South Block review

Healthy eatery specializing in açaí bowls, smoothies, and juices makes a successful splash at its newest McLean location

From left to right: Magic Dragon Bowl, Blue Glaze Shake, Nutella Bowl, and Avocado Toast.

South Block, a local juice bar and café, has opened its twelfth location in the DMV area this March. Committed to building healthier communities and providing fresh food for customers, South Block seems to have made a promising debut in the area so far.

Magic Dragon Bowl: 9/10

As a non-açaí option, the bright pink Magic Dragon Bowl combined a blend of organic pitaya, pineapple juice, strawberries, and mangos for a refreshingly citrusy treat. The contrast of the sweet goji berries and the tart pineapple toppings added a flavorful twist to the bowl while the scattered variety of pumpkin and sunflower seeds added a crunch to the layered textures. However, the blend turned out to be more watery than expected, lacking the thick creaminess of traditional açaí. Overall, the chilled temperature of the bowl made it the perfect tropical snack for a warm summer day.

Blue Glaze Shake: 3.5/10

Unfortunately, the dazzling aqua hue of this shake was not predictive of its disappointing taste. Not only was it rather bland, with no flavor being easily distinguishable except for the overwhelming banana taste, but the mixture also left a chalky aftertaste on the mouth. Additionally, the shake was on the more expensive end, standing at $10.95 for the 16 oz regular size. Although the blend was relatively filling, it would not be recommended to those who do not enjoy bitter beverages.

Nutella Bowl: 9/10

The chocolate lover’s dream, the Nutella Bowl, provided the perfect balance between fresh and sweet. The inclusion of the crispy, handmade granola with the strawberry and banana toppings created levels of flavor to the bowl, each with its own specific taste and consistency from creamy and sweet to crunchy and earthy. Moreover, the variance of temperatures from the warm Nutella criss crossed across the top to the frosty açaí buried at the bottom further worked to elevate the multiple dimensions of the bowl. The ratio of the coconut flakes, however, was deemed too much in comparison to the rest of the toppings, their abundance ruining the harmony among the ingredients. All in all, the Nutella Bowl found a healthier way to fulfill anyone’s cocoa cravings.

Avocado Toast: 7/10

Although the colorful presentation of the avocado toast created mouth-watering sensations, its taste was rather underwhelming. The texture of the avocado was that of a spread doused with olive oil, lacking the typical chunkiness of other avocado toasts. Moreover, the actual avocado seemed a bit sparse as well, having only thinly been layered on. Even though the selection of wheat bread matched well with the rest of the ingredients, it would have been better if it had been toasted longer, lacking both crispness and crunch. On the other hand, the seasoning was just right, the sprinkles of salt, pepper, and cheese among the other spices topped the toast off, adding to it the perfect amount of flavor. Despite the fact that the toast was quite savory, it didn’t make an impact, coming off as any regular recipe you could whip up at home.

While priced on the higher end for its items, South Block’s bright atmosphere, colorful interior, well-sized portions, and excellent customer service definitely make it worth a trip.