First Look: Yumbii food trucks’ owner opens new restaurant in South Buckhead

Spicy pulled-pork, Asian rib-eye beef, and chicken tacos. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Spicy pulled-pork, Asian rib-eye beef, and chicken tacos. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Yumbii, notable as Atlanta’s first food truck, opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant in South Buckhead in late December.

Dubbed a taqueria, the bright and tidy, Yumbii-branded storefront space in Brookwood Village offers counter service with options for takeout or dine-in seating.

The opening menu, which will be expanded soon, is focused on signature items from the food trucks, including tacos, quesadillas, burritos and rice bowls, with a blend of Asian and Mexican flavors.

Look for the likes of a chicken quesadilla with black bean corn salsa, Yumbii Korean barbecue sauce, and shredded cheese, the Yumbii Philly, with beef, cucumber kimchi, onions, and Sriracha queso, and the “famous” sesame fries with chipotle ketchup.

Yumbii was founded in 2010 by Atlanta native Carson Young, who was at the taqueria last week, where he talked about getting his first food truck rolling, and the challenges of opening a new restaurant.

“We were the first food truck to roll out in Atlanta,” Young noted. “At that time, food truck culture was flourishing and expanding in cities like Los Angeles and New York. I had been working in Midtown and was inspired by the idea of food trucks after a trip to L.A.

“Initially, it was a challenge getting people accustomed to the idea of ordering food from a truck, and we worked through a lot of red tape as the first, in terms of permitting and regulation. Today, you see food trucks all over Atlanta.”

Currently, Yumbii has two food trucks on the road, including the “Super Food Truck,” which debuted last spring.

“It’s the first of its kind on the East Coast and was customized for us in L.A.,” Young said. “The eco-friendly truck runs on diesel and has a highly fuel-efficient engine that converts exhaust into harmless nitrogen gas and water vapor. We’re proud to drive it.”

Asked about opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant after running a food truck business, Young said it was a long process, but not as difficult as getting his first truck going.

“A restaurant comes with its own set of challenges, like finding the right space, construction and renovation, and obtaining a liquor license,” he said. “But because of the food trucks, we had the advantage of being able to hone our concept and learn which dishes were favorites among our customers.

“Buckhead is an ideal first location for us, because lots of our customers live in or around the neighborhood and kept asking for us to open nearby. It’s exciting because now people know where to find us anytime.”

Having a new kitchen as a place to experiment and create more menu items was another plus, Young said.

“We’re looking forward to introducing some new items that have been in the works for many months. These dishes will fit into the Yumbii profile of Mexican and Asian street food flavors. Look for breakfast tacos, Mexican-style street corn, and salads to make an appearance over the next few months. We’re also introducing margaritas and a curated cocktail list that will pair well with the taco menu.”

Young revealed some other plans for the future, too.

“We are on the lookout for the next home for Yumbii, and do have plans to open additional locations,” he said, “though we’re not looking to franchise at this point.

“Look for the Yumbii catering van to hit the streets sometime this year. Catering has been a huge success with our food trucks, and customers keep asking, ‘Can you come inside?’ So we’re expanding our catering offerings to include both drop-off and full-service catering.”

1927 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-975-3444, yumbii.com/restaurant.

More images from a First Look at Yumbii restaurant

Fish tacos with panko crusted tilapia, hoisin tartar sauce, Yumbii korean bbq sauce, and soy-sesame vinaigrette salad. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Fish tacos with panko crusted tilapia, hoisin tartar sauce, Yumbii korean BBQ sauce, and soy-sesame vinaigrette salad. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Yumbii Philly sandwich with beef, cucumber kimchi, onions, and Sriracha queso. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Yumbii Philly sandwich with beef, cucumber kimchi, onions, and Sriracha queso. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Chicken quesadilla with black bean corn salsa, Yumbii Korean BBQ sauce, and shredded cheese. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Chicken quesadilla with black bean corn salsa, Yumbii Korean BBQ sauce, and shredded cheese. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Yumbii Sliders with spicy pulled pork, cucumber kimchi, soy-sesame vinaigrette salad, sesame mayo, and shredded cheese, with side sesame fries. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Yumbii Sliders with spicy pulled pork, cucumber kimchi, soy-sesame vinaigrette salad, sesame mayo, and shredded cheese, with side sesame fries. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

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