The Rice Box is a shiny, sleek glowing jewel of a restaurant. This food truck-turned-restaurant is a modern af addition to the antique shops of 19th Street and Victorian architecture in the Heights. Nestled at the corner of 20th and Rutland, the Rice Box specializes in–you guessed it–rice boxes with Chinese American classics like Orange Chicken, Mongolian Beef and General Tso.
The main entrees on the menu come served in artsy “caution contents might be extremely delicious” to-go box containers that very cleverly can get converted into plates (Does normal take out do that??!). There’s a few bar stool seats inside, but the majority of the seating is outside on the patio–perfect for upcoming fall. They’ve got a great craft beer collection with some Houston favorites from St. Arnolds, but also edgier imports like Hitachino Nest from Japan.
Majority of people waiting inside are there for takeout–obviously, that’s their forte. I can see how they were a food truck at one point in time. (Side note: disappointed I never tried them as a food truck posted up in Montrose!). Apparently the lines can get pretty long, but when I went earlier this week for dinner (albeit during the hurricane chaos in which no one knows what day it is), we ordered quickly at the counter and were served within a few minutes.
I got the Kung Pao rice box and subbed out the chicken for cauliflower (also a tofu vegetarian option) and switched the standard white rice for noodles. I know. I’m an ordering diva. But it was delicious and I have no ragrets–and I normally dislike Chinese food! The box was pilled high with food and overflowing with crunchy cauliflower, green pepper, celery, and noodles. Topped with an egg roll and a fortune cookie, the box was easily two meals.
I was glad I didn’t expand my box into a plate, because I ended up taking half of it home in the convenient to-go box that it came in. It’s been a few days since I’ve had that meal and I’m already plotting my return to the Rice Box. For your next rainy (or sunny) day, this Chinese take out (or sit in!) spot is definitely a win in my book!