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Locale Profile: Raw Power Juice Bar & Kitchen

rawMy weekends spent in Newport were once filled with beach days and nights in the arcade as a child (plastic ninja swords anyone!?), but now, as my rabble-rousing evenings have taken a more mature spin, late nights lend themselves to even later mornings and the all-too-common urge for a greasy, boozy brunch that might stave off the lingering headache.

But, because it’s the new year and I find myself burdened with glorious purpose from a newfound gym membership and a longing for cleaner eating, I recently was on the hunt not for Newport’s best breakfast burrito (an article for another day), but for the best smoothie! I’ve had a smoothie for breakfast almost every day for the past five years. I’m no amateur, but let me tell you — the skills of the folks over at Raw Power Juice Bar & Kitchen far surpass my own.

Located in Bellevue Plaza, right on Broadway, Raw Power is only slightly off the beaten path. Foot traffic wasn’t crazy (but hey, it’s almost peak winter). Though small enough to be called a hole-in-the-wall, it boasts a wide assortment of items on its menu.

Though the name implies specialty in raw power juices and smoothies, they also offer a handful of uber-healthy breakfast options like the Rainbow Fruit Bowl along with wraps, salads and rice bowls like the Aztec Warrior. For foodstuffs, one of the more popular items is their zucchini pasta, made by using a spiralizer. When you’re dowsing it with sauce and other goodness, who can really tell what their spaghetti is made out of anyway?

Though not technically raw (which means uncooked and unprocessed) and only mostly vegan, the menu does boast a slew of powerfully healthy delights. Most items are gluten-free, and there is no surcharge for gluten-free breading or wraps.

The physical space is bare but welcoming with mostly white walls and surfaces with wood-paneled trim (raw to the max). The seating is simple and straightforward, and the place looks like it could seat around 24 comfortably, maybe more if you smoosh. But the best part: There’s enough green plant-life throughout the store that the air quality seems noticeably crisp. Potted plants hang from the ceiling, sit on windowsills and linger around the dining area. It would be overwhelming if the atmosphere weren’t so welcoming.

In the kitchen, behind a counter but largely open for public viewing, the smoothie machines (you might call them blenders) are nothing short of a wondrous sight.

The real draw for a place like this comes in these tailored organic power juices and smoothies Raw Power has to offer, most of which are aimed and named with purposes like “Anti Aging,” “Digestion” or even “Hangover” (which, I’m sure you want to know, has carrot, apple, pear, orange, celery and ginger).

Though such juices were tempting, I opted for the “Muscle & Fitness” smoothie for obvious reasons and my plus one went with the “Ultimate Athlete.” They both had almost too many ingredients to name, but they included things like pure hemp protein, chia seeds and goji berries, top-notch smoothie ingredients that you will hardly spend the time or money to track down yourself. My protein-packed smoothie was served a bit warm, with almond milk being the only potential cold ingredient. I was confused at first, but it actually came to be quite pleasant. It was a dense and fulfilling smoothie, all frothy with enough panache to make me feel like I was drinking a warmed dessert. Almond butter really is a flavor like no other; along with the honey and cinnamon, it was the dominating flavor.

The “Ultimate Athlete” was a different beast altogether, with the healthiest fruits and veggies around mixed with a couple different seeds. The greens of spinach, kale and avocado duked it out with the sharp fruits of goji berry, lemon, apple and pear, with ginger sharpening the flavor profile and celery twanging up the mouthfeel of the thing. And sure enough, this one was served ice cold.

Though we didn’t stick around for other foods, a few Newport locals told me they really enjoy many of the menu items. So if you’ve got a hankering for some potent juices, smoothies or a generally healthy and delicious meal, check out Raw Power Juice Bar & Kitchen.