Meatless Monday: Acai Bowl at Zest

Anthony Dominic, Crave

It's easy to write off acai bowls as just another granola health-food trend, but I won't, and neither should you. These delicious, nutritionally dense meals make for a filling breakfast, lunch or dessert, and Zest Juice Co. is where you should go for your fix. Why? Because, this spring, owners Natalie Rusch and Jordan Helman ditched their premade bowls for a fun build-your-own option.

If you're not already on the acai bandwagon, here's the skinny: These dark-purple berries grow on acai palm trees, native to northern South America. At Zest, you'll find the fruit in puree form, where it's served in a bowl ($9) with any three of nine ingredients: granola, banana, strawberry, blueberry, cacao nibs, chia seeds, coconut flakes, peanut butter and almond butter. Extra add-ons are 50 cents each.

The puree is cool, runny and sweet, akin to a smoothie or a melted scoop of ice cream. I typically order mine with blueberry or banana, granola for added crunch and almond butter for a little nuttiness. The creamy, thicker butter contrasts nicely with the puree in every bite.

One of Zest's mini cold-press juices completes the meal. My favorite is the slightly tart The Lush ($5), made with pear, apple, kale and lemon. Zest also offers delivery for orders over $20.