Friday, July 31, 2015

Zeke's Beans & Bowls, Norfolk, Virginia

I had eyed Zeke's Beans & Bowls more than a few times as I drove down Granby Street.  Finally, yesterday I had not one, but two opportunities to give it a whirl.  My husband and I decided to try Zeke's smoothies for lunch.  I went for something lighter, blueberry, strawberry, mango and honey.  Zeke's only adds a tad of soy milk, or almond milk upon request and ice so the smoothie is mostly fruit and nothing artificial.  My husband had the peanut butter, banana and honey smoothie and while I despise bananas or anything with that flavor, I did taste his for the good of the blog.  The banana was not the overpowering flavor as in some of the chain smoothies.  My mind immediately started working on a peanut butter smoothie variation sans banana...
The smoothies are what I would classify as a medium in size and run $8 before tax.  My husband was a tad shocked as our two smoothies plus tax were $19 and change.  I reiterated these are not mass-produced and this is not a chain (thankfully).  And hey, we didn't have to make it, no fancy mixer required!  Think the SNL skit with Sarah Silverman about the $600 mixer.
I had perused Zeke's menu and on my way home, decided I would try one of the bowls...and another smoothie.  Back and forth I went in trying to decide what food item to try first.  Finally, I settled on the Keali's Special Poke but with a great suggestion by Christine, who works there.  I had half tuna and half tofu versus all tuna.  I asked about the sizes, the small looks like a small soup container at a Chinese restaurant and the large looks like the small container at a Thai restaurant.  Being in the clean plate club, I went with the large.  Christine said I would have plenty (does she know how much I eat, I thought).  I also ordered a peanut butter, mango and honey smoothie.  She suggested mango as the best substitute for banana - it was a winner and just might be my favorite smoothie right now.  I have an answer to all of my anti-banana problems when ordering a smoothie. Before I just said 'throw yogurt in there instead of banana'.  Due to a similar consistency, mango works better overall.
I sat at the counter and talked with Christine about the Arts District and Zeke's.  She had a lot of good news to share about both.  Zeke's at the oceanfront has been around for about three years and I think it is a good fit for the Norfolk Arts District.  The decor is funky (vintage typewriter present!) with art, books on art, books on movies and things of that nature (right up my alley).  It is a small-medium sized space and very comfortable.  They have cucumber water 'on tap' at no charge - a real treat.  When my bowl and smoothie came out, I realized I had a ton of food.  The bowl looks deceivingly small but was pretty heavy.  When I sat down to eat, I realized just how much tuna and tofu I had.  That warrants the $16 price tag for the large.  Keali's Special has Sriracha and it is fairly spicy which I prefer but if you are afraid of spice, just ask them to go light on that - they seem very accommodating.  I probably did not need the smoothie but I am not sorry I had it and I was stuffed after the bowl...but not uncomfortable stuffed, more satisfied stuffed.  I did not ask for rice with my bowl but you can include that for $1 and it would be pretty hearty.  I am eager to try another Poke or the Kale Salad I saw come out to another customer.  It looked great with a bunch of avocado sitting on the top.
Zeke's will be seeing me again very soon.

Food - 5
Service - 5
Beverage - 4
Restrooms - N/A
Ambiance - 4

Zeke's Beans & Bowls
800 Granby St, Norfolk, VA 23510
(757) 963-5220 

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