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The Whole Bowl

The Whole Bowl is one of my favorite food carts in Portland. Today, I went to the one on NW 11th and Glisan in the Pearl District, but there are Whole Bowl carts in two other locations: 4411 SE Hawthorne (which has indoor seating) and SW 9th and Alder.

Described on their website as "eating a hug," the Whole Bowl has two menu options: Bambino Bowl and Big Bowl. One is $5, the other is $5.50. Even though it only costs 50 cents more for the larger size, I consistently find myself unable to even eat the whole Bambino Bowl. Inside the bowl of deliciousness, you can find brown rice, red and black beans, fresh avocado, salsa, black olives, sour cream, Tillamook cheddar cheese, cilantro and Tali Sauce.

What is Tali Sauce you ask? The first time I went, I was a little ambiguous about the Tali Sauce, primarily because I had never heard of it, but also because it is very yellow. While I still do not know the exact ingredients, it has a lemon-garlic taste and, as I now understand, is referred to by many as "crack sauce". Essentially, it makes the Whole Bowl, the Whole Bowl.

Bambino Bowl without Cilantro $5.00

As a side note, I personally hate cilantro. So while cilantro is one of the main ingredients in the Whole Bowl, The Whole Bowl accomodates its customers by taking special orders, so I do not have to pick out the dreaded herb.

All in all, if you're only in Portland for one day and you are dying to try out or are craving food cart food, I highly recommend the Whole Bowl. Even to those who can't eat gluten, because the Whole Bowl is gluten-free!

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