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Did Bowled Bowl Me Over?

With the holiday rush of running last minute errands, who had time to make lunch Christmas Eve? I didn’t, so my son and I stopped in at Bowled on 4th Street to get some take out. Folks keep asking if I have been to Bowled yet, so I thought we’d check it out.

When we walked in, I noticed the decor was understated with modern paint, subtle lighting and it looked like a welcoming, neighborhood kind of place. I don’t know what the music in the background was, but I liked it and it didn’t overwhelm conversation.
My son ordered the Bowled Grilled Cheese ($6.50) and since the place is called Bowled, I ordered the Chicken Piccata Bowl ($8.95).
Our wait for take-out was about 5-7 minutes. Not bad for fresh, non-franchise food. While I was waiting, I needed to make a phone call. Having only a couple of signal bars on my Blackberry (you know how this is in some areas of the ‘Burg) they let me use their phone and even looked up the number for me. They also offered a soft drink to us while we waited. I really appreciated the extra mile of service.
Everything was still warm when we arrived home. I tried my son’s grilled cheese and the combination of cheddar, provolone, muenster and American on griddled sourdough was gooey, and cheesy and just plain good. You can choose to add bacon and tomato to your sandwich if you like, but I thought it was great just the way it was. It was served with their Mediterranean Pasta Salad which is an orzo salad containing tomatoes and a crumbled cheese that tastes a bit like feta, but was less salty than the feta I am used to.
The Chicken Piccata Bowl was satisfying and tasted like home cooking. However, I don’t understand why it is called piccata. In my mind, piccata is a lemon butter sauce with capers. It should be a relatively light and lemony dish. This one had a kind of creamy sauce with capers and diced tomato over a spinach (with maybe some finely chopped broccoli) orzo. A better name might have been Chicken Primavera or Florentine with Orzo. I was wishing for that light lemon taste that I expected. It was still worth ordering though, as the chicken was tender, moist and plentiful.
This is a good choice to take the family or to stop by after work. They have a small bar and serve several wines by the glass and a selection of beers. On the lunch menu, you can choose from salads, wraps, sandwiches or one of their bowls.  They have a house made Tomato Bisque and a Soup of the Day. There is something on the menu to please everyone and the portions are more than ample. I could have easily split my chicken bowl with someone and still felt satisfied. I think the prices are right on, especially if you are going to eat half now and save half for later or to share.
I wish St. Pete had more places like Bowled.  If you give it a try, you’ll be happy you did.

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