After going to Bare Bowls, I was introduced to the world of Acai. After that, I wondered if there was anything else like Bare. Then I heard about a place called Nekter, that also sells Acai Bowls. Knowing that both of these restaurants run down the same alley, I thought that it would be a good idea to compare the two.
Nekter is located in Mountain view at the relatively new shopping center(San Antonio Center). It’s easy to identify where Nekter is because the name is boldly shown as you drive down El Camino.
Right outside of the restaurant, is a nice shaded patio that you can enjoy your meal at(there are also tables inside). The actual Nektar restaurant is a small, fruity smelling, air-conditioned little place. I felt like I could stay in there forever, and relax in its cool environment. The vibrant colors of the fruits immediately jump to the eye. It’s refreshing to see the actual fruits that are used to make the food because it makes the place seem more natural.
Looking at the menu, I noticed that it was much more crowded than Bare’s. Not only were there a selection of Acai Bowls, but there were also Juices and Smoothies available as well. I also saw something called the Nekter cleanse. I asked one of the servers exactly what this was, and she described it to me as, “Basically each day [for five days] you get six juices, and each juice is different, so you start off with greens and then you end up with vanilla cashew milk, which is kind of like a dessert once you finish… you would drink one every two to three hours. It’s supposed to clear out all of the toxins from your body.” Unfortunately, these healthy sounding cleanses cannot be delivered to you, so you would have to pick them up at the restaurant. I found it cool to see how many different available options there were at Nekter.
Now the real test was to see if the quality of the food was just as good as the variety. I ordered the Acai Banana Berry Bowl and the Acai Tropical Bowl(which costed $7.95 each).
At Bare, the general wait time is usually around ten to fifteen minutes, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear my name being called to pick up my bowls only five minutes after I ordered.
I was excited to get my order so quickly, but when I took a first glance at the bowls, they visually disappointed me. They looked like plain bowls of cereal with fruit and coconut on top. If the fruit were laid out in more of a design rather than just plopping them on top, that would make them much more photo-worthy. Also, I find that seeing the vibrant popping color of the purplish-blue Acai base is what makes the bowls look really attractive, and covering the top with granola kind of takes away from its potential. Visually, Bare’s bowls look much more artsy than Nekter’s, so if you’re just going for the photo, I would recommend Bare.
I also noticed that the size of the bowls at Nekter were actually much bigger than Bare’s(and for a lower price too.
The Acai Banana Berry Bowl was just as refreshing as I hoped for it to be. The cool Acai base makes you want to sit and savor it forever. I was happy to taste the fresh fruit on top that screamed spring flavors. I noticed that the base was not actually all that flavorful though. I was expecting to taste more berry, but it tasted more like a smoothie that lacked a real punch to it. The granola on top of the bowl added a lot of sweetness, even a little too much for my liking. Comparing it to Bare’s granola, there is undoubtedly a quality difference. Bare’s tasted like real homemade granola whereas Nekter’s tasted more like cereal.
The Acai Tropical Bowl was similar to the Acai Berry Bowl, but the tropical bowl had a much sweeter and tangier taste to it, and there were coconut chips on top too. I personally enjoyed the Acai Berry Bowl more just because it tasted more refreshing overall.
From my experience, I concluded that Nekter is a good place to go for Acai Bowls if you are looking for a cheaper, more quickly made Acai Bowl. On the other hand, Bare is the place to go if you wanted more of a quality Acai bowl. Both restaurants make you feel ten times more refreshed than when you came in, and the environments are very vibrant and fun.