Another trip to the States brought me back to Portland. Watching how much Vancouver’s food truck scene has grown in the last year, I wanted to check out the food trucks in Portland again to see how we differ from them. We went to the food truck pod at SW 9th Avenue and SW Alder Street as it has the largest collection of food trucks. As we were walking towards the area, we saw many people holding a bowl of something; our search led us to discover the Whole Bowl.
The concept of the Whole Bowl is simple. They only sell one item – a bowl of healthy concoction of brown rice, red and black beans, fresh avocado, salsa, black olives, sour cream, Tillamook cheddar, cilantro and Tali Sauce. Tali sauce is the Whole Bowl’s secret sauce. According to them, it’s a vegan, lemony-garlicky sauce. This is just brilliant! They can do all the prep work ahead of time, and on-site all they have to do is to assemble everything into a bowl.
As a customer you do have options: the Big Bowl or the Bambino (even bigger) Bowl. In fact, you can go as far as customizing your bowl by excluding or wanting more of certain items. You can also add $1 for a bag of Tortilla Chips. Because there were 4 of us, we ordered the Bambino Bowl (minus the olives) with a bag of Tortilla Chips to share. And we spiced it up with some Sriracha sauce.
There are two ways to eat the Whole Bowl. Just the bowl itself you would be eating it like a rice/salad bowl. With the tortilla chips, the bowl becomes your seven-layer dip. Either way, this is one tasty bowl! The rice was cooked right, beans were tender; the secretive Tali sauce is packed with flavours. Cilantro was fragrant; the fresh avocado, combined with the sour cream, gave this a creamier texture. It’s great on its own, and it’s even better as a dip. I do think you need a little bit of spice in this so Sriracha or regular hot sauce is recommended. For someone who doesn’t like Mexican food, I enjoyed every bite of this.
This may be a vegan, gluten-free bowl, but it has a lot of flavours. It’s not a bowl of bland, healthy stuff. Did I mention that the Big Bowl is $5 and the Bambino Bowl is just $5.50?! If we weren’t sharing the Bambino Bowl, the smaller bowl alone would’ve been more than enough as a meal for me. It’s healthy, tasty, and it’s definitely affordable. I wish Vancouver would carry something like this at this price point!
The Whole Bowl
SW 9th Avenue & SW Alder Street