The Mighty Bowl — Rice & Bean Utopia
Sadly, Vancouver lacks fast, cheap, and healthy meal options. This is why I am grateful for The Mighty Bowl. Yes, I like things wrapped in bacon or deep fried or smoked; but, there are times when the body cries out for a healthy meal — a chance to cleanse itself. And, The Mighty Bowl is right there to provide a quick, healthy, inexpensive meal. The Mighty Bowl offers brown rice, black beans, and various toppings (cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, olives, avocado, fresh cilantro) bathed in your choice of sauce — tangy mighty bowl sauce, sweet and mild peanut sauce or spicy chipotle Kiggins sauce. The bowls are quickly made and very affordable ($7 for a 12 ounce bowl, $7.50 for a 16 ounce bowl). You can also get a rolled bowl (bowl ingredients wrapped in a tortilla, $8.50) or a Mighty Salad (same ingredients on a bed of romaine lettuce, $8.50). My preference is a vegan bowl (beans, rice, salsa, olives, avocado, cilantro) with the mighty bowl sauce.
I visited Mighty Bowl on a Tuesday at Government Center in downtown Vancouver. It was a sunny day and I was able to snag a parking spot near the food cart that had 33 minutes left on the parking meter. Yes! The man who took my order and the woman who handed my bowls to me were super nice and friendly they smiled in a genuine manner. It made me think that their food cart was a portal for some rice and bean Utopia. It was as if at any moment someone may produce a guitar and sing folk songs or someone might lead a session of guided meditation.
I chose the regular sized bowl. The regular may look small; but, I find it fulfilling. The large is quite a bit bigger and may be more appropriate for a larger appetite. If you choose a bowl, you will first encounter a swirl of fresh cilantro, slice black olives, and wedges of avocado. The salsa is also hiding here. It is a basic pico de gallo — not totally remarkable; but, it does lend a brightness and vinegary flavor to the bowl. At the bottom are the black beans and rice. The beans are tender and yielding but not mushy or chemically tasting like a canned bean. The brown rice is a short grain rice like a sushi rice or a risotto. The grains have a bit of crunch.
Now, here we get to the real discussion. What sauce should you get? That is a big question and mostly has to do with your mood and preferences. The Mighty Bowl offers three sauces — Mighty Sauce, Peanut Sauce, and Kiggins Sauce. My nicknames for these sauces are Hippie Sauce, Southeast Asian Sauce, and Mexican Sauce. The Mighty Bowl Sauce (aka Hippie Sauce) is a pale yellow. It is lemony, tangy, with a hint of black pepper. There is also a slight creaminess to the sauce that I think may be nutritional yeast (or Nutch as our vegan friends call it). The Peanut Sauce (aka Southeast Asian Sauce) reminds me of a lighter version of the dipping sauce served with fresh spring rolls at a Vietnamese restaurant. It is a light tan color. It has a nice peanut-y flavor with a bit of spice and some saltiness (soy sauce, perhaps). The Kiggins Bowl Sauce (aka Mexican Sauce) is made with chipotle peppers. Its main characteristic is the fiery smokiness of the chipotle peppers used to make the sauce. This sauce is not crazy spicy like some food dare; but, it has a good amount of heat that lingers on the tongue. All of these sauces have a clean taste to them and are light.
Mighty Bowl has a couple of food carts so you have some options regarding where you can get your bowl. They also have a very well organized website that lists a weekly schedule and their menu. So, despite the fact that this truck isn’t stationary, it is easy to find. And, it is easy to browse their menu.
This concludes my three part series on Vancouver food trucks. I hope that this series has encouraged you to try some of our local food trucks. They are not stationary; but, they are easy to find. And, these food trucks are serving some of the best food in Vancouver at a reasonable price.
The Mighty Bowl is a mobile food cart. Their menu and weekly schedule can be found on their website — www.themightybowl.com.