Walter Mencken 4 p.m., May 3
Yum Yum Yo
While out searching for a sandwich shop (that turned out to be closed), I passed by Yum Yum Yo at the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and Highland Avenue. I've been by the place a time or two before and I always assumed it was a frozen yogurt shop due to the "yo" in the name. I think it used to be a yogurt shop, but now YYY is more or less a smoothie and banh mi kitchen. It's also garishly adorable on the inside. Everything is kid-sized and made of plastic in super-saturated colors.
There was a lot of candy for sale, really a surprising amount; everything from ten-cent taffies to that spicy, Mexican tamarind stuff. Apparently, the place had been designed with a ten-year-old's perspective in mind.
Still, there was plenty of stuff for adults. Yum Yum Yo has 42 kinds of smoothie and a selection of Vietnamese dishes and banh mi that start at $3.50. Unfortunately, I didn't see that they had a durian smoothie (!) until after I had ordered an avocado one. The avocado was very good, not too sweet and whatever Yum Yum Yo is using to blend smoothies must have a one-point-twenty-one gigawatt engine because the fruit and ice had been pulverized to a remarkably fine mist. The resulting texture was very satisfying.
I also tried one of the banh mi sandwiches. It came with different kinds of cold cuts, mayonaise, crisp vegetables, and plenty of green herbs. It was pretty small, maybe a touch smaller than average, but banh mi are almost never enormous. I wouldn't say it was exceptional, but the bread was good and crispy and the veggies tasted fresh and crunchy so the texture, which is a big part of this kind of sandwich, was on point.
Yum Yum Yo is at 4444 El Cajon Bouevard. I couldn't get accurate information on when the place is actually open due to lack of literature and a woefully outdated website, but as far as I can tell it is open seven days a week during mostly normal business hours.