Date of Visit: December 17, 2009
Price for 2: $13
The first visit to the Whole Bowl is an interesting experience, because it’s definitely not your normal restaurant. After all, there is a grand total of one thing on the menu. Your choices include what size and an option to omit any of the standard ingredients. You can also choose to get chips (of the basic tortilla variety served up in an unimpressive ziplock bag) or not. And they have a variety of drinks including Hansen’s soda, which is always a plus. Personally, I really like one item on the menu, but Jared was not so much a fan. But it is what it is, and actually, the Hawthorne location is a big step up (in Jared’s ideals) from the other locations in Portland since it’s not a cart like the rest of them.
And on this, our second visit to the place together, he warmed slightly to the whole bowl. If you’re wondering, what they serve here is a bowl with beans, rice, cheese, salsa, sour cream, olives, cilantro, avocado and “tali sauce,” which is lemony and garlicky and makes it taste good. It’s the sort of thing that if you are in the right mood is really delicious. If you want say, a sandwich or a slice of pizza, not so much.
But I like this place for lunch because it’s cheap, fast, and simple, and the fact that there really are no decisions to be made is sort of nice, sometimes. In the summer it’s great because they open up all the windows and you get the outdoor eating experience on the east end of Hawthorne, but with the roof Jared desires in an eatery. Jared’s main complaint this time was that he wished the chips were “better,” so I told him next time we could bring our own, or better yet, get the bowls to go. Then you can eat them with whatever damn chips you want, right?
Veggie options: No meat on the menu. It’s gluten free as well.
Speed: No cooking required