Research says the closer food rests against the rim of a dish, the more likely eaters will perceive their meal to be sufficient. Consider a large plate, with plenty of its outer surface area untouched by food. Now, consider a bowl, filled to the brim. The bowl evokes a sense of security, of enoughness. Furthermore, holding a warm bowl in one’s palms may promote feelings of “interpersonal warmth” towards others nearby, suggests one study from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Bowls are the new plates, folks. Get your hands on these healthy, wholesome bowls in Eastern Iowa.
The Full Bowl
1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids
Located in Cedar Rapids’ NewBo City Market, The Full Bowl offers a rotating menu of globally inspired rice and bean bowls. The popular chana masala bowl layers chickpeas simmered in an oniony tomato sauce over a helping of brown rice, garnished with fresh cilantro. Sweet mango chutney balances the kick of the bowl’s North Indian-style spice.
201 S Clinton St, Iowa City
A stone bowl of Korean bibimbap provides a serving of beef (or tofu) alongside a colorful array of cooked vegetables—shiitakes, zucchini and carrots, to name a few—neatly arranged over rice and topped with a fried egg. To eat bibimbap, pierce the egg yolk and mix everything up.
310 E Prentiss St, Iowa City
There may be no better hands in which to trust vegetables than in those of Trumpet Blossom, Iowa City’s vegan mecca. The Rainbow Bowl is the epitome of this restaurant’s plant-based prowess. It features a bounty of local, seasonal vegetables in raw, pickled and roasted forms drizzled with peanut sauce and a citrus vinaigrette, reinforced with a heap of black beans and rice, and sprinkled with seeds.
1202 3rd St SE #102, Cedar Rapids
Pozole is a brothy Mexican stew made with pork, hominy, vegetables, a generous squirt of lime and a plop of crema. While pozole is traditionally a celebratory dish, marking occasions such as weddings and quinceañeras, Caucho’s take is worth celebrating alone.
812 S Summit St, Iowa City
Last year, Deluxe Bakery expanded its menu, adding a number of brunch items, including a tangy-sweet yogurt bowl. The house-made plain yogurt is sweetened with a house-made lemon curd and covered with Deluxe’s crunchy and, yes, house-made granola. Fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries contribute a serving of fruit on top.