This is a bit of a departure from my typical restaurant reviews, but there's a new rising star in our midst that I simply have to write about. Late last year a new ice cream shop, Yummi Bunni, opened a few doors down from Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island on Main Street, and it has had a line out the door, literally, ever since. I have visited several times and have always had to wait - once for over an hour on a Saturday night. The line was out the door and wrapped halfway around the building! So what's all the fuss about?
This hip little ice cream shop offers an array of interesting flavors and unconventional toppings.
Their claim to fame is the Yummi Bun which costs $5. It is an ice cream creation with a heaping helping of ice cream sandwiched between two halves of a freshly made Tom's glazed or unglazed donut and topped off with fun toppings like cookies or breakfast cereal. The whole thing is wrapped up so you can enjoy a handheld experience, just like an ice cream sandwich.
I will admit I was a bit skeptical. Yes, all of those ingredients are delicious by themselves, but together? I wasn't sure. But, this was love at first bite, and I am not the only one who feels that way (as is evident from the throngs of people you can find there on any given day).
The inspiration for the Yummi Bunni comes from the owners' travels. They love to visit Southern California and ran across something similar there. The idea grew and they eventually found the perfect location in Fort Wayne for their business.
At the time, the building was empty and pretty rustic: no flooring, exposed brick, etc. - basically a shell. The transformation is impressive, and the space now is very contemporary with black and white d?cor, accented with pink neon lights. The company's marketing materials, designed by local phenom Nate Utesh, are clean and instantly recognizable. They have built a very strong brand in a short time, which is impressive in a city that seems to crawl at a snail's pace when it comes to accepting new things.
My only complaint, and it's not really a complaint so much as a preference, is that the ice cream is not made locally. They source their product from a Wisconsin ice creamery that Yummi Bunni claims produces the best ice cream available. I've had some pretty darn good ice cream in my day - like make-your-knees-buckle good - and I can't say what they serve is the best, but it is good. And sandwiched between two halves of a donut, well, it's a pretty delicious combination.
Flavors rotate regularly, and each week they feature a Bun of the Week (BOTW). They also carry dairy-free and vegan flavors, as well.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Frozen Fireside: Dark chocolate ice cream with Oreo, bittersweet chocolate chunks and swirls of marshmallow cream on a glazed bun and topped with honey graham crackers. If you love s'mores, this one is for you.
Velveteen Rabbit: Red velvet ice cream on a glazed bun with white cookie sandwiches. This one is almost too much, but I managed to scarf it down in record time. The Red Velvet was spot on, and I like the substance of the cookies.
El Jefe: Horachata ice cream on a glazed bun with Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I am a big fan of Horchata and was very pleased with this bun. However, I did wish it had more Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The sweet crunchiness complemented the smooth ice cream and fluffy donut.
Couch Potato: Butter pecan ice cream on a glazed bun and topped with potato chips. I wasn't sure about this one, but my mom ordered it and let me steal a bite. The salty sweet combo is just right.
Convinced? Get your buns down there and find out for yourself what all the hype is about. You will not be disappointed - a little jittery from the sugar rush, maybe, but not disappointed.