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Bowl serves mediocre sandwiches, good pizza

By Anthony Lauriello     3/17/11 7:00pm

In this modern era, the upscale salad and sandwich boutique has become as ubiquitous as iPhones and poorly written blogs. Bowl, on 607 Richmond, fits neatly into the idea of a café that serves classic items with well-made ingredients.

The decor of Bowl resembles a million other similar restaurants. The open and inviting spaces, the fake chalkboard menus and the bar area make for a space that desperately wants to be the local corner shop but doesn't quite make it. Some in my party voiced positive opinions about the look, but I was hoping for something more original.

I did not spend much time musing about the interior decorating as my burning hunger limited my mind to the quality of??the food. Bowl obviously caters toward salads, but as someone who is almost morally against ?vegetable-based entrees, I ordered a turkey club sandwich ($7.99) with two fried eggs ($1).  As one dinner was simply not enough for my empty belly, I also ordered a tomato basil and goat cheese pizza ($6.75).  

After a short wait for the food, the pleasant woman behind the cashier handed my party and me our meals. My sandwich, while not amazing, was solid and the ingredients were good. The fried egg was too well-done for my tastes, as I prefer my yolk liquidy. The red onion basil also could have been more flavorful.

Fortunately, the pizza was superior to the sandwich. The taste of goat cheese was tasty and recognizable and the crust, while not perfect or truly noticeable, was a satisfactory vehicle to deliver the shipment of taste to my mouth.  While one of the girls eating with us was not looking, I sampled her pulled pork sandwich ($8.25). The pork tasted flavorful and meaty and made me rethink my original sandwich choice. The final price of my meal struck me as reasonable, especially because I ordered two entrees. For those who don't have appetites garnered from miles of constant running, it would be completely unnecessary.

While I can't say anything really negative about Bowl, I can't find any reason to recommend it either.  Restaurants in the Village such as Ruggles and Black Walnut Café offer similar items with similar prices, and there is no real distinguishing feature from these three in sandwich places. It is ironic that these independent cafés priding themselves in uniqueness and local ingredients taste and look so similar. Of course one could suggest that the salad choices at Bowl truly are what make the restaurant special, but I highly doubt it.

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