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The Early Word on Eatsa

“I really have no complaints — this is a fantastic lunch on-the-go option.”

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Eatsa [Photo: Official]
Eatsa bowl.
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

The tech-savvy quinoa eatery Eatsa landed in D.C. this fall at 1627 K St. NW and tacked on another (and bigger) location last month, spanning two floors at 1701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

The San Francisco-born brand boasts a sleek setup with a collection of clear "cubbies" displaying personalized graphics and popping out customized meals in about a minute.

Customers place orders off of iPad-equipped kiosks, which means servers and cashiers are cut from the equation. Mobile app ordering functionality (and a system that remembers customers' past orders) frees up even more time for the lunch hour — and the quick turnaround helps keep prices low ($6.95 for a quinoa bowl).

The plant-based and meatless concept centers dishes around fair trade quinoa; options include vegetarian salads, bento boxes and burrito bowls, with various toppings and dressings.

Read on to hear what the customers are saying about the fully automated experience.

The Grab and Go News: Yelper Kristen K. is “always so pressed for time during lunch and D.C. has few ‘affordable’ (less than $9) fresh salad/bowl options in the area. I placed my order ahead of time and when I arrived at Eatsa, my bowl was ready in a cubby with my name on it. All I had to do was double tap the cubby, grab my bowl, and I was good to go. In and out in less than 5 minutes.” [Yelp]

The Suggestions Box News: Yelper Danielle S. thinks the brand “should increase veggie limit for custom bowls. I was disappointed with stingy veggie quantity. You should also make substitutions easier on the app. For example, I don’t eat cheese or crispies. I would have preferred to substitute those ingredients with more veggies.” [Yelp]

The Pleasantly Surprised News: Yelper Anthony K. “did not expect the food to be that tasty and healthy at that price point ($6.95 for a bowl). Didn't realize that the menu was fully vegetarian until I was already inside but the food tasted amazing so I'll definitely be back!” [Yelp]

The Cheap AF News: Yelper Bob T.’s tab was “about $4 less than a similarly filling salad from Chopt.” Yelper Andrew P. says his burrito bowl, “served on a bed of delicious quinoa, was delicious, flavorful, and under $8. In the land of overpriced fast casual, (AKA Washington D.C.) Eatsa is a serious competitor.} [Yelp]

The Quick News Bite News: Facebook user Roxann Dzur had “a very cool experience. Everything is automated from ordering to meal delivery which is unique and adds to the fun. There are many bowl varieties from Mexican to Asian flavored. I had the Aloha bowl. It was good.” [Facebook]

The Crystal Ball News: Instagrammer @dffrntwrldtg asks, “is @eatsarestaurant the future of fast casual dining? The D.C. Location is killing the lunch rush right now. They're streamlined approach combined with the use of current tech makes them a stand out. @chipotle should prob take some notes.” [Instagram]