The Whole Bowl

Update 3/13/2008: The Bambino Bowl is now $5 and the Large is $5.50

Times Visited: Many

The Whole Bowl is a food cart downtown that I often passed over because it seemed too simple and small of a meal for $5. However, the specific vegetarian menu and long line intrigued me enough to give it a shot.

It’s a simple menu: 1 item: the whole bowl; two sizes: 12 oz. and 16 oz. The Bowl consists of: signature Tali sauce, short-grain brown rice, red and black beans, salsa, black olives, avocado, cilantro, and the option of sour cream and cheese for the dairy lovers. The bowl is very simple and reminds me of Cafe Yumm – It’s an ordinary meal of beans and rice dressed up with a secret sauce. When I inquired about the ingredients I was told it was a lemon, garlic secret sauce, but it is vegan, wheat-free, and dairy-free.

I optioned for the 12 oz with a size of chips for $5.25. I was prepared to find a bit more food elsewhere because the bowl looked small. I was wrong. 12 oz. of beans and rice really fills you up. Overall, it was a great, simple, filling meal. my only complaint is the use of Pace salsa over a house-made or local product. With that being my only complaint, I think The Whole Bowl chain is a great place for a wholesome lunch. (WB)

Now that I’ve experienced The Whole Bowl, I feel silly for overlooking it for so long. Sometimes I just crave an outright nourishing meal and think of beans for lunch. Personally I’m not much of a burrito fan, so no Shelley’s Honkin’ Huge for me, and Blossoming Lotus‘ bowls are a bit far for an everyday lunch. The Whole Bowl’s uncomplicated cup of goodness really hit the spot, and the 12 oz. was absolutely satisfying. I had also purchased a side of chips, but they weren’t necessary. Scooping the mixture on a chip didn’t do that much for me, anyway. Word is that the sauce is addictive, while I enjoyed it, I didn’t quite think so, but now, one day later, I already want it slathered on brown rice, beans, avocado and olives for lunch again. (JD)

Bambino 12 oz. Bowl

july 2007 067

Rating: 4 out of 5
Hours: Monday – Friday 11am-3pm
Locations: SW 9th and Alder Portland, OR; 4409 SE Hawthorne;1100 NW Glisan Street

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11 responses to “The Whole Bowl

  1. oh, good, you tried the Whole Bowl! i need to go get me some now. i haven’t had it in awhile. don’t forget to mention the second location down on Hawthorne and 40th-something!

  2. Thanks for the reminder Mysterious K. There are actually a few more, including a Whole Bowl truck truck you can request to visit your event! Check out their website.

  3. Wow, no grains except rice? This is something I would eat. In fact, I wouldn’t mind some right now (was craving squishy beans at lunch, my new molars don’t like to chew food quite yet).

  4. It’s good, but I don’t like olives or avocado, so getting it vegan was a bit boring. I stick with Shelly’s garden burritos.

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  6. I was noticing in some reviews that you often ask about ingredients and get the reply “it’s vegan” I was wondering if you every specifically inquire about some hidden nonvegan ingredients such as white sugar?? Most nonvegans arent aware that these things are not always 100% vegan…
    Just curious how you deal with that aspect.

    P.S. Great site you have here its so extremely helpful for people who dont drive to know about where they are going before they embark!! Keep it up! :)

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