Whether whispered into your ear by your 3rd grade art teacher who kissed birds on the mouth or seeing it last week on an inspirational poster in your dentist’s office, it’s hard to argue this phrase’s importance. If you don’t know who you are, how is anyone else supposed to?
And when it comes to food, this is a chronic issue. We envy no one attempting to open a restaurant these days - it’s as competitive (and saturated) as ever out there. And that leads to places doing whatever they believe is necessary to get ahead. We’re a mixology bar! With TVs! But also a steakhouse. And there’s dim sum! What? Nobody’s ever going to want that, because nobody even knows what that is.
Rice Bar knows exactly what it is.
On a particularly manic stretch of downtown, Rice Bar is a hole-in-the-wall counter cranking out top-notch Filipino comfort food custom made for you and your lunch break. That’s the sort of straightforward approach most people would get behind no matter what the food tasted like. But in the case of Rice Bar, it’s as good as it gets.
Filipino comfort food? Think rice bowls. Only topped with the things that make your quinoa tupperware concoction back in the office fridge seem like a death sentence. There’s the Pork Longganisa - a rice base (which changes daily), sweet and spicy sausage, pickled vegetables, and obviously we add the fried egg on top. It’s perfect. Like, drive yourself across the city for an $8 lunch bowl perfect. And while it’s our go-to, you can’t go wrong with almost anything on Rice Bar’s concise six-item menu.
Rice Bar is small. Very small. There are seven chairs total and enough standing room for only a few stressed interns picking up orders at the cash register. This is not your group lunch spot. Flying solo and see an empty chair? Snag it. But otherwise, just call ahead. Rice Bar is a take-out machine and will have you packaged up and ready to go with plenty of get-me-out-of-office time to spare.
If you work or live downtown and aren’t going to Rice Bar, you’re doing it wrong. If you have a functioning car with gas in it and aren’t going to Rice Bar, you’re also doing it wrong. This is the kind of quick, simple, and downright delicious food you need in your life.
That much we know.
Possibly the perfect downtown lunch order. Quick, fulfilling, and not so brutally unhealthy you want to die at your desk by 3pm. All we want for Christmas is that housemade sweet and sour pork sausage.
If you aren’t feeling the sweet and sour of the pork today, the Bisteg is your move. The soy-marinated beef sirloin is smoky, savory goodness.
Yes. This thing is only a special, so pray it sticks around a bit longer. Because it is excellent. It’s the lone noodle dish currently at Rice Bar, topped with shrimp and a sh*t ton of egg. If you don’t want yours, we’ll take it.
The one item on the menu we weren’t completely taken with. While it was definitely interesting (a bunch of spicy mushrooms steamed in a lotus leaf), it just didn’t pack the punch as much as the rest of the menu.