If you are a professional bodybuilder, you won’t bat an eye the first time you walk into ProteinHouse. If you’re like the rest of us, you may need a moment to adjust to the surroundings. After all, how often does the woman taking your order behind the register look like she could bench press your entire body 25 times? 

ProteinHouse is located a little ways to the north, at the crossroads of Scottsdale Road and Mayo Blvd. Their mission is to “provide nutritious, all natural, quality recipes that promote both physical and mental wellness,” and nothing about the setup is subtle. The décor is clearly supposed to make the visitor feel like they just walked into their gym cafeteria, with jars of protein powder sitting on shelves and pictures of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger on the walls. 

However, any feelings of not belonging are quickly dispelled upon interacting with the staff. ProteinHouse caters to everyone, with friendly employees guiding customers through the menus. Which is great, since the menu is a lot to take in. 

There are over a dozen sections on the menu, with numerous meals and drinks in each section. For the morning people who jog before the sun comes up, breakfast is available, with breakfast sandwiches, bowls and coffee. But it is the protein pancakes that stand out, with options like the Chocolate Monster Pancakes, which gets you two whey protein chocolate chip pancakes covered with bananas, walnuts and sugar free chocolate protein sauce. 

For lunch, ProteinHouse offers dozens of salads, bowls, burgers and wraps to choose from. You can go plant-based or lean meat for the bowls. The Southwest is a lean bowl that would seem to appeal to a large portion of customers, filled with popular ingredients such as tomatoes, red peppers, low fat cheddar, black bean salsa and avocado, mixed together with tender bistro filet.  

The bowl that might be the hardest to resist is the Boss Bowl, which features double bison meat, tossed together with sweet potatoes, red onions, green onions, red peppers and jalapenos. Although everything comes together to make the bowl a standout, the star of the dish is the jalapeños. You definitely don’t get shorted, they taste very fresh and are spicy without completely overwhelming you. 

There are several ways to go with the burgers, which you can get featuring grilled chicken, seared ahi tuna, turkey and salmon. A fan favorite is the aptly named Muscle Builder. You need be hungry for this, as you’re going to be going up against two bison patties, low-fat cheddar and caramelized onions, with Canadian bacon being the surprising ingredient to bring it all together. Every burger can be made with a gluten-free bun for just an extra dollar. Visitors can supplement their meals with protein shakes and cold press juices. 

Arcadia residents are in luck, as ProteinHouse is planning to open a location near the corner of 32nd street and Indian School Road in the coming months. Whether you’re a serious bodybuilder or a curious passerby looking to give this a try, ProteinHouse is a place where you can think your meal is delicious and feel good about yourself when you’re finished.