The Whole Bowl

Food Carts Portland

Location: Several Locations – SW 9th and Alder, 4409 SE Hawthorne, 1100 NW Glisan, and the Mo-Bowl (mobile) van.

Description: Sometimes simple things are the best things. Although I love food cart food as much as anyone else, let’s be honest, cart food can sometimes be a little bit on the heavy and greasy side. Sometimes all I want for lunch is something lighter and the Whole Bowl is my answer.

The Whole Bowl’s menu is genius – a paper bowl filled with tender brown rice and perfectly cooked red and black beans, topped with fresh sliced avocado, tangy red salsa, sliced mild black olives, a dollop of sour cream, grated cheddar and cilantro. The beans and rice are mixed together with their signature “Tali Sauce” to add needed zing and flavor. What’s Tali Sauce? The Whole Bowl describes it this way,

Referred to by many as “crack sauce”, this lemony-garlicky blend has been building local addictions in the Pearl, and now at the new Downtown location, for over 4 years. Sauce devotees have been known to experience a prolonged sense of well-being and tremendous relaxation upon consumption.

What it tastes like is a perfect light curry-  lemony and garlicky – and it keeps the rice and beans in the “Bowl” from falling into bland, boring granola hippie food territory. It’s healthy, fresh, fast and filling. This is cart food at its best, and is pure unique Portland in a bowl.

Sample Menu: Deciding what to eat here is easy as The Whole Bowl menu only offers three things: the Bambino Bowl (a filling 12oz bowl for $5.00) , the Whole Bowl (16oz for $5.50) and tortilla chips with salsa for (not sure, think they are $1.00?). A large variety of hot and other sauces can be added to your heart’s delight at the self serve condiment bar. Drinks include Hansen’s sodas by the can.

Hours: Most locations are open Mon-Fri 11 Am to mid-afternoon. Please call the Whole Bowl for details of each location.

Phone: 503-757-BOWL





  1. The bowl from this cart is absolutely and quite surprisingly addictive! Although the ingredients seem very simple and straight forwardly healthy: there is magic in the mix of chewy brown rice, soft black beans, a dollop of cheese, avocado, olives, and sour cream. The secret sauce, tucked into the middle of the bowl, sets it apart and above. Well worth seeking out.

  2. The whole bowl is tasty and is inexpensive, but the long line at lunch time is always a prohibitive factor. The trendiness of the place is a little excessive given the better places around.

  3. Does anyone know if you can get the bowl without the dairy?

  4. dieselboi says

    Yes, they can leave off the sour cream.


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