Small Whole Bowl, $5.00
Ok, I get it, we are in an economic crisis. Apparently that means all of Portland is cutting costs as both business owners and consumers and only eating out of these things called, “carts;” which are these fake little restaurants that sit in random places around town and somehow the little people inside of these “carts” are able to make all this really good food. I don’t know how it’s done and kind of don’t believe that these places aren’t illegally preparing food in their homes and selling from these two wheeler cars. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all against food carts, I’m just a little apprehensive to know what’s really going on in there.
I’ve been hearing all about this place called the Whole Bowl. When I hear the word “whole” I think of Whole Foods, which also makes me think of whole wheat, which makes me think of really bland food and then I start thinking about those really healthy crackers that taste like cardboard. So you can imagine why I put off trying this place. Then I heard it was in a “cart” and I really felt hesitant about trying cardboard that someone cooked at home and brought into a motorless vehicle.
Long story short, I decided to try it and found out they had a small cartless version of the restaurant up on Hawthorne, past all the people and places that make Hawthorne so annoying. In a quaint little alcove on 44th and Hawthorne sits a very small shop. The bowl was whole alright and wonderfully flavorful with layer after layer of fresh brown rice in a special secret sauce, red and black beans, melted cheddar cheese, olives, avocado, salsa and a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of cilantro. This crammed pack bowl of protein was healthy and yet flavorful enough to eat on a regular basis. I also love the simplicity of their concept: one thing to order, no big decisions. Big bowl or small bowl. I was shocked to see yellow colored rice—however, it didn’t taste at all like curry.
I can see why workers around Portland are flocking to this place and why waiting in a long line is ever so worth it when you get to go back to work with such a happy stomach. Plus, for $5, you can’t get a better deal. If only I could figure out what their secret “Tali” sauce is made of . . . any ideas?