431 SW Madison St. (Portland Building)
6:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday
get there via trimet
find a bike route
Great little bento shop for unusual bentos and good city/county gossip.
BC2 is a tiny place tucked in on the Madison Street side of the Multnomah Building. From the outside, it looks like just another bento/rice bowl shop. But that's where the comparisons end.
BC2 is a place with a following. Many folks who work in city or county government are devotees, for obvious reasons. And thus, many news reporters from the Oregonian also make this a necessary lunch stop.
They offer an assortment of cookies, naturally. And coffee. But I didn't pay any attention to that, because the lunch options are worth crossing town for. Of course they have an assortment of chicken bentos, shrimp, salmon, and tofu as well. Nothing really exceptional there.
But where you can you get unagi kabayaki? Or ginger pork bento? Or udon soup? Hawaiian bento? Mexican or spring roll or potsticker bento? Octopus Mt Vege bento? Sesame seaweed? Kimchee? Fish Cake? Bibimbob? or the Hi-Pro Lo-Carb? You know where I'm going, don't you?
On my first visit, I ordered the Octopus Mt Vege bento ($6.75)—that's an octopus salad, made up of pickled ginger & seaweed, with a cabbage & carrot salad and your choice of white or brown rice. Both types of salad were delicious, and I love having a choice of rices. And it was a perfect amount of food -- enough to sate, but not enough to make you sleepy the rest of the afternoon.
On the second visit, I saw someone enjoying the unagi kabayaki (that's grilled eel to you, $6.75). I decided to try something more pedestrian, like the tofu bento ($5.50). This is a traditional bento with steamed veggies and your choice of rice. The tofu was heated and doused in teriyaki, and thery were very generous with it. The veggies had seen a bit too much time in the steamer, but they were still had a little flavor.
With all the bentos ringing in between $5.25-$6.75, this is a very reasonable lunch downtown. Add a cookie for a $1, and, well, you have a cookie.
There are two vegetarian options and one vegan, so vegetarians, this is probably not the place for you.