CAVA Offers Unique Healthy Option for Student

Let me set the scene. You enter the modern and welcoming environment of Cava, and the air smells of warm pita and spices. The person behind the counter greets you kindly and asks, “Bowl or pita roll?” He takes your order as you both make your way down the glass counter that displays the exotic Mediterranean food. Boom, a minute later you sit down with your plate of nutritious, fresh food.

I recently discovered Cava located in the Westlake area (3201 Bee Cave Rd) and I was immediately intrigued. Apparently, it was a Mediterranean food served Chipotle style … so was guacamole going to be extra? Would they even have guacamole? I set out to try the exotic foods and bust the possible misconceptions.

I discovered that it was truly a Mediterranean Chipotle. The server asked whether I wanted a bowl with greens or a pita roll; it would be the base of the meal. He then moved on to their interesting choices of dips. I choose the classic hummus and the extremely spicy harissa. Next was protein. They offer classic Greek meats as well as falafels and roasted seasonal vegetables (brussel sprouts, butternut squash, carrots and cauliflower). Also, they have final toppings as well as dressing. Now, this is where things got controversial. They did not, in fact, have guacamole, but all of their toppings are free … so it evens out really.

My order ended up as: brown basmati rice, hummus, harissa, falafel, roasted seasonal vegetables, carrots plus currants, tomato plus cucumber salad and cauliflower quinoa tabbouleh. Overall the process was super speedy and the man serving me was patient and even made recommendations.

The hummus was extremely creamy and the harissa dip was on the spicier side of things, but it adds a kick to the whole meal. The falafels were thick and very fulfilling, and the vegetables were well seasoned. Even the brussel sprouts were tasty. The carrots plus currants (a traditional dish in Mediterranean culture) were roasted to crispy perfection. The tomato and cucumber salad added a refreshing pop to the bowl, and the quinoa recommended by the server was excellent.

Overall the experience was great. Cava is a super-quick and convenient way to get a healthy meal. The location is perfect, and you can even sit outside and watch the traffic on Bee Caves. Although Cava’s prices are a bit more than Chipotle ($2-$4), Cava is a unique and healthy option. And Cava bowls also come with more food than a Chipotle bowl. Although the thought of exotic Mediterranean food may scare away some picky eaters, the options and flexibility should satisfy anyone trying to step out of their comfort zone. Cava’s warm welcoming environment (along with warm pita bread) and tasty food make it a viable option for students looking for a healthy and quick meal.