Smokin’ prices, smokin’ flavor, smokin’ bowls! One of the city's newest additions, which made its debut Sept. 1, is the up-and-coming restaurant of Rohnert Park. From the outside looking in, the new restaurant Smokin’ Bowls, a mere 18 days old, seems like a randomly placed hole-in-the-wall in a secluded part off of Southwest Boulevard. However, this new addition proves to be a diamond in the rough.
“[Our location] is [by] such an interesting assortment of shops filled with fun, eclectic sort of things that I believe reflects our food too,” said co-owner Nick Topolos. When asked about its location, Topolos said the decentralized layout of the city made finding a place that would get a lot of foot-traffic difficult. Despite this, the restaurant’s interior holds a welcoming, “come stay a while” vibe. And Topolos ensured that the food made at Smokin’ Bowls offers something for everyone.
“We make fun, food truck food that focuses on value and flavor,” Topolos said. The menus’ variation of soul-warming comfort foods and relatively cheap prices, for a great amount of food, tie in all of the positive qualities of a food truck without the inconsistent location. There’s a great variety not only to those who are on the picky side, but to those with food allergies, too. The owners and employees realize the difficulty of finding delicious and reasonably priced food that also aligns with a person’s diet; resulting in everything on the menus being peanut, soy, and gluten free. Future menu plans include vegetarian and vegan options, too, welcoming all with dietary restrictions.
Menu favorites include the “Rohnert Park,” a fry-based bowl with barbeque pulled pork, bacon, and a cheese sauce that feels like a family barbeque all in one bowl; and the “Bowl Named Sue,” which contains southern style mashed potatoes, chicken and gravy. The bowl, Topolos’ favorite holds sentimental value to him since it’s named and inspired by his late mother, Sue, and her Oklahoma-style cuisine that he grew up on.
Smokin’ Bowls has already been approached by local gluten-free bakeries to start up a partnership, exciting the owners about the opportunity to promote small businesses.
A goal the owners are aiming for is to create a new hang-out for all age groups and encourage community interaction. Free wifi and outlet installations under each booth tend to lean towards the teenage and college crowd, however, sticking to their “We can keep both you and your laptop fed,” tagline stated on their website.
The large round table in the center of the restaurant would be perfect for study groups and to hold game or theme nights; which Topolos expressed is a future goal. “Some of my favorite moments is seeing couples on dates, families hanging out just enjoying their time together at our restaurant.”
There’s no denying the name, Smokin’ Bowls, holds a certain connotation. Of course, the owners realize this but embrace their restaurant as being a place for cheap, late night eats. If you need a new place satisfy your all-day munchies, Smokin’ Bowls is the place to go.