Vi­tal­ity Bowls fo­cused on healthy fare

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - by Colleen O’Con­nor, The Den­ver Post Colleen O’Con­nor: 303-954-1083, co­con­nor@den­ver­post.com or @co­con­nordp

Healthy eaters in Colorado now have a new place to check out. Vi­tal­ity Bowls, a “su­per­foods” cafe that launched in Cal­i­for­nia in 2011, will open its first restau­rant in Colorado on Fri­day.

“It took off in the (San Fran­cisco) Bay Area very quickly,” said co-owner

Venkata Pu­nati, a self-de­scribed “fit­ness freak” who hus­tled to bring the first fran­chise to Colorado.

The menu fea­tures about 15 types of açai (pro­nounced ah-sigh-ee) bowls served with­out fillers — no ar­ti­fi­cial preser­va­tives, high fruc­tose corn syrup, ice cream or frozen yo­gurt.

The açai berry, na­tive to Cen­tral and South Amer­ica, shows up in ev­ery­thing from en­ergy bowls (about $11) and detox bowls (about $12) to break­fast and dessert bowls, such as the Nutty Dessert Bowl ($6.99), which is a mix of or­ganic açai, co­conut milk, peanut but­ter, ba­nanas, and dark choco­late.

The Dragon Bowl (about $12) is a burst of dragon fruit, also known as pitaya — the ex­otic fruit from Cen­tral and South Amer­ica — plus mango juice, ba­nanas, rasp­ber­ries and pineap­ple.

There’s also a fresh juice bar at Vi­tal­ity Bowls, plus sal­ads, soups and panini sand­wiches that in­clude The Olympian ($5.99) with peanut but­ter on whole wheat with gra­nola, ba­nanas and honey.

2702 E. 3rd Ave. vi­tal­i­ty­bowls.com.

Cook­ing con­test

If you’ve watched lots of cook­ing com­pe­ti­tions on tele­vi­sion, and want to test your culi­nary chops, here’s an op­por­tu­nity.

Pub­lic tele­vi­sion’s Cre­ate chan­nel is launch­ing a na­tional con­test — the Cre­ate Cook­ing Chal­lenge — where home cooks and pro­fes­sional chefs com­pete for a spot on the show.

The con­test runs from Feb. 8 through Feb. 29.

You need to sub­mit on­line a short — two min­utes or less — video clip with your best culi­nary projects, recipes or tips.

The of­fi­cial rules are posted at CreateTV.com/ chal­lenge, and en­trants must be 18 years and older.

Judges will in­clude the Cre­ate staff and a panel of pub­lic tele­vi­sion chefs in­clud­ing Jac­ques Pepin, Chris Kim­ball of “Amer­ica’s Test Kitchen,” Sara

Moul­ton of “Sara’s Week­night Meals” and Chef Irie of “Taste the Is­lands with Chef Irie.”

Win­ners will be an­nounced on or about April 13.

Wurstkuche closes

Wurstkuche, the LosAngeles-based restau­rant that opened in down­town Den­ver in Fe­bru­ary, is now closed, ac­cord­ing to a man­ager at the Wurstkuche lo­ca­tion in Venice, Calif.

The own­ers, Tyler Wil­son and Joseph Pitruzzelli, opened the first Wurstkuche in Los An­ge­les in 2008 and ex­panded to Venice in 2011.

When they ex­panded to Den­ver, they bought the build­ing at 2036 Broad­way and opened Wurstkuche Den­ver, a 5,000-square­foot beer hall with a large out­door pa­tio.

This Novem­ber, an­other Ger­man beer hall — the Rhein Haus — opened in LoDo, a 13,000-square-foot space, with two boc­cie courts. It of­fers a wide va­ri­ety of Ger­man beers plus house-made pret­zels and sausages.

And restau­ra­teur Kevin Tay­lor plans to open a beer hall with a beer gar­den in the Stan­ley Mar­ket­place in Aurora when it opens late next year.

Th­ese have added to the lo­cal beer hall scene at places like Eu­clid Hall with its Ger­man-in­flu­enced menu.

More than 15 acai bowls, with lots of healthy top­pings, dom­i­nate the menu at Vi­tal­ity Bowls in Cherry Creek. Pro­vided by Vi­tal­ity Bowls

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