Restaurant Review: Native Bowl in Portland, Oregon
In Portland, you can always find a food truck in a business or shopping district. But the Mississippi Marketplace in NE Portland takes it to the next level with a plethora of food truck options in one lot.
While tucked away in the corner of the marketplace, Native Bowl still finds a way to stand out with its colorful truck and its flavorful menu. They create 100% vegan stir-fry bowls inspired by Asian flavors, using only local ingredients.
The menu has a choice of seven bowls and a salad, for those who’d prefer to go sans-rice. Some of the bowls are named after local districts in Portland so it’s a lovely homage to the city they love.
The star of the menu was the Alberta bowl — garlic tofu, fire-breathing dragon sauce (which is not as hot as it sounds), furikake (a Japanese seasoning), green cabbage, carrots, and scallions on a bed of jasmine rice. The veggies were thinly sliced and crunchy, adding a beautiful contrast to the soft rice and tender tofu. The garlic was the star flavor but the sauce and the furikake kept everything in balance so no one flavor dominated your palate.
The Hollywood bowl was also a winner. A bed of rice topped with garbanzo beans, peperoncinis, scallions, pita chips, za’atar and lemon garlic tahini sauce. What could have been quite bland without the spices, became incredibly flavorful with the addition of the acid from the tahini and the za’atar spice blend.
If you’re on the NE side of Portland, specifically N Mississippi Avenue, Native Bowl is worth the stop for lunch or early dinner. You’ll be surprised how much flavor can come out of a small food truck.