Açai bowls -- or blended smoothie bowls -- are the current foodie trend that is all over Instagram. Aesthetically pleasing and healthy, these bowls seem to increase in popularity by the day.
Ginger Juice and The Pit and The Peel are two of UR students' favorite spots in Richmond to get açai bowls. But which juice bar is better? This is where the rivalry lies.
Ginger Juice has three locations in Richmond, and one of them is on Three Chopt Road, which makes it convenient for UR students. The Pit and The Peel has four locations in the Richmond area. The Carytown location is the closest to the UR campus.
Ginger Juice has only five bowl options, and its “Gleaming Bowl” is a UR student favorite, said junior Sophia Bruce. The blend contains açai, almond milk, banana, strawberry and pineapple and is topped with granola, banana, almond butter, strawberry and coconut.
The Pit and The Peel offers eight bowl options. The “Beach Bowl” is another UR favorite, said sophomore Julia Eller. It contains açai, banana, mango, coconut, pineapple and coconut water. It is topped with strawberries, kiwi and coconut flakes, making it the perfect combination of savory and sweet.
Ginger Juice prices its bowls at $9, and The Pit and The Peel bowls cost $7.50, prices many UR students are willing to pay.
Sophomore Nora Geer said Ginger Juice took the cake between the two, partly because of the store's diverse selection.
“I like that all of their açai bowls are different from each other," Geer said. "I feel like with The Pit and The Peel, their bowls are kind of riffs on the same thing. I think Ginger Juice has been really thoughtful with their menu in creating different açai bowls that will cater to different people.”
Geer also said the location of Ginger Juice was very convenient, especially compared with the prospect of finding parking for The Pit and The Peel in Carytown.
Bruce is another Ginger Juice fanatic.
“Ginger Juice bowls just taste more flavorful," Bruce said. "Every time I go into Pit and Peel, I always feel a little unsatisfied with the bowl that I get. I just prefer Ginger Juice and the ingredients that they use and the different variety in the bowls that they have.”
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Bruce also said she that liked the "Greens Galore" bowl option that is available at Ginger Juice, which contains a blend of açai, coconut water, banana, kale, spinach, avocado and pineapple, and is topped with granola, banana, hemp seeds and pineapple.
But Eller, who is a loyal The Pit and The Peel client, disagreed. Eller said she is always willing to make the longer drive to Carytown when she's craving an açai bowl.
“I don’t love fruity bowls, and The Pit and The Peel has both fruity and non-fruity bases,” Eller said.
She said The Pit and The Peel had a greater variety of food options compared to Ginger Juice, and that prices at The Pit and The Peel are also more reasonable.
Senior Torey Walsh is another avid The Pit and The Peel supporter.
“I prefer Pit and Peel because they have a greater variety of bowls that I would deem to be a bit higher-quality than Ginger Juice,” Walsh said.
However, Walsh said she thought both places could improve on the wait time for their food.
And so, on the question of which juice bar really is better, it seems that the UR açai bowl enthusiasts are evenly split.
Contact lifestyle writer Morgan Tolan at email@example.com.
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