Words & Deeds

Craving organic and vegetarian food? Eugene, Ore., restaurant chain to open in Idaho

Rice and beans provide the layered groundwork for healthy Yumm! bowls, which are taken to the next level by Original Yumm! Sauce.
Rice and beans provide the layered groundwork for healthy Yumm! bowls, which are taken to the next level by Original Yumm! Sauce. Cafe Yumm!

Does the thought of Boise’s endless sea of burger and pizza joints make your gut ache?

Prepare to be bowled over by a health-conscious restaurant chain from Eugene, Oregon.

Cafe Yumm! will make its Idaho debut in a shopping center at Lakemoor, a mixed-use development on the south side of Eagle. Scheduled to open within six months, the fast-casual franchise restaurant is the first of three planned locations in the Boise area.

(As exciting as this is, I’m going to lose the Yummy! exclamation point from here on out, OK?)

Café Yumm is known for rice-and-beans-based Yumm bowls, soups, salads and wraps. The Original bowl comes with organic brown rice, organic black beans, organic salsa, plus a variety of fresh toppings. And do not skip the Original Yumm Sauce. That stuff “pulls everything together in flavorful harmony,” according to The Oregonian. Fans drool over it. It’s even jarred and sold at grocery stores.

Cafe Yumm regulars sometimes opt for extras in their bowls such as chicken breast or organic tofu. The Cafe Yumm menu also provides gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan suggestions. As the Oregonian pointed out, it’s easy to make a vegan-friendly Yumm bowl by ditching the sour cream and cheese and loading on extra veggie toppings. More than 50 percent of the food at Cafe Yumm is certified organic. It’s all part of a flexible dining experience that “nourishes body, mind and soul,” according to the Cafe Yumm website.

Cafe Yumm “does a great job for its target audience,” according to former Idaho Statesman critic John Gottberg Anderson. That said, his review for the Bend Bulletin showed that the concept isn’t for everyone.

In a press release, Idaho franchisee Rebecca Blewett said she was passionate about introducing Yumm cuisine to the Treasure Valley.

“Eagle is a wonderful town, and Lakemoor is a dynamic neighborhood with bike paths, walkways, and beautiful plant restoration areas,” she said. “Our neighbors in The Bridges at Lakemoor shopping center will be a yoga studio and fitness club, making our nourishing food a perfect fit for anyone wanting fresh meals made fast.”

In addition to indoor seating, Cafe Yumm will have outdoor tables with a fire pit, plus drive-thru service.

Cafe Yumm was founded in downtown Eugene in 1997. There were two restaurants when it began franchising in 2007. More than 20 Cafe Yumm locations now operate, mostly in Oregon but also in Washington. All serve lunch and dinner seven days a week.

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