Cassidy Young sat at a table at Yumble, a new Bloomington restaurant. She painted with water colors, an empty bowl across from her. She said this was her first time at Yumble, and she ate the B-Town Bap, a Korean-inspired rice bowl.
Yumble, which opened Aug. 30, is a restaurant that specializes in rice bowls from around the world. They offer Thai, Korean, Japanese, Mediterranean, American southwest and Cajun dishes along with one original dish.
“Rice and beans and sauce is how the world eats,” owner Christian Frederickson said. “It lends itself to a whole lot of different options and flavor profiles.”
He said he feels Yumble is a place where one can get a full meal but not feel guilty or like they put bad things in their bodies.
Yumble boasts being entirely vegetarian and gluten-free with vegan options, but Frederickson said that is not what he set out for the business to be.
“Initially we didn’t plan on being vegetarian,” Frederickson said. “That wasn’t the idea. The idea was simply healthy, fast food.”
While thinking about what meat dishes to offer, they settled on not including meat at all but instead offered protein alternatives like jackfruit, tofu, edamame and beans.
Also, the dishes are all gluten free. Frederickson realized that he would hardly have to change the ingredient list in order to make the whole menu gluten free, so he did.
He had to find an alternative to soy sauce, which is made with fermented wheat. He replaced it with tamari sauce. He also had to find a Korean Barbecue sauce that didn’t contain gluten.
Three of the dishes on the menu are vegan, but any of them can be modified to be vegan.
Manager Ashley James said within the first week she has already seen returning customers.
“A lot of them really enjoy the food,” she said. “The different textures even with some of the crisp and non-crisp vegetables.”
Frederickson and his wife, Jenny, own two other Bloomington businesses, B-Town Diner and BloomingTea.
Yumble is located at 211 North Walnut St. This was where their third business, Get Some Pizza, used to be. He said they closed that business in May because it didn't sell enough pizza. After that they tried to find another type of restaurant to put in the space.
Fredrickson said the name of the restaurant is a play on the words yum, bowl and humble.
To turn the building from a pizza shop into Yumble was not a huge project. Frederickson said they did a lot of it themselves by building the tables and counters. His wife did most of the redecorating.
They wanted it to be comfortable but also keep it simple and not kitschy, he said.
James said it is a friendly environment. She said there are not a lot of employees so customers who return see familiar faces.
Young said she said she would probably come back.
“It's really fast, you can just grab it and go so that's really nice,” Young said.
There is a grand opening $5 “healthy lunch” special and the rest of the time bowls are $6 for a regular and $8 for a large.
“We are vegetarian but what we really are is a place to get a lot of different flavor options in a bowl of good food,” Frederickson said. “We just happen to not serve meat.”
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