|Fried Chicken with Agave Chipotle Honey & Brussels Slaw||9/10|
|Roasted Mushrooms Crimini, Shitaki and Hummus||9.5/10|
|Maple Bacon & Tillamook Cheddar||9/10|
|Creme Brulee & Berries Waffle Sandwich||9/10|
|Nutella & Banana Waffle Sandwich||8/10|
TroBon is a brand new addition to the list of restaurants at the University Village (UV), a convenient and accessible location for UCR students and staff to dine. TroBon specializes in waffle sandwiches with a variety of different combinations ranging from grilled pastrami to BBQ pulled pork and their best-selling fried chicken. For my eating experience, I wanted to get a grasp of their sandwiches and whether they were worth it or not.
When I first arrived, I was met by a friendly cashier who instantly made me feel comfortable when taking my time looking at the menu. I ordered their best-selling Fried Chicken Waffle, Maple Bacon Waffle and the cashier’s personal favorite, the Roasted Mushroom Waffle sandwich.
To my surprise, the waffle sandwiches were reasonably priced when taking into account other restaurants around the UV. Their best-selling fried chicken sandwich along with the maple bacon and egg waffle sandwich were both $6.75. I would have expected it to have been at least $8. The veggie mushroom was a bit pricier at $9.25 but still not bad.
After I ordered, I sat down and finally took in the ambiance. The inside of TroBon was very chic, with bright red chairs contrasting the dark brown wood tables. It was very aesthetically pleasing and was only enhanced by the mural on the wall. It portrayed a beautiful red tree with its branches extending over the entirety of the wall. There were a few groups of people eating and laughing and some were even doing homework.
After a while, our food arrived and my friends and I were in awe at the presentation. The first smell that hit my nose was the bacon. It smelled so good and when I took my first bite it was very warm and cheesy. The eggs were seasoned with pepper and salt, and tasted delicious. The crunch of the bacon only enhanced the flavor and made my inner-kid explode in happiness.
The next bite I took was from the Roasted Mushroom Waffle. I was very intrigued by it and wanted to know if it was worth the $9.25 — let me tell you, it definitely was. Packed full of mushrooms and other veggies, my first bite was met with juicy mushrooms that somehow exploded in flavor, smoky and roasted to perfection.
Another flavor I tasted was this sweet flavor contrasting the smokiness of the mushrooms. I first thought it was cranberries but after talking to the chef, Miguel Hernandez, I discovered they were sundried tomatoes. Personally, I tend to stay away from any kind of tomatoes, but the ones in this sandwich are an exception. They added depth and sweetness to the roasted mushrooms and is an overall great veggie option for the price.
The third waffle dish I tried was their best-selling Fried Chicken Waffle. It wasn’t as warm as the others, probably due to the time my friends and I spent discussing the flavors of the other two. However, that did not take away from its taste. The chicken was so sweet and crunchy and paired with coleslaw, it was fresh and delicious. Chef Hernandez explained that the chicken is marinated for 24 hours prior to being cooked and served; I could definitely see why it is a best-seller. After a while, however, the waffle became soggy at the bottom and messy to eat, but I expected as much to happen after enough time had passed.
After tasting three waffle sandwich options, we tackled dessert next. First came the Creme Brulee and Berries Waffle Sandwich. It tasted super sweet due to the custard and caramelized sugar, but the crunchiness of the waffle and savory strawberries made the flavor well-rounded. For $5.75 you get a lot of value for your money, especially if you have a sweet tooth!
Next came the Nutella & Bananas Waffle Sandwich for $5.75. I love Nutella and bananas, but personally I do not see myself ordering this again. It was a delicious classic that was enhanced by the warm crunchy waffle, but if I came for dessert, I would go for the Creme Brulee waffle sandwich instead. Nonetheless, both were delicious.
After my eating experience, I was surprised at the absence of a food coma. I knew I was full, but I did not feel groggy or lazy. I definitely believe it is because of the fresh ingredients in each waffle sandwich — the mushrooms, bananas, strawberries, chicken, coleslaw and bacon all tasted fresh and healthy. It was delicious, and I do see myself coming back to try their other combinations.
Overall, I feel that TroBon is enhancing the UV, with its surprisingly affordable prices and healthy ingredients but I do feel like it is a restaurant where I would go in to celebrate the end of midterms, finals or as a treat yourself day.