Izze, Tribucha and Kombucha. The eatery is filled with pop music such as Ed Sheeran and Macklemore. Six tables capable of seating three people and a bench fill the narrow space.
Numerous amenities are provided such as samples, free Wi-Fi and quick order delivery.
Customers are encouraged to divide their utensils into compost or trash.The eatery is transparent in their process, displaying their ingredients on the shelves behind the register so customers can clearly see what goes in their meal: hemp milk, Quaker oats, etc.
A downside: be prepared to whip out your phone or card because no cash is accepted.
Taste: Appalachian Trail Bowl and the Avocado Toast
The Appalachian Trail Bowl, $7 for Snack Size, was surprisingly delicious. I never had an acai bowl before and had my skepticism — it seemed like a fancy granola bowl. However, I was quickly corrected. The crunchiness of the granola and the softness of the acai complemented each other, making each bite refreshing and not overly sweet. The ingredients were proportioned well so that you could get a little bit of everything in one spoonful.
The Avocado Toast on Sourdough — you can choose which bread you would like — offers two slices of toast. The textures of the avocado and the slightly toasted sourdough made each bite a delight. The chili flakes were the MVP, while also bringing vibrancy to the meal. The dish was very generous in its toppings; one piece of toast had eight slices of avocado, all layered nicely on top of each other.
Variety of Menu
Currently, the menu offers acai bowls, toast and beverages. The eatery provides maximum autonomy with its Build Your Own Bowl. Out of the acai bowls, Appalachian Trail Bowl is the most popular item; from the toasts, the Avocado Toast is the most-demanded item. These acai bowls are especially refreshing in the heat of the summer.
In response to the encroaching winter, the Purple Bowl is releasing new items on their menu in two weeks: soups.
Paula Gilland, the acting manager at The Purple Bowl, said Tova Boehm’s Short Winter Soups will be their supplier. The Purple Bowl will offer two soups per week; the first two additions will be Quinoa and Butternut Squash.
I have heard from some of my friends about the costliness of this eatery. I felt like my doubts were confirmed as I saw how small the Snack Size was — and it costs up to $7.
First-year Sarah Waugh explained the Snack Bowl was actually a good bargain.
“I don’t think it’s (The Snack Bowl) too small,” she said. “I got the regular bowl once and it was too much for me to eat and so, I think it’s better, if you don’t have a huge appetite, to get the Snack Bowl and it’ll be enough for you for a meal.”
The eatery has gone leaps and bounds to make the menu as affordable as possible, Gilland said.
“We actually spent a lot of time on this and it’s interesting,” she said. “Most acai bowls are more expensive than this and we went as low as we could with the quality we get."
Gilland said fair trade acai is expensive because the super fruit comes from Brazil. Other ingredients, such as hemp milk and granola, are high quality and therefore cost more. The bowls used by the eatery are compostable but come at the cost of 40 cents; providing healthy eating options is more expensive.
I have my speculations on whether it can be a filling meal, though I do have a voracious appetite. Three hours after I had my lunch, I was already hungry. I would recommend if you go with a friend to get the Snack Bowls and split a toast between the two of you.
The Purple Bowl marked my first experience of the popular Avocado Toast and Acai Bowl and I happily jump on the hype train.
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