Protein Bar is one of the fastest growing local restaurant chains in Chicago. Started by Matt Matros back in 2009, he came up with the concept after leaving the corporate world and losing a significant amount of weight by subscribing to a high protein diet. With expansion planned for more cities in the US, Protein Bar is looking to be on the up and up.
Serving breakfast and lunch, the majority of the menu items have quinoa as the main ingredient. A known superfood, quinoa provides a high protein, gluten free base for breakfast bowls, bar-ritos, lunch bowls and salads. Most of the menu items are leas than 600 calories, and are made with high quality ingredients. Also on the menu are smoothies with a variety of “boost’ available to add, and fresh juice blends.
I recently was running late to work, and didn’t have time to grab breakfast as I was heading out the door. I had always wanted to try a breakfast bowl, so I got off a stop early and popped into the newest Protein Bar location on State and Lake in the Loop. I order a Almond Berry Bowl with almond milk, and was not disappointed. The quinoa was flavored with a cinnamon spice mix, and topped with fresh raspberries and apples. It had the right amount of sweetness, but I wish there had just been a bit more almond milk. For some odd reason, I really like my oatmeal and quinoa (when I eat it for breakfast) swimming in milk. It’s my thing, take it or leave it.
For lunch I am always a fan of the lunch bowls, but recently decided to try out one of their salads. I went for the Super Vegan, which is a mix of greens, pepitas, broccoli, cauliflower, garbanzo beans, and tofu (which I have been known to add in chicken instead, making it not-so-vegan). The real star of this salad is the dressing, which is a creamy Chia Seed dressing, that I am dying to replicate at home.
What is your favorite thing to order at Protein Bar? Let us know!