Love Belizean

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Love Belizean

Love Belizean

Location: SW 6th and Columbia
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-4pm

The Story: Someone asked me once if we had any Salvadoran vendors. Luckily I was able to recommend a vendor. It got me thinking about our vendors from Central America and there are only a few. Love Belizean downtown is here to bring the flavors of Belize to us.

Belize is located on the northern cost of Central America, but is also considered to have Caribbean influences both in the culture and cuisine. I’ve never visited, yet friends rave about both the beaches and the jungles. Tiffany Love is the power behind this cart and has put together what appears at first glance to be a simple menu of chicken and rice dishes. But this isn’t your standard chicken nor standard rice. The roasted chicken is also stewed, creating a moist and juicy dish which mixes well with the dirty rice and beans. The dish is served with a side salsa along with a generous portion of arugula. Fork up a few leaves of arugula and then attack the chicken. The bitter greens mixed with the zesty chicken was beautiful. Love Belizean offers a full range of hot sauces to pair with your dish, so go for it – make it hot.

Love Belizean adds a new flavor to the food cart scene downtown. Drop on by for their chicken or maybe some pineapple upside-down cake and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Single Chicken Plate – $6
  • Double Chicken Plate – $8
  • Stewed Beans and Rice (vegan) – $6
  • Braised Roasted red Pepper and Onion Tri-Tip Plate – $9
  • Pineapple Upside Down Cake – $1.50

Facebook: Love Belizean

The Mighty Bowl

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The Mighty Bowl

The Mighty Bowl

Location: Vancouver, WA – check TheMightyBowl.com for current location
Hours: lunchtime, Mon-Fri

The Story:

Took a field trip north to visit a new food truck roaming the streets of Vancouver. Serving up tasty rice and bean bowls, The Mighty Bowl has captured the eater’s hearts as displayed by the line at 1pm.

The Mighty Bowl is the first food truck to roam the streets of Vancouver, a city that has not followed Portland’s model of food carts and is known for some challenging regulations. Owner Steve Valenta, his wife, Sherilee, and their longtime friend, Kevin DeGraw banded together to design and build one good looking truck and work through the city’s regulations. With the simple idea of healthy rice and bean bowls, they’ve been serving regularly at multiple locations since spring.

Rice bowls for me date back a decade or more. Over the years, I’ve eaten my share of bowls and keep coming back. At The Mighty Bowl, there are different options to add dynamic flavor, but the dish is simply brown rice, black beans, cheddar cheese, olives, salsa, avocado, sour cream, cilantro and sauce. If you do all those single ingredients well with a killer sauce, you create an awesomely healthy dish. The Kiggins bowl comes with spicy chipotle sauce generously distributed throughout so you don’t spill trying to mix it all together. While there was spice to the sauce, the smokiness of the chipotle was the most memorable. Every bite, every spoonful included at least four of the ingredients making the entire meal an enjoyable eating event. All dishes are gluten free and some are nut and egg free in addition.

The Mighty Bowl is one of those food trucks you see on TV with an amazing wrap presenting their logo. Downtown Vancouver isn’t that large, so if you’re driving around, you may happen upon them one day. Or, if you want to seek them out, they post their daily schedule on their website – TheMightyBowl.com. If you live and work in Vancouver, you should venture out and enjoy one of their bowls or wraps. If you’re in Portland, take a field trip north, it isn’t too far away. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

Regular bowl, $6; Large, $6.50 and all bowls can be made into wraps for $7.25

  • Mighty Bowl – brown rice, black beans, avocado, cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, olives, salsa with a tangy house sauce
  • Kiggins Bowl – spicy chipotle sauce
  • Peanut Bowl – peanut sauce

Website: TheMightyBowl.com
Twitter: @Mightybowl
Facebook: The Mighty Bowl

Chilango

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Chilango

Chilango

Location: SW 4th and Hall
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30am-7pm

The Story:

When one cart departs, someone is always there, ready to repaint and relaunch as something new. Chilango is one of the newest faces on SW 4th at the PSU pod.

When I visited the other day, it took me a few minutes of reviewing the menu to realize this cart served Mexican food. Normally, the first items on the menus are tacos and burritos. At Chilango, it is bowls. After ordering my lunch from Veronica, I asked what Chilango meant and she told me it was a boy from Mexico City and then pointed at Caesar who was making my lunch and said – him!

Chilango Bowl Taco

Chilango Bowl Taco

At Chilango, you can get soft tacos and burritos, vegetarian fare and other traditional Mexican food, but what caught my eye was the Chilango Bowl. Your choice of meat served with beans, rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, cotija cheese and handmade masa tortillas. What I pictured in my mind paled in comparison to what they served. A large portion of beans and rice covered with chicken tinga (my meat choice), a few large spoonfuls of fresh guacamole and pico. Chicken tinga is shredded chicken breast stewed with tomatoes and onions. The tortillas were amazingly fresh and putting it all together into a small little taco was a treat. The guacamole, made fresh that morning, had a hint of lemon that when paired with a bit of chicken and black bean was amazing. A very large portion, more than enough for a hearty lunch.

The bright red cart that looks like a small cabin is welcoming – especially with Veronica and Caesar there with their big smiles and wonderful food. They have an extensive vegetarian and vegan menu using tempe. Head on down if you haven’t visited the pod in awhile and give it a try. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Chilango Bowl – choice of grilled chicken, asada, ground beef, carnitas or chicken tinga with black or pinto beans, rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, cotija cheese and corn tortillas – $6
  • Burrito – choice of meat with black or pinto beans, rice, lettuce, cheese, onions and cilantro – flour tortilla – $6
  • Soft Taco – corn tortilla with choice of meat with onion and cilantro – $2
  • Vegetarian Chilango Bowl – black or pinto beans, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, cotija cheese and 3 corn tortillas – $5.50
  • Tempe Chilango Bowl – black or pinto beans, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, corn tortillas and tempe – $6
  • Breakfast Burrito – eggs, potatoes, black or pinto beans, cheese, pico de gallo – $4.50

Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime
Phone: 503 218 3352 (text to go orders)
Resources: Debit/Credit Carts accepted

The Whole Bowl

Lizzy Caston

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

Website: www.thewholebowl.com

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