Dining Out: Rolled or bowled, food truck offerings are mighty fine

Mighty Bowl sets up at various locations around downtown Vancouver

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Why: Last June, The Mighty Bowl rolled out onto the streets of downtown Vancouver on a mission to bring high-quality, nourishing, great-tasting food in a convenient setting to the community. Owners Steve and Sherilee Valenta and Kevin DeGraw are committed to providing whole food ingredients without preservatives, as well as practicing recycling, composting, and reusing to intelligently reduce their footprint.

The food truck has a simple menu that includes homemade sauce creations. Valenta says some on their regular customers have discovered custom flavors by having the sauces combined in their bowl or wrap.

Atmosphere: The truck makes for an attractive appearance wherever it goes to park for the day. Painted pale blue with a ribbon of vibrant green around the bottom, it imparts a clean, pleasant welcome to everyone.

Under the side canopy, which is large enough to shelter a handful of customers from the rain, orders are placed and delivered with little wait time. Condiments, utensils, and napkins sit atop an exterior shelf and numbered bins with disposal instructions sit alongside for the collection of trash.

What I tried: I tried the Peanut Bowl as a Rolled Bowl and my dining companion had the signature Mighty Bowl. To drink, we decided on the Arnada and the Carter Park smoothies.

Whether rolled or not, all bowls contain brown rice, black beans, cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, olives, and salsa. The rolled bowl ingredients are simply wrapped in a 14-inch, preservative-free, locally sourced tortilla.

The sauce is what gives each bowl distinction. The Mighty Bowl has a curry personality, whereas the Peanut Bowl has, obviously, a peanut one.

I found the rolled bowl to be a significantly larger meal choice than the basic bowl. The tortilla was fresh and soft and it held together to the last bite. It was delicious, with the only downside being the placement of the ingredients within the wrap. Instead of layering, which would produce a blending of flavors, the ingredients were side by side, which separated them. So, for instance, the avocado resided on the far right of the wrap and the rice, which had the peanut sauce on it, was at the far left. It was tightly wrapped or I would have attempted a bit of manipulation to better situate everything in a layered fashion. I appreciated that the peanut sauce didn’t overwhelm the other ingredients, as is often the case with the addition of peanut sauce to anything.

My dining companion was satisfied with his choice and we agreed that the flavors combined nuances of Thai, Mexican and Indian cuisine without being solely representative of any one.

Both smoothies were a pleasant departure from typical ones made with sherbet or ice cream. Mighty Bowl’s are made without added sugar. They rely on real fruit for sweetness and rice milk is used instead of dairy.

The Arnada combines mango, pineapple, orange juice and the Carter Park combines strawberries, banana, and orange juice. The result is an icy, refreshing treat that maintains its thick smoothie texture to the bottom.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: If your appetite calls for spicy, the Kiggins Bowl, with its spicy chipotle, will likely pique your interest. A weekly salad is available.

Kids’ bowls contain rice, beans, and cheese with sauce, and any additional topping may be added for 50 cents each.

The Hough smoothie offers a blend of cocoa, banana, peanut butter and date.

Hot and cold beverages include choffy (roasted and brewed cocoa), hot tea, iced tea, juice, natural soda, and bottled water.

Other observations: Sauces are gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free and flavors vary on occasion.

I was met with a welcoming attitude.

Cost: The regular bowl is $6 for an additional .50 cents you can make it a large. The Rolled Bowl is $7.25. The weekly salad is $4.50. Kids’ bowls are $2.50. Kids’ Rolled Bowls are $3.35. Smoothies are $4.25. Prices include tax.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday

Telephone: 360-602-BOWL (2695)

Where: Because The Mighty Bowl is a food truck, the location varies. You may check Mighty Bowl’s website or Facebook page to learn of the downtown location for the day.

Web:www.themightybowl.com; www.facebook.com/themightybowl

Health score: The Mighty Bowl received a score of 0 on July 14. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.