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‘Protein Bar’ Coming Soon to Ballston

by Katie Pyzyk May 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm 9,564 36 Comments

A restaurant putting its attention on healthy food will be coming to Ballston. The Chicago chain Protein Bar is branching out and planning locations in Arlington and D.C.

Signs are up on the ground floor of the building under construction at 800 N. Glebe Road, but there’s not much visible progress on the site yet.

Protein Bar’s website says the mission is to “provide active, on-the-go people with healthy, flavorful choices while having a positive impact on everyone we meet and in everything we do.”

The strong focus on health comes through on the menu, where nutritional information for each dish is clearly listed. Everything on the menu is less than 600 calories.

Many of the dishes include quinoa instead of rice, such as the restaurant’s signature “Bar-ritos,” which are also made with low calorie wheat wraps. Protein Bar claims the quinoa makes their burritos have half the calories of most others. There are also salads, chilis and blended drinks.

On its website, Protein Bar says it expects to open in Ballston “later in the summer.”

  • i thought ballston already has a “protein bar” called carpool? so many dudes swapping protein w/ each other over there.

    • nunya


    • Cross(mis)fit

      Dude, would you like to try some of my Muscle Milk, brah?

  • nunya

    looks pretty good. love quinoa

  • Allie

    I’m genuinely pumped about this place. Really excited for it to open and get my quinoa burrito on.

  • YTK


  • novasteve

    I will not be consuming their “mayonnaise”

  • novasteve

    I was just thinking, should that Bronx Pizza ever open, why dont’ they just make cupcakes shaped like pizzas? That might do well.

  • Tabs

    Denver Bar-rito
    Fluffy scrambled eggs, spinach, broccoli, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onion 325 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 887 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrates, 14 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 33 g protein

    887 mg sodium?! How?! Are they dumping the contents of a salt shaker in there?

    • novasteve

      That’s nothing, even seen how much sodium there is in soup?

      Each time I have pho 75 I must be getting a week’s worth of sodium.

      • Tabs

        Hmm, I’m pholorn to hear that.

        I do avoid soup and chili I don’t make myself for the same reason.

    • JohnB2

      Maybe one or more of the ingredients are canned? Cheese has a bit of salt but probably not enough to account for 887 mg sodium alone.

      • John Andre

        And…why do they keep stuffing all that sodium junk into meals anyway? It’s been long proven…we don’t need it. Partial to complete replacement with potassium, magnesium & calcium would be far preferable, and should maintain taste!

    • WestoverPam

      Welcome to heart disease.

      • John Andre

        Please see my post below…next thing they’ll get is a Red Robin!

    • RosslynM

      They are probably using powedered eggs.

      • nerf

        I blame Arlington’s hen restrictions.

    • General Zod

      Seasons 52 has this same sort of gimmick… they say “nothing on our menu is over 475 calories.” What they don’t tell you is most items on the menu are loaded with tons of sodium.


  • So Dumb

    This is such a dumb idea. Your body can only handle so much protein. Unless you are a strict vegan, you’re probably getting too much. Also, rice and wheat have protein. (You don’t have to be consuming every single amino acid in every bite for it to count.)

    • jerry

      amino what

    • NotReally

      Sounds like a great ideat to me.
      First, there are a lot of people in the DC metro area (and specifically in Ballston with 2 gyms and a crossfit) who need extra protein. People who workout generally need more protein, so good idea.
      Second, its really just a tradeoff – high fat food for high protein food. instead of McDonalds, go here and get something leaner to eat. Its a good marketing scheme to get people to eat leaner food, so good idea.
      I suspect you are not an active person who cares about eating healthy.

      • Southeast Jerome

        or you could just drink a protein shake.

        or you could swallow 2 raw eggs like Rocky.

      • Sorry

        Sorry I’m only now responding; I was working out.

        Any excess protein is excreted in the urine. (Protein is not energy; calories are energy.)

        No one is advocating McDonald’s. There are other choices.

  • mick way

    There’s no such thing as a protein-deprived american.

    Wow look at the sodium across the board in the bar-ritos. 45% to about 75% of the 2,400mg daily.

  • Mike

    Sounds douchetastic!

  • karzai

    Heck with this thing.. when is the Red Parrot going to be ready? We need a good Asian fusion place on this strip. I had sought to persuade Raku to open a branch in Clarendon, but to no avail…

    • drax.

      So rude of them not to tell you when they’re opening.

      • karzai

        So rude of you to reply to my comment. Go draw a mural on the side of Sam’s Corner, why don’t you?

  • John Andre

    Does this mean it’s a primarily-meat restaurant? May not do well in today’s vegetarian to vegan oriented climate. Let’s hope we don’t get a Red Robin…their burgers look like REAL heart attack initiators!

    Ballston Mall Food Court REALLY needs a buffet like the old “Market to Market”. Don’t know why they and the old pizza place stay closed…it’s been years since we could get anything other than the old fast-food standbys down there. Even a Ci Ci’s would look good now. Too much carnivore stuff…not enough health food.

    • ArlChick

      They have many vegan options listed on their menu.

  • KalashniKEV

    Coming soon to the 4th floor Macy’s Men’s changing room in Pentagon City- Protein Shot.

    • L. Craig

      See you there!

  • ArlChick

    I’m excited about this place. I’m tired of seeing yogurt and cupcake places popping up.

  • CW

    Only 3 blocks from the CrossFit box, bro. Coulda put it closer to Gold’s for a bigger audience though.

  • VF

    OK, so it’s December 4th and the Protein Bar is still not open. Permit troubles perhaps? There are many fattening wing/beer restaurants opening up around here. We need healthy!


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