By Kelley Carlson
Open just four months, Del Mar’s superfood vitality bar is already drawing many customers seeking a super-healthy lifestyle.
In fact, it’s not unusual to see lines going out the door at
-- in the Albertson’s shopping center on Via de la Valle -- between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., according to owner Lisa Odenweller. People of all ages come for fare that promises long-term health benefits, from a menu concocted by Odenweller and a team of renowned raw food and holistic chefs: Simone Powers, Adina Niemerow, Matthew Kenney, Meredith Baird and Susan Sbicca. And the freshness provides further appeal, as everything is made on site -- from the almond milk and orange juice to the dressing and the flax crackers.
“We love playing with superfood,” Odenweller said. “Everything is created for a purpose.”
For example, there’s the Rockstar, a made-to-order smoothie that derives its bluish-green color from E3Live Blue Majik, an algae product that aids in muscle recovery and alleviates inflammation, among many other possible benefits. It’s blended with sprouted almond milk, coconut water, banana, Beaming Protein, coconut butter, date and vanilla. And then there’s the Sexy Mayan, a spicy chocolate concoction that contains maca to boost energy and libido.
There are even “Beaming Kids Tastebud Approved” items for the younger set, such as the Beaming Basic in vanilla or chocolate.
“As a parent, I feel really good about it,” Odenweller said.
Her own children formulated one of the beverages: Mom I Ate My Veggies! -- which also has fruit -- is filled with antioxidants, fiber, protein and vitamins.
Along with smoothies, bBar makes hydraulic cold-pressed juices that retain more vitamins and nutrients than produce squeezed in the standard juicer, and they last up to five days. A couple of them -- including the Skinny Cooler, with pineapple, cucumber, mint and jalapeño -- can double as cocktail mixers.
“We recognize that people play and have fun; why not do it healthy?” Odenweller said.
Furthermore, there are power tonics, such as the cold-and-flu-fighting Immunity Booster. Especially popular during the winter, it’s a potent mix of orange juice, oregano oil, ginger, cayenne, astragalus and elderberry.
Customers unsure of which smoothies or juices to order may request samples at the counter. While waiting for their selection, they can sit at a lime-green table on the patio; curl up on the couch underneath a TV that will eventually play videos touting the benefits of superfoods; or perch on a stool at the bar embellished with a beach-grass design.
Yet there are more than just beverages at bBar.
Need a snack? There’s the Beaming Protein Bite, much like a healthy cookie, but people eat them like candy -- it’s a compact combination of coconut flour, almond butter, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, Beaming Protein, lucuma, goji berries and coconut sugar.
For something a bit more substantial, bBar has a variety of raw foods, salads, bottled soups and quinoa that change daily. Among them are the Coconut Ceviche, a festively colored dish with coconut meat, finely diced cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red bell peppers and red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and Himalayan salt, all marinating in lime juice; and the cool and refreshing organic Thai Salad with almond Thai dressing.
For those in a hurry and in need of takeout, there are bento boxes complete with vegetables, Beaming flax chips, quinoa and Chipotle Bitchin’ Dipping Sauce.
And finally, for people who desire more than just a single healthy meal, bBar offers raw, organic, plant-based cleanses.
“They’re designed to work for you,” Odenweller emphasized, whether it’s to aid in weight loss, boost mental clarity, improve skin, discover possible food allergies, or to just feel better in general. BBar creates the base, and it’s up to the consumer to adapt it to his or her needs. There are one-, three- and four-day cleanse options, and customers can collect the fresh items daily at the superfood vitality bar. They can also pick up their products at the La Jolla Sports Club, and at Yoga Six in Carlsbad, Point Loma and eventually 4S Ranch.
A bridal cleanse will soon be introduced, Odenweller added.
The Del Mar location will be the flagship store, she noted, as bBar is set to expand throughout California -- specifically San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
FACT BOX -
bBar Superfood Vitality Bar
Address: 2683 Via de la Valle, Del Mar
The Vibe: Upbeat, Social, Health-Conscious
Signature Dishes: Beaming Protein Bites, Kale Salad
Open Since: 2012
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
Phone: (858) 481-1222
Patio Seating: Yes
Take Out: Yes
Happy Hour: No
Beaming Acai Bowl
• 1 package of frozen unsweetened, non-GMO acai - roots
• 3/4 cup freshly made almond milk or boxed almond milk
• 2 Tablespoons Beaming's Raw Superfood Plant Based Organic Protein Powder
• 1 Tablespoon coconut butter (available at bBar)
• 1/2 cup frozen banana
• 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
Blend in high-speed blender on high until smooth. Add favorite toppings, including berries, sliced banana, superfoods (if desired, such as cacao nibs, hemp seeds and/or coconut shreds) and a delicious granola*.
Drizzle honey over the top.
*Living Intentions organic raw sprouted gluten-free granola is our favorite (available at bBar).