Location: N Mississippi at Skidmore in Mississippi Marketplace
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-3pm
Changing of the guard happens every so often at the carts. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m happy to report that Native Bowl has new owners and will continue to serve the quality and flavorful bowls we have come to expect. Mmm, BBQ Soy curls for the win! Suzzette and Ted Easton who live in the neighborhood and own and operate the Akemi Salon on Williams took over the cart in November of 2013 after working with Jay and Julie to master the menu. The bowls are the same, but expect some new items to hit the menu in the future. Welcome to the food cart world Suzzette and Ted!
Our original article about Native Bowl:
When we were over at Mississippi Marketplace showing an out of town guest the carts, we decided to grab one of the dishes from Native Bowl, another vegan cart in the pod. The dish had what they called “crack gravy” a gravy so good, you’ll get addicted to it like crack. I only got a couple of bites, but it was enough for me to return the following day and meet the owners and try one of their bowls.
Native Bowl is another brand new cart in the pod. The owners Jay and Julie have been open for about 4 weeks and are fully vegan. Jay relayed a story that one day their 8yr old son came home and asked if they could try vegan and it went from there. The Native Bowl specializes in what we would traditionally call rice bowls. A layer of rice (in this case, jasmine rice), then some sauce, some protein like marinated tofu topped with veggies. Pretty simple concept, but if you prepare each item very well, you come out with an amazing dish.
I chose the Couch Bowl (pronounced cooch) per the owner’s recommendation. I’ll be the first to take someone’s advice, keeps me from hand wringing over all the choices. While they prepared it, I walked over to PROST!, the German pub in the lot, grabbed a table and ordered a beer. Before I knew it, Julie was actually bringing me my bowl. I don’t think this is standard, but what a great gesture. Upon opening the bowl, I was overwhelmed with the bright colors and savory aromas. The top of the bowl was a mixture of freshly chopped green onions topped with a savory sauce and sesame seeds. Just below the onions were bean sprouts, some mixed greens, chopped carrots and then marinated tofu and the rice. I’m the eater who prefers to mix everything together so you don’t end up with one single item at the end of the meal, yet this bowl was a mix of amazing flavors from top to bottom. The sauce had some spice to it also, something I didn’t expect but was glad was there.
The Native Bowl is another great addition to the Mississippi Marketplace pod. Jay and Julie are kind and welcoming to everyone who walks by. If you’re up in North Portland and need a great dish, check out Native Bowl and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Bowls are all vegan, $6.50
- Mississippi Bowl – peppercorn ranch sauce, BBQ soy curls, house coleslaw, scallions, and jasmine rice
- Couch Bowl – seasoned tofu, sesame bean sprouts, Kochujang sweet and sour sauce, jasmine rice, lettuce, carrots, scallions and sesame seeds
- Alberta Bowl – seasoned tofu, house-made fire-breathing dragon sauce, jasmine rice, shredded cabbage, carrots and scallions