If you are looking for a well rounded healthy restaurant that appeals to everyone from vegans to meat lovers, we found the perfect spot. The Protein Bar recently opened near our office at 1953 N. Clybourn in Lincoln Park. Since we are all suckers for trying out the latest and greatest restaurants, we couldn’t resist taking a lunch trip to test it out. Currently there are nine locations around Chicago and two in the suburbs, but this newest location is right in our backyard.
We arrived at the restaurant not really knowing what to expect. The four of us all have different food preferences, so we were hopeful that all of our needs would be met. When we walked through the door we immediately got in the cue and grabbed a menu to study our choices. The line was long but moved very quickly, and there were smiling happy greeters along the way to help explain the menu and offer up some suggestions. And, although the place was packed, we did manage to get a great booth by the time we finished ordering. People move in and out fairly quickly so seating really isn’t a problem.
The Protein Bar is a fast casual restaurant with table service once you order your meal at the counter. Because we were checking out the restaurant for our residents, we all decided to order a different entrée so that we could compare notes and try out a variety of items. We might not have been as diverse as we wanted to be because three of us ordered a Bar-Rito: Green City Vegan, Buffalo and BBQ. The outlier in the group chose a Buffalo Salad from the Signature Salad section of the menu and topped it off with a Fruit Loop’s protein drink.
This Is What We Ordered
The Green City Vegan was a real stand out. It can be tricky to find tasty and creative vegan fare, especially in a fast casual restaurant. We found the Vegan Bar-Rito to be extremely flavorful with a spicy crunchy flavor from the from the toasted pepitas and the creamy Chia dressing. This is not just your typical salad in a wrap. Overall this was a very satisfying choice and left the vegan in the group with a bid grin and a full stomach.
Southwest Chicken Salad: The portion size was big, the salad was hearty and filling with ingredients like black beans, quinoa, and avocado. They mix the salads well so each bit has a little of everything
BBQ (grilled) Bar-rito: All-natural chicken, organic quinoa, shredded cheddar, house-made agave BBQ sauce, Super 6 Salad Mix wrapped in a whole-wheat flax tortilla, then grilled. It’s delicious, filling and only 570 calories!
Buffalo Chicken Bar-rito: My personal favorite is the buffalo bar-rito, which comes with grilled chicken, blue cheese, a vegan buffalo sauce, and quinoa. Delicious and good for you? Yes please. Spicy, savory, and easy to eat on the go. A must try if you make it here.
Not only was the food delicious, but we felt that the price was right. If value equal benefits divided by cost, we would have to say that they were all in line. The average tab per person was around $10 for an entre and drink. All in all we sum up The Protein Bar:
– Good Food
– Good Value
– Great Locations
– Accomodating – great staff and they deliver
The Protien Bar is definitely on our Keep List! We will be back again soon!
NOTE: PPM’s foodies are novice food critics who are just trying to find some good restaurants to recommend to our residents. We pay for all of our own meals, and only give you our honest opinions.