What I found at … is a series that tests and vets intriguing store-bought foodie finds. It’s the wide-angle parallel to KaSnack attack!, our series reviewing made-in-Hawaii snacks.
What: Kirkland Signature Acai Bowl
Where: All Oahu Costco food courts
Q: Is this $5 acai bowl as good as what you'll find at a health bar?
In the last month or so, Costco rolled out a new food court item to Hawaii-area stores (I also have confirmed reports up and down the West Coast). Take a good look at the menu board.
Can't find it? Hint: it's on the right.
Oh, there it is! An acai bowl for $4.99? Sounds like yet another amazing Costco deal, right? Well, I had to see and taste for myself.
The acai bowl comes with a swirl of smooth acai soft serve (though not as tall as the poster suggests), fresh strawberry slices and whole blueberries, Kirkland Signature granola and banana chips. Coming in at a modest 330 calories, the acai bowl is one of the healthiest items on the menu. It's apparently 110 more calories than the fresh fruit smoothie, which has been around for ages, but I'd much rather have the crunchy bits.
I'm willing to bet the acai is sourced from Sambazon, one of the best-selling acai brands in Costco's freezer section. Although not as tart or pulpy (seedy?) as other acai bowls, its fine texture is pleasant and melts fast. The pops of blueberry and slightly sweet strawberries are good, but when it comes to the bananas, I feel I'm missing out. As much as I appreciate the crunch of banana chips, I want more granola crunchy and yearn for banana creamy.
Also missing are a host of other typical toppings like honey, chia seeds, bee pollen and coconut strips. But you already know that adding these would make this acai bowl 11 million dollars like the ones you find at health bars. So if you want to keep the cost down, bring your own or learn to love it plain!
A: Nah! But...
For $5, there are worse things you could get. A $5 acai bowl is a steal and if you're inclined to like your health and the taste of these tart berries from South America, this is the deal for you! I'm bringing honey and extra granola on my next visit.