Restaurant Review: REBoL
REBoL is a glitzy-looking project in a glitzy-looking location. Found at Easton II (aka Bridge Park in Dublin), the new spot has all the slick marketing of a mega chain. And yet, according to the internet, it has a more modest origin story. The first REBoL made its debut in Cleveland. Columbus is home to only the second REBoL. That’s small taters; practically local eats.
Actually, local eats is practically the only health-promoting philosophy that REBoL doesn’t heavily advertise. It’s food for “optimal performance,” it’s all non-GMO, with options that are gluten-free, vegan, paleo-friendly and keto. Not all the dining options are all these things, but whatever your neurosis, you can probably find your flavor.
Clarifying point: Not that people who are on restricted diets are all neurotic. But if you are, REBoL is paradise. If you’re just an average eater, REBoL is good too, there’s just a lot to read.
Of course, nothing could be better for any conscientious control-freak than a build-your-bowl schtick. This permits perfect control of the ingredients, without having to disturb and offend an opinionated chef. REBoL has your bowls, or “bols” rather.
Starting point options range from boring rice to more interesting options such as a cubed hash made with sweet potatoes, and a colorful grated cooked cauliflower mix that features little orange confetti strands of carrot. That aforementioned kimchi cauliflower mix looks like it might have an interesting flavor, but it actually has almost no flavor. It is, indeed, a background item that can fill the same role as rice (only with, you know: more fiber, more vitamins, and less starch).
For those who prefer raw veggies, you could also build your bowl on a foundation of house kale mix, finely shredded like angel hair. That one is especially appealing, and the shredding obliterates all of kale’s inherent coarseness.
Okay: on to the meat department. The chicken is awesome. Cut in chunks, it has a hard grilled accent that screams camp fire. There’s also a hearty brisket, served in giant shards with lots of integrity, it needs a little salt or something. The protein possibilities also include shrimp and falafel options. The chicken is the best: get the chicken.
Now you’re ready to put more stuff on top. The grilled vegetables are good, and the soft purple cabbage option is especially good, as it’s actually miso-charred cabbage and the savory miso element makes its presence known. Blueberry Guacamole is better than it sounds, as the berries give it an entertaining pop. In the sauce department, the options range from a weirdly plain chimichurri, to a super-savory, addictive yum yum sauce.
As you stand in line, you’ll notice that most guests already seem perfectly comfortable making decisions about how to build their bowls. Truly, the learning curve is not steep. That said, you can chicken-out (no pun intended) and just order one of their house combo bols, and the serving team will make all the decisions for you. Bowl prices start around $9 and might hit $12-13 if you get fancy.
Outside the bowl scene, it feels like there are lots of side-player options…but it might just be that there are lots of things to read about the side-players. There’s a Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie (not bad, not as good as the regular, traditional house chocolate chip cookie).
There is also a section called Zero Toxin Coffee. The ballistic facets of Bulletproof Coffee were not tested, per se, but it is a pleasant cup of coffee, enhanced with MCT oil and butter. It’s smooth, it’s caffeinated: that’s a win.
From there, you can try out the house smoothies as well as canned cocktails, beer and wine. Morning people can hit REBoL for its breakfast menu with both sandwich and bowl (bol) options.
Side effects from REBoL ingestion are supposed to include improved productivity, energy and focus. If you’re kinda hyper anyway, it’s hard to assess and verify those claims. It feels better than Taco Bell though, that’s for sure. You can run your own study at 6608 Longshore Drive.
For more information, visit wearerebol.com.
All photos by Susan Post