A fully loaded Chipotle steak burrito contains more than 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat. And that’s before you add a fountain soda or a side of chips and guacamole. Protein Bar, which opened its first Washington-area location in Penn Quarter at the end of August, aims to give the lunchtime crowd a more healthful alternative with its Bar-ritos, which contain half the fat and less than half the calories.
To help get the numbers down, all 11 burrito options use quinoa, the protein-packed grain, instead of rice. The Protein Bar does away with add-ons such as sour cream and pepper jack cheese. Its most popular offering, the Buffalo ($7.99), is moist and flavorful, combining quinoa with shredded chicken prepped with a slightly sweet house-made barbecue sauce, then topped with greens. Like everything else on the menu, it is made to order but takes only a few minutes to prepare.