Those of you who savor the Yum Yum sauce of restaurants like Happy Dog and Kenko can now rejoice. A new curator of the popular sauce has come to Euclid Avenue. BIBIBOP Asian Grill, an Asian fusion restaurant conveniently located between Potbelly Sandwich Shop and the Cleveland Clothing Company, opened Aug. 8 and allows customers to build their own bowls, much like they would at Chipotle Mexican Grill.
However, unlike the Mexican-inspired flavors of Chipotle, BIBIBOP features fresh and tangy options like bean sprouts and the aforementioned Yum Yum sauce. As you build your bowl you choose a base, hot toppings, proteins, cold toppings and sauces to create your own meal inspired by a traditional Korean dish called “bibimbap.” Some of the options include purple rice, potatoes, daikon (a type of radish), black beans, kimchi (Korean-style fermented vegetables) and eggs.
Since the restaurant features rice bases, has organic tofu as a protein option and lets you pile on as many vegetables as you want, both vegans and the gluten-intolerant can happily eat at BIBIBOP without feeling like they missed out on key flavors.
I enjoyed a bowl of rice noodles, bean sprouts, chicken, kale, corn, carrots, cheese and—of course—Yum Yum sauce, which was the perfect lunch. I left full, but without the heavy feeling one gets from eating too much greasy food, and was able to go about the rest of my day feeling energized.
With regards to the overall feel of the restaurant, it feels a little too industrial for ideal comfort but is adorned with bright, welcoming colors and aesthetically pleasing seating design. It was also surprisingly quiet for a place with so many hard surfaces.
According to third-year student Christine Stanko, a second-time visitor of BIBIBOP, you can add as many options as you want to your bowl without increasing the price. If you want both potatoes and bean sprouts or both chicken and steak you can go for it. Especially on a college student’s budget, this system makes paying for a bowl very reasonable in price. Plus, you can score yourself a free bowl of miso soup after purchasing your meal. As a college student, I love free food (or the illusion of it.)
With its growing popularity amongst returning students and first-years who have not seen Uptown without it, BIBIBOP appears here to stay. BIBIBOP has, “definitely made it onto the Euclid rotation,” said Stanko.
Just like her, I know I will be returning to BIBIBOP.
Restaurant: BIBIBOP Asian Grill
Address: 11431 Euclid Ave
Price Range: $8-$10
Rating: 4.5 out of 5