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Dining Out — Restaurant Roving: Picture yourself on a tropical beach

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Bright and colorful with a tropical beach theme and contemporary music playing in the background, Playa Bowls restaurants at first appear to be designed to draw teens and twentysomethings.

But the restaurants, which focus on a variety of healthful “bowl” combinations draw a variety of customers, says Leah Patterson, manager of the recently opened Playa Bowls in Newtown.

“We draw from all age groups and from a distance,” said Patterson. “People say they are so happy we are here.”

The Newtown store is the second for Bucks County; the first opened last year in Doylestown.

The first Playa Bowls store opened at the New Jersey Shore just six years ago. It was the brainchild of Jersey residents Robert Giuliani and Abby Taylor, who love surfing and the foods of surf towns they visited during vacations to places including Hawaii, California, Puerto Rico and Panama.

They set up their first pop-up stand in Belmar, using blenders and a small table while explaining the wonders of the acai berry, which they had discovered on their travels.

The Newtown and Doylestown locations are among the latest of the more than 80 stores the couple have opened or franchised.

The stores are known for the acai bowls, which has a base made of the highly nutritional berries. They are topped with a variety of ingredients, ranging from Nutella with granola, bananas, strawberries and coconut flakes, to the power bowl with chocolate protein, granola, banana and peanut butter.

Pitaya (dragon fruit) is the base of another group of bowls, while green bowls have a combination of kale, banana, pineapple and coconut milk as a base. Coconut bowls have coconut, banana and coconut milk as a base. They also offer banana bowls, chia pudding bowls and oatmeal bowls, which start with steel-cut organic oatmeal.

Other popular items are smoothies, juices and seasonal soups. The Doylestown store also offers a poke bowl.

All of the products and the containers they come in are chosen for their sustainability, and each bowl is custom made so that diners can add or subtract anything they don’t like.

All of the bowls feature some kind of “super” fruits; those include kiwi, coconut, mangoes, bananas, pineapple, blueberries, acai and pitaya.

Many of the customers who are finding their way to the Bucks County stores first discovered Playa Bowls at the Jersey shore, Patterson said, where there are more than a dozen stores.

Two other stores in the region are located in Flemington and Princeton, N.J.

PLAYA BOWLS (two locations)
Village at Newtown
2913 S. Eagle Road, Newtown
215-550-6472, playabowls.com
Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.

Also:
22 N. Main St., Doylestown
484-408-5209, playabowls.com
Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Cost:
Acai, pitaya, green, coconut, banana, pudding and oatmeal bowls $8-$11. Smoothies $6.99-$7.99. Juices $4.99-$6.99.

Customer favorites:
Pura Vida acai bowl topped with granola, fruit and honey; Nica banana bowl with granola, fruit, nuts cacao nibs and honey.

susan.yeske@gmail.com

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