Yesterday, I wrote a review of a new truck on the local street food scene called Mad Mac (spoiler alert: I wasn’t a fan). What I didn’t mention is that the same owners brought two trucks to Boise when they moved here. That’s right, the mac and cheese truck has a sister truck that I visited the very next day at the very same spot. I’m sure at least one or two of you are thinking “Come on, give these people a break!”, but hear me out. You just might be surprised. I was.
The weather was nowhere near as pleasant on my visit to Mad Mac’s sibling, Bowld Over, but obviously I can’t hold that against them. There is some common ground between the two trucks: the staff (obviously), the focus on everything-in-one-dish cuisine, and the fact that a lot of money and work went into the visual presentation of the trucks themselves (well, Bowld Over is actually a trailer rather than a standalone truck). That’s where the similarities end, though.
I went solo this time. Normally I wouldn’t be in such a hurry to try a different concept from the same people who had just served me a meal I didn’t particularly enjoy, but there is a bit more variety to be had with this truck. For example, the variety of base ingredients. Mad Mac has one, which is mac and cheese. Bowld Over has at least three at any given time: white rice, cilantro lime rice, and mashed potatoes. This opens things up quite a bit, because your toppings aren’t limited by things that go well with one main ingredient, so they have everything from Hawaiian style barbecue pork over white rice, to Jerk Chicken over cilantro lime rice with black bean and pineapple salsa, and even one with crispy fried chicken and corn over mashed potatoes with gravy that seems like a less prefab version of something you’d get at KFC. This also means that there are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options available, for those of you who are into that stuff. Me? I came for the Cuban Pork Bowl. But first, a beverage.
Doctored sodas are a trend that is beginning to catch on in the Treasure Valley, and Bowld Over has them. Of course this means they also have fountain sodas in general, which are just so much better than grabbing a can at a truck when they’re done right. But I would suggest ponying up the extra dough and trying one of the more indulgent varieties. Personally, I chose the Dreamcicle because of my love for its inspiration.
So, what we have here is a base of orange Fanta, with vanilla flavoring, topped with half and half. This means the flavors are a bit layered, but the presentation is so much nicer this way. Besides, you can stir it up yourself if you want. And flavor-wise, I’ll be damned if this doesn’t taste very like what it’s named after. To be honest, I wasn’t terribly interested in this whole Frankensoda thing when it started popping up around town, but I think I’ll be checking out some more of them now that warmer weather is here.
The familiar takeout containers make a return here, and they’re still not being filled all the way to the top. The ratio of starch to protein is a little more balanced, but you’re still getting mostly the former and that does mean that is kind of pricey for what you’re getting, albeit a little less so. That being said, what were my thoughts on the dish itself?
MUCH better. The slow-cooked shredded pork had a lot of flavor, and both it and the black beans were cooked perfectly. The chimichurri sauce was delicious as well, and the whole dish had a nice, citrusy tang that was reminiscent of mojo sauce. Even the cilantro lime rice was flavorful, though if I had one complaint it would be that the rice hadn’t fully absorbed the water it was cooked in, which watered things down a little and kept the sauce from really sticking as well as it could have when everything was stirred up together.
Oh no, we aren’t done yet. Another thing that sets Bowld Over apart from Mad Mac is desserts (well, Mad Mac has them from time to time. but Bowld Over seems to be more consistent about it). What you’re looking at there is their Chocolate Overload Cake, four layers of rich, moist chocolate cake and four corresponding layers of even richer chocolate fudge frosting. They advertise it as “the best chocolate cake you’ve ever had”, which might be stretching it a bit (they’re probably a little biased, after all), but it’s pretty fucking good. It barely even qualifies as a cake. It is so moist and rich and fudgy that it’s basically the bastard offspring of a chocolate cake and a fudge brownie.
In summation, I would return to Bowld Over. Probably for the meals (I do want to try that crispy chicken and mashed potato bowl), maybe even for the sodas, but DEFINITELY for the desserts.
Final Grade: A-