23 May 2008

"You didn't tell me you were a hippie"

So my dad (known to and loved by most of you as "Bruce") was really excited to take me to this fairly new restaurant chain called "Cafe Yumm!", which has evidently become sort of a phenomenon in the Eugene/Springfield area. There are currently five here, and one in Bend, and one coming to Corvallis. My mom and I were fairly skeptical about this culinary experience, but several hours later I'm starting to fear that Cafe Yumm!'s food is a little like crack in a bowl, covered in Tillamook cheddar. Now that I've picked up the bowl, I might not ever be able to put it back down. (My mother stuck with a turkey sandwich and has not been won over by the Yumm!)

So what is it? You may ask. Well, to quote Monkey James, "I am glad that you've asked that." Yumm! Bowls (the exclamation point is part of the trademark) are bowls of rice with some kind of bean, cheddar, diced tomato, fresh avocado (which I forgo, as I am not a fan of the avocado), sour cream, black olives, cilantro, and some mystery condiment known as "Yumm! sauce." I don't know what "Yumm! sauce IS, exactly, other than that it IS delicious.

So this is a fairly simple concept, but the actual execution is waaaaay better than you could imagine. It shouldn't work, actually, since there are lots of competing flavors. But it is marvelous. I had the "Smoky" bowl which is brown rice and vegetarian chipotle chili and salsa. I also had one of their barbecue tofu skewers.

This is another great reason to move to Eugene.

After dinner we made the traditional pilgrimages to all the Dorsey-related Eugene haunts--my mom's freshman dorm and my dad's seedy basement apartment. We talked about movies they saw (I think all of them in 1970) here, and we tried to find a particular Dairy Queen that my mom remembers (but that seems to be gone now). And, of course, we went up to Hendrick park so that we could pay homage to the corner where we lost Pre (bow your head for a moment of silence and think about what Pre has done for you).

We also went through the university so that we could look at the outside of Mac Court, Hayward Field, and so that my dad could show us where he parks when he comes down for the Oregon boys' basketball tourney every March.

Eugene is a totally charming town. And, for the record, I prefer forest green O's to burnt orange longhorns any day of the week.

1 comment:

fsk said...

these bowls, particularly the "smoky" bowl, remind me of the smoky black bean bowls i was similarly addicted to from el pollo loco (though these had chicken as well, of course). the year after i graduated college i worked with this girl and every friday we would go out for lunch, often to el pollo loco because we were hooked on their bowls, introduced to us by our boss. i think i tried to eat there on subsequent visits to san diego and the bowls were gone, leaving me bereft and questioning the point of living in a world without them.

so i know EXACTLY what you are talking about. rice and bean bowls with mysteriously wonderful sauce = YUM, or Yumm!.