The Rickshaw: Healthy and Hedonistic

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DSC_0304logovariation2-round_original_160_177The Rickshaw is an new Asian Fusion restaurant with an innovative menu, located at 1313 North State Street.

The key ingredient at play is the team’s variety of ways to customize your meal to match whatever your tastes are or cravings may be.

Massaman Curry, Lumpia, Pad Thai, Chicken Teriyaki, Crab, and Tofu; are all steaming right in front of your eyes when you walk in the door.

The Rangoons are made with fresh crab and cream cheese seared into won tons. The ingredients speak for themselves, and all dietary preferences are accommodated. For example, you can indulge your healthier side by creating a curry stuffed with veggies and organic tofu over quinoa and rice.

Sweet, spicy, savory, and more eclectic tastes are all given attention; all plates are served in belly-sized portion and arrive steaming hot.

On my visit I first picked between rice or noodles, then an entree, a side, and a choice between 6 homemade sauces.

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The Bases: White and brown rice, along with other grain-types like quinoa are available. A base also includes a layer of veggies for the healthy crunch as desired by the local crowd.

The Entrées: Rib-eye beef, beer braised pork, teriyaki chicken, and massaman curry with chicken or tofu are served hot and with portions designed to fill you up. You’ll have enough to go around for two meals, and these are all Bellingham-tested favorite recipes.

The Sides: The side dishes feature flavors that were perfected in Phu’s home and included in the menu, are another thing that makes the food at The Rickshaw truly stand out. Kimchi, pickled onions and radishes, and plenty of other vegetable options can be added to your taste.

rickshaw-serving-saucesThe Sauces: The menu features 4-8 sauces on a regular basis – Teriyaki, Wasabi Mayo, and Coconut Serrano Chutney – owner Phu Ngo found these to be some of Bellingham’s favorite’s. The variety of sauces will be expanded as they grow.

Extras: Order lumpia egg rolls, crab rangoon wontons, and lumpia dumplings to leave your hunger without refuge.

It’s obviously very easy to modify your plate to your specific taste, and that is the foundation of The Rickshaw. Customers experience the same freedom of a sandwich bar, but with the best foods: pick your grains, veggies, proteins, toppings, and sauce flavor. Sit and wolf it down or take it to go.

“Healthy to hedonistic,” is how Phu describes The Rickshaw’s menu.

He and the crew have all of your tastes covered. Fuel up with a vegan curry dish, or fill your belly with spicy wine braised beef. Top your dish with veggies and vinegary treats like home-style kimchi and pickled onions. The sauces made from scratch on-site round off your meal with the exact flavors to match your hunger.

Serious about providing excellent customer service, Phu encourages his employees to ask for customers’ feedback. “It’s like a friendly thing,” he said, “we already know the food is good because they’re visiting again. Asking (the customers) just helps us make it better.”

Even though The Rickshaw is designed around providing high quality food quickly, you are also welcome to hang out for awhile. There are two long bar tables and the ambiance and crew work hard to make the Rickshaw the most welcoming dining joint it can be.

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Phu behind the counter

Phu grew up in Los Angeles and was inspired by restaurants that fed him well while on a budget as a college student. He moved to Alaska, where he was again inspired by a communally supportive way of living and eating.

He opened a food truck on Meridian that included elements of the favorite places he discovered in these travels, with the focus of serving customers a flavorful, healthy, two-meal bowl for under ten-bucks.

After evolving from a food truck to a brick and mortar store in the middle of downtown Bellingham over the course of just a year and a half, it’s hard to miss the signs of something exciting to eat.

Hearkening back to his days as a student living on a meager budget, Phu is also promoting a “starving student” discount. If you’re a student, give a “like” to The Rickshaw’s Facebook page, and get a free upgrade on your meal on each and every visit after.

The Rickshaw’s Facebook page is an active community, so check it out here (https://www.facebook.com/rickshawbellingham/). You’ll find their current menu and specials on their page.

Everyone will find a favorite lunch or take home meal at The Rickshaw. The place is already a hometown favorite; while I was there Phu greeted each with person coming in the door with a hearty “Welcome back!”

Be the first to try and recommend The Rickshaw’s Asian fusion restaurant to your friends!

HOURS:

  • Monday – Sunday: 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM

Phone: (360) 310-8252

Address: Downtown Bellingham; 1313 North State St. Bellingham, WA