Review: Bibibop

Since I’ve spent the better part of the past year in a hospital bed (both inpatient and here at home), and the last 4 years struggling with my health, I’ve become a bit out of the loop when it comes to the food scene here in Columbus. More than a bit, actually. Your average person on the street can probably give you better advice than I can when it comes to somewhere great to eat. Openings, closings, so many changes in so little time that I’ve lost track. But part of the joy is in the rediscovery. Old favorites. New haunts. With old and new friends.

But the one thing we can all agree on, I’m sure, is that hospital food SUCKS. Really sucks. Sucks to the point where you’d rather eat nothing at all than another dried out, bland piece of what is supposed to pass for a chicken breast. For the time I was inpatient, Paul was my proxy, both by getting me outside food to eat and by taking over some of the blogging duties. One of the new discoveries, and new favorites, is Bibibop.

Rice Bowl from Bibibop

Think Chipotle, but with an Asian spin. Pick a base (bowl, salad or wrap). Choose a protein (regular or spicy chicken, seasoned tofu, or seasoned steak), with sautéed potatoes, bean sprouts, and black beans, and steamed white or purple wild rice. Or all of the above. Pick toppings (cucumber, lettuce, carrot, daikon, corn, cheese and egg). Pick a (or more than one) sauce (teriyaki, yum yum, siracha, or Korean red sauce). Personally, I find a kids bowl ($3.95 base) to be more than enough for two meals. My personal fave? A kids bowl with half white rice, half purple rice, potato, a few sprouts, black beans, double steak ($1.75 extra), with all of the toppings, including double egg (for the added protein). I top it with 1, maybe 2 yum yum sauce. Mayonnaise based, so be careful not to make your healthy bowl unhealthy by loading it down with 4 or 5 like Paul does. Walk out the door with two filling protein-dense meals for well under $6. If you have a bigger appetite, get the regular sized portion for well under $10.

With 4 locations in Columbus (Grandview, Upper Arlington, Polaris and Easton), there’s no excuse not to try something new in the “make your own meal assembly line style” vein.

3 thoughts on “Review: Bibibop

  1. J. Daniel Rollins

    Thanks for the review! Looking forward to trying this place out. There’s a new one opening up on the eastside near Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road and Broad.

  2. swampkitty05 Post author

    I’ve only been to the one in Grandview so far. Hope that with the rapid expansion they don’t suffer the same fate as Piada and City Barbeque. You know, where as they spread themselves thinner, quality and customer service starts to suffer and then there are ones that are good and ones to avoid. I’m pretty big on consistency, and have seen great concepts make mistakes during the expansion phase. Not saying this will be the case with Bibibop, just saying it’s one common pitfall I hope they avoid.

  3. Lorence

    We discovered the 5th avenue location just this past fall, stopped in after we discovered that Graffiti Budget had closed😢.
    Like it a lot. Good food, decent price. I like the red sauce with a splash of the sriracha. The Spicy chicken is pretty good, too. Nice, friendly staff.

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