You know that feeling when you stroll down the counter at Chipotle, giddily building a burrito bowl just the way you like it? How about that excitement of being dedicated to your health, and picking up fresh fruits and booster shots to curate the perfect smoothie for your mood at Jamba Juice?
At Elixir Superfood & Juice, you can have both experiences in one – with even fresher, even healthier ingredients. It’s been brought to Reno by Karla and Charles Perry, the couple behind the Elixir brand, which started in Mammoth Lakes. Reno is the second location coming from the original owners, but the Perrys have franchise options available, meaning we may see more locations in the future.
When you come in, say goodbye to meat and cheese and hello to bright orange cubes of tender sweet potato, vibrant yellow kernels of corn and brightly hued purple pickled onions. The food display at Elixir offers a rainbow of fresh ingredients at your disposal for creating a healthful lunch. And if the choices feel overwhelming, quickly running up your tab at .75 cents apiece, you can opt for one of the signature menu items instead.
There are several components to ordering lunch—or breakfast, or dinner—at Elixir. The heartiest menu items are the bowls and salads. The grain bowls start with warm quinoa or brown rice before layers of proteins, vegetables, fruits, seeds and other ingredients are layered on top for a gorgeous and delicious display.
The salads are made with an array of greens available in the glass display fridge. Whether you’d like crisp romaine, hearty kale or flavorful spinach, you have options when it comes to your base. Then you’ll be able to add on all of the extras that catch your eye.
In general, the food is made to fit even the strictest of diets. The clean-eating protocol at Elixir includes a 100% naturally gluten-free kitchen, organic whole foods and no GMOs, refined sugars or preservatives. Many menu items are also vegetarian or vegan, with some paleo choices as well.
And the ambiance inside seems to match the mission in the kitchen. Bright, light and airy, Elixir feels like a place where wellness is prioritized.
This restaurant is new, settled into a small strip of businesses on California Avenue (it’s actually an old FedEx location). In fact, it’s so new that when we visited, workers were still hanging the cute knife-and-fork Elixir sign on the side of the building.
On our inaugural visit, it was the Patagonia bowl that caught my eye first. Started with warm quinoa served out of an oversized stainless-steel pot, and loaded with sweet potato, black beans, carrots and tomatoes, creating a medley of color before ripe avocado slices and a rich chimichurri sauce were added.
A slight variation, swapping out the tomatoes and carrots for jalapeños and pumpkin seeds, the Nourish Bowl is finished with a green tahini dressing instead. There are also bowls with Thai flavors, an Ahi poke bowl, a meatless teriyaki bowl and more.
The salads bring the same energy as the grain bowls. The Thai kale salad is a standout amongst the more traditional Greek and Caesars, made with shredded carrots, purple cabbage, red bell peppers, radishes, cilantro, cashews and a spicy peanut vinaigrette. As staff load up your bowl starting from the right and working their way left to the check-out counter, it feels like the ingredients just keep coming—because they do.
The bowls, however, are only part of the business model. There are also hot coffee drinks, cold pressed juices, smoothies and wellness shots. From the watermelon cooler (watermelon, mint, lime) pressed juice to the maca mont chip (almond milk, banana, spinach, mint, maca, almond butter, coconut butter, dates, cacao nibs), the freshness carries over to every corner of the menu.
While one-off lunches are the most notable part of the business model, there are also detox programs and the opportunity to stock up on juices and shots to stock your fridge.