Give Me Health

Can Vibrant Cure a Weekday Warrior's Sluggishness?

The new Montrose restaurant promises body-friendly dishes. So, how friendly are we talking?

By Timothy Malcolm September 11, 2018

Golden (but also brown) bone broth soup isn't very colorful or pretty, so here's Vibrant's greens-and-grain bowl.

Coming off a busy weekend where I played single parent, I felt sluggish and a little sickly. As lunch neared, I craved a restorative bowl of soup. Well look here: We now have Vibrant, the new health-forward concept at 1931 Fairview St. in Montrose.

I don’t do detoxes, especially now that my job is to, well, eat all the things. Still, I’m glad to see new options in the marketplace that are designed to make me feel better. Thank you for that.

Created by Kelly Barnhart and opening its big ol’ heavy doors about three weeks ago, Vibrant will thrive off the desires of customers seeking healthy options in an everyday setting. It touts a fully gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free menu with all-day breakfast, and a lunch that starts at 11 a.m.

I arrived at peak lunch, stood in line for about five minutes, then ordered a bowl of golden bone broth soup. I was glad to see that Vibrant wasn’t shying away from a dish that seemed to hit its acme in 2016 despite its controversial reputation as—as bone broth titan Marco Canora, referring to criticisms of it, once called it—“meat-flavored water.” It takes moxie to stay with such a perceived hipster fad.

My first impression: a lot of coconut and ginger. Coconut cream is here for depth, I assume, while the ginger adds a bitter bite and, I’m sure, a restorative element. I love coconut and ginger, but I probably could’ve used a little less of each. There's even turmeric in here, which is garlic-adjacent and only adds to that bite.

I tasted everything in the bowl, however, including lemon and carrots, and shredded chicken that could’ve been cooked a minute shorter. Still, I lapped up the abundant broth. The dish needs a few tweaks, but otherwise, it was pleasant.

Even better was the ACV Tonic: apple cider vinegar, water, ginger, turmeric, lemon, and honey. I could’ve added collagen peptides or marine collagen, but then I’m basically having another serving of bone broth. The nurturing warm tonic gently mixed summer citrus and a fall zing, though the $4 tag for the relatively small cup knocks it a bit.

Did I feel better after my $15 meal? I thought Vibrant was a nice alternative to the heavy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners I’ve been enjoying lately, so in that sense, yes, absolutely. But I suppose I could’ve used some of that tonic to-go, in a larger cup, but not for any more than that Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee that screws up my metabolism. Is that possible? Tell me it is, Vibrant.

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