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“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

Review: Nautical Bowls spot uses a health trend to masquerade tasty dessert

Dinky’s newest spot is a trendy smoothie bowl chain on the rise.
Nautical+Bowls+in+Dinytown+opened+Sept.+9.
Image by Griffin Jacobs
Nautical Bowls in Dinytown opened Sept. 9.

The health-conscious smoothie bowl trend seems unstoppable, and the opening of Nautical Bowls in Dinkytown only brings the University of Minnesota farther into the fold.

Nautical Bowls is a Minnesota-based chain, but according to their website, they are expanding rapidly with 85 locations across the country listed as “coming soon.”

Nautical Bowls supposedly serves food that feels genuinely refreshing – an idea that forms the core of Nautical Bowls’ identity. Nautical Bowls is first and foremost “a quick meal without compromising your healthy lifestyle,” according to their website.

The health theme pervades every aspect of the restaurant. A television playing a loop of healthy looking young people surfing, water skiing and playing on the beach greet Nautical Bowls’ guests upon entry, all with smoothie bowls in hand. Each surfboard-shaped table comes with a jar full of platitudes along the lines of “you’re stronger than you think” and “every day is an opportunity to improve.”

Laid out in ice-cream-like tubs, the bowl’s bases run the gamut of different sweet fruits. The set-up encourages quick scooping and makes the whole process efficient enough to meet the needs of a student on the go.

That is exactly what I was when I walked in on a Thursday afternoon looking for an invigorating pre-workout meal; I ordered the Big Island Bowl. It seemed to be a nice array of flavors, containing most of their bases, with dry granola and goji berries giving textural contrast.

The bowl came out looking delicious, the layers of colorful bases and fresh toppings made it supremely Instagram-worthy. Unfortunately, the overflow of the toppings made the bowl a bit messy and difficult to eat at first.

Once I was past those first few bites, however, it became a delightful eating experience. The combination of granola, chia pudding and dragon-fruit perfectly balanced creamy and crunchy textures. The fresh strawberries added some nice acidity and fresh flavor as well. I legitimately believed what I was eating was a healthy snack to fuel me for the rest of the day.

When I got down to the lower layers, that illusion started to crumble a bit. Once all of the crunchy toppings were gone, the bases themselves started to taste and feel overly sweet and rich. The blue majik, mango and coconut bases on their own felt more akin to something one would find in a frozen yogurt shop than from a place that touts the health benefits of their food.

On their own, the bases are quite sugary, even if a vast majority of their sugar is natural. I needed a refreshing boost and left feeling like I had just eaten a big dessert.

I would still recommend Nautical Bowls for their sweet array of flavors. However, I would take their website’s branding of a meal that “will FUEL you right, to FEEL right” with some reservations.

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