Monday, October 19, 2015

Delicious Lunch Adventure at Thrive Sauce & Bowls

Now that I have a baby, it's a little hard to stick to my usual food exploration routine, but I'm doing my best to manage (eh hem!). Actually, the baby is a great excuse to get out, as she loves movement and exploring new places - who would've thunk it, she must take after me?

Even though my little excursion to the new Thrive Sauce & Bowls
was sans baby Edie, it's definitely a place I'd like to return to again, especially since it seemed to be pretty family friendly.  My friend Annie and I greatly enjoyed our lunch there and I can confidently say we'll be back.

Given that Thrive started off as a food truck and now has a brick and mortar location is testament to its success and culinary greatness.  Their new restaurant has a fantastic location on NE Fremont Street and 46th Avenue - right in the center of that particular commercial hub.

Impressed by its cheery interior, the dining room is large and airy, boasting a beautiful hand painted mural that showcases a large carrot - no doubt connoting the fresh ingredients used in their dishes.  The rest of the ambiance mirrors that homemade vibe as well, with colorful chair cushions, little country knick knacks on the walls, fresh flowers on the tables and other lovely things.  I like how much room they have for both small and larger parties, with a few outdoor tables as well.

Even though there's a variety of items on the menu, Annie and I both had our eye on the prize and ordered bowls.  There were many flavors to choose from, and even a bowl of the day, which I ended up choosing. Overall, we were both happy and satiated at the end of our meal - so much so that I almost wasn't hungry for dinner that night. Well almost.

Cuban Bowl - As I mentioned above, this was the day's special and included a bevy of rich, flavorful ingredients.  The braised pork shoulder is what completely sold me along with fresh veggies such as red cabbage slaw, cilantro and a traditional mojo sauce.  Overall, it was very very good but I have to say it didn't taste very Cuban - instead it had more South Asian flavors.  The pork however, was really flavorful, not too fatty and totally submissive at the mere contact of the fork.

Japanese Bowl
- Annie ordered the Japanese bowl, which she also got with a protein addition of pork belly.  Even though she was warned it would be pretty fatty, Annie didn't mind and committed to the indulgence.  I had a bite too and loved how beautifully it was cooked, with little crunchy bits on the outside and a soft, almost sweet inside.  The freshness of the veggies such as cucumber, seaweed and cilantro cut all that richness.

Service and Cost:
I like that Thrive is an order at the counter kind of place so it eliminates all the formalities associated with dining out.  We didn't wait too long for our order which was great and the staff was lovely and good about clearing our plates when we were finished.

Costs are on the moderate side and while a little high for lunch, their portions are generous and therefore still offer good value.  My bowl set me back about $13 with tip while Annie's was more like $10.

3 Mmmms

Thrive Sauce & Bowls - 4641 NE Fremont Street, Portland OR 97213

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