Portland food carts are herd animals, staying put through long winters in cozy pods with space heaters and covered eating areas. In Vancouver, the city's only food truck must cut a solitary, meandering path through the urban jungle, forced to move every three hours thanks to an arcane city law.
The Mighty Bowl opened last summer, and despite the fact it parks at a different downtown location every day, long lines of office workers manage to find it, and it routinely sells out of food. Like most things in Vancouver, the Mighty Bowl isn't original: Its brown-rice-and-black-bean bowls topped with housemade sauce, salsa, avocado, cheese, sour cream, olives and cilantro are a total knockoff of Cafe Yumm and the Whole Bowl. But in a city fed by franchised food chains, this is a step forward.
Bowl options include three sauces, such as the tangy house sauce—which is a bit too heavy on the tang (and demands a good dose of Sriracha)—and a sweet and mild peanut sauce. Our favorite is the spicy sauce in the Kiggins Bowl, named after the city's historic movie theater. It's got a good kick and a smoky chipotle burn. A 12-ounce medium ($6), a 16-ounce large ($6.50) and a ginormous rolled bowl (the contents of a large bowl wrapped in a big tortilla, $7.25) are set for lunch appetites of all sizes. Fruit smoothies and kids' menu items round out the list. We're hoping Vancouver city leaders get off their duffs and change the burg's stuffy laws, so this lone wolf can find a pack of its own.
EAT: The Mighty Bowl, 360-602-2695 or themightybowl.com for daily location. 11 am-2 pm Monday-Friday. $.