Bantu Island is a no-frills pod experience.
Decorated with asphalt and chain-link fences, the pod emphasizes a variety of quality food options and unfussy seating. Most stalls have a couple of ragtag seats in front of their carts where customers can gather, but the main watering hole is toward the back of the lot by ThiccBoi, a 6-month-old cart serving gluten-free fried chicken.
ThiccBoi “breads” tenders and wings with cornstarch and rice flour. The gluten-free mixture makes for more of a crisp than a crunch—think Pringles, not Kettle Brand—and will please diners on either end of the gluten-tolerance spectrum.
While waiting for chicken (and there is a wait), podgoers have a new appetizing option: the Momo Master. To try all of the titular Himalayan dumplings, get the “Plattery,” a sampler of the three styles the cart offers. When your steaming paper box arrives, it’s momo roulette to see if you’ll get pork, beef, or veggie.
The cart lists its meat sources alongside its coffee origins, but the veggie dumplings made with Impossible Burger aren’t to be missed. They’re generously packed into chewy dough folded like a fishtail. The sweet curry edge waits to be cut with the bright sesame oil tomato chutney that comes with it.
1533 NE Alberta St. 11 am-9 pm daily.