Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Samba Rock Acai Cafe (Owner Comment) – 4/5 Stars

Samba Rock Acai Cafe
$$ Acai Bowls
291 Water St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

You were an empty acai cafe when I first met you. The Airton Senna, the acai mixed with peanut butter, is definitely the best acai bowl that I have ever tasted. Nothing can compare to it. I used to sit in this cafe back when I was going to UC Santa Cruz in 2009, eating this acai bowl when nobody else was here except for the one nice Brazilian woman who ran the shop. I wondered whether they would stay in business.

Now five years later on, you’ve got the world at your feet. Their delicious Airton Senna acai bowl still tastes like the peanut butter and jelly mouth-gasm mixed into a bowl with granola, strawberries and banana for the same price as it was 5 years ago – $7.50 (no tax) for a hefty regular-sized portion.

Unfortunately, everyone else loves this place too. And they do annoying phone orders, so smart people call up and basically cut ahead in line of everyone else who is waiting to order a bowl. The one cashier also takes phone orders, so whoever calls up gets their food order placed in front of everyone else who is waiting in line. I considered ‘cutting in line’ by calling in my order while waiting in line, because the cashier stops whatever she was doing to put in the phone order before taking another person in line. It’s pretty maddening because I gave myself 30 minutes to catch the 17 bus at Water and Ocean.

I had to wait 25 minutes. 25 MINUTES for an acai bowl. It was absolutely swarming with people. The five workers scrambling to make orders looked like Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory, working against a losing system. The conveyor belt was too fast and they were running out of room for places to put those paper receipts!

I had less than 5 MINUTES to eat this acai bowl at the bus stop at Water and Ocean. That wasn’t a problem though! I recommend coming here with at least an hour to kill because this place is way too popular now. Management, please nix phone orders, at least on busy weekends, as this place definitely does not have the capacity to smoothly carry them out.

Useful:Funny:Cool: 2


Comment from Vanessa W. of Samba Rock Acai Cafe
Business Owner

HA, Chris, you RULE, great review….!
But pleasekno that we’re ONIT w/the phone/togo orders, and we’re CONSTANTLY workingon making our systems better, but can only work on one new thing atatime!!! Sooo be ready because starting NEXTWK we will have a ‘togo’ line, and right NOW we are figuringout our systems for having a diff phone answerer than the one at the cash reg!!! We’ll C U nextime you’re in SANTA CRUZ, ORRRRRR when we’ve expanded to having some in LA!!!
ronw + Vanessa