The best thing to happen to my work week recently has come in the form of fast food. But not the greasy, calorie ridden, drive-thru type. The healthy kind.
Eatsa is a new chain in California that offers quinoa-only vegetarian food, and I am obsessed.
The restaurant chain is run by Keenwawa, a new venture-backed Silicon Valley startup that wants to disrupt fast food by making it healthy, affordable, and accessible.
The menu consists of eight different items that use quinoa as a jumping off point for salads and flavored bowls such as curry or burrito. My favorite is the bento bowl: stir fry quinoa with egg, edamame, crispy wonton strips, teriyaki sauce, portabello mushroom and apple-cabbage slaw. Similar to a healthy fried-rice! Yum.
Since only us Californians are privy to this chain for now, let me take you through a typical ordering experience, because the experience is the coolest part.
You walk into the restaurant, which is a small open space. One one side of the room there are iPads with credit card readers, and on the other side there is a grid of gleaming “cubbies” under a giant LCD display.
You place an order on one of the iPads, swipe your card for payment, and wait to get your food from one of those cubbies on the other side.
When your food is ready, your name flashes on the large screen with the number of a cubby.
Double tap the glass display and the little door opens to revel your food.
Real human workers supposedly assemble the food out of sight. Though I like to imagine elves behind the cubbies adding in spices and flavors to my quinoa as Tinkerbell would fairy dust (but that’s just me).
It’s amazing how filling and delicious the quinoa is. After my first visit I hadn’t realized it was even vegetarian. The mushrooms were sautéed to perfection, and I ended up arguing with my coworkers on whether I ate beef or mushrooms.
So far there are only three Eatsa locations — two in San Francisco and one in L.A. Until they open more across the country, you’ll just have to make your quinoa bowls at home my friends. Sorry.
Although I hope you enjoyed hearing about the ~future~.