By Tovah Domenick
I have always been a fan of Big Bowl’s food but after my most recent visit I have come to appreciate Big Bowl even more. Since they have numerous locations in MN I wanted to share on my dad’s blog.
Big Bowl is a great Chinese & Thai restaurant offering both a menu as well as a make-your-own stir fry bar. I have tried many items on the menu and everything has always tasted delicious. During my last visit in late March I noticed a new section on the menu listing all the things Big Bowl is doing to set themselves apart in the restaurant community. For those of you who consider yourselves eco-friendly I hope you will appreciate these efforts and support Big Bowl in what they are doing:
-A conversation about direct trade coffee and the benefits to the farmers landed the product on their menu. Purchasing locally grown produce came next. Heirloom pork from small family-owned farms in the Midwest followed, and then all-natural chicken and a higher-quality, humanely raised, all-natural beef. They also purchase sustainable and responsibly-fished seafood.
- Big Bowl has switched to eco-friendly cleaning supplies and post-recycled paper products. They banned bottled water from the menu and installed a filtration system.
-A couple other fun things they have launched: if you drive a hybrid, you can valet for free, and most of their locations have recently installed bike racks to encourage biking instead of driving.
-Lastly (and probably their biggest effort), Big Bowl entered into a legally binding contract to reduce and offset its carbon output by 100 percent. Basically this means finding ways to pollute less and funding environmental initiatives such as wind and solar power, sustainable farming, and reforestation. They have already started this process by doing more business with local companies, replacing their kitchen lighting with energy saving bulbs, and installing light sensors that flick the switch when no one’s around.
And since this is a foodie’s blog, I have to offer some menu favorites: Their fresh ginger, ginger ale is made on the premises and is delicious! This past visit I ordered a Passion Fruit Ginger Ale. For an appetizer their potstickers are tasty and come with three great dipping sauces. My husband almost always orders the Crispy Orange Chicken, and I am a big fan of the Thai Hot Pepper Shrimp w/Basil & Peanuts (for heat-lovers only) and the Panang Curry Chicken. However, most people (like my mom!) will never order from the menu and always choose the make-your-own stir fry bar, where every vegetable you can imagine can be added to chicken, beef, pork, shrimp or tofu and your choice of many sauces. To finish off your meal you MUST try the mochi for dessert, which are small ice-cream balls covered in mochi (a Japanese rice cake mold). They usually offer 3 flavors- green tea is my favorite.