The Reneagade Room meets expectation

Lizette Chavez, Editor-in-Chief

One of my favorite pastimes is trying new food, so most of my precious free time is spent at restaurants or farmer’s markets. I find that experiencing new cuisine is best done with friends, it is fun to look at each other’s faces when taking that first bite, especially when one of you knows how a dish tastes.

As a poor college student I obviously cannot (I should say should not) spend so much money on food at restaurants and yet is the hardest thing to say no to, except maybe my chip addiction. If you really break it down it is quite a bit of money that is spent, you must pay for food and drinks, not to mention leaving a healthy tip (like a good human being) and you have to take gas money into account.

So when I heard rave reviews about the Renegade Room I was struck dumb by how well it met my criteria. The Renegade Room has an ever-changing menu, which means as a guest you will be able to try a new dish every single time.

It is reservation based so the staff isn’t trying to rush you out, you have time to really enjoy your food and hold good conversation. However, this does mean you have to call in ahead of time and hope you can get a reservation and although you usually reach a machine, which my anxiety is thankful for, it does make it hard to really be sure your reservation is set. I do appreciate, though, the close proximity and assurance that if I want to treat myself after a particular hard school day I can literally walk across campus and do it.

Another aspect that I enjoyed is that the restaurant is run by Bakersfield College students which really made me feel better about spending my money, which brings me to the best part of it all, the price! The most expensive price to pay is a little less than $14 a person and that is only during the dinner time slot. Granted they charge extra for drinks, as they do in most restaurants, but you get an endless number of refills and I have to say the Pink Lemonade is definitely worth it. If they bottled it I would buy it.

The food they had available for my visit, was quite interesting as I decided to go to their dinner buffet, which was themed as “The taste of New Orleans”. The restaurant had an array of dishes to choose from a lot of which I had never had before but had always wanted to try, like deviled eggs and gumbo, the former of which I liked better.

A lot of the dishes they had reminded me a lot of foods I had grown up eating, like the rice and beans dish but especially the caramelized bananas topped over vanilla ice cream with its sauce. That dessert brought nostalgic memories of my mother caramelizing bananas as a warm treat for my brother and I as children during the cooler months.

One of the dishes I really enjoyed was surprisingly the salad (I had seconds), unlike most meat eaters I don’t abhor salads, in fact, I have a lot of fun finding ways to make salads less bland, but I have to say the chefs at the Renegade Room did an amazing job when it came to complementing flavors, who knew pecans were so transformative, mark my word I will forever be spending time trying to recreate that salad.

As for dessert the white chocolate bread pudding with a whiskey sauce was unquestionably one of my favorite plates. The cream and strawberries gave the bread pudding a slight cheesecake taste but the sauce and white chocolate were more reminiscent of a crème brule.

I have to say though one of my favorite moments about the experience of a themed buffet was the interaction with some of the other patrons. It was nice to see strangers stop and share with each other what dish they should try next or just seeing people’s faces when they found something they really liked. It was nice being in a room full of people trying new things together, it really gave the room a different feel, more safe with a sense of camaraderie. It was really heartwarming to see people of different ages and ethnicities focused on one thing, I may sound sappy, but it did make me feel a little more hopeful about the future, given our current political times.

The Renegade Room did not disappoint my expectations of it, as a person I am quite picky and I do usually find myself disappointed at restaurants that receive good reviews, but this time it was not the case. I have always felt that the best food I could ever eat would be my mother’s, and although I still think that is still true, The Renegade room at the very least showed me that my mother is not the only good cook in this world. Though, I will say the pork chops with the mustard sauce, which I found to be a nice hollandaise, still uphold my dislike of pork chops, and as of this point no one, not even my mother, has made me tolerate them.

Regardless, of my hate of pork chops, I say to the Renegade Room keep cooking, baking and churning because I will certainly keep eating. But also I am serious about that pink lemonade, you guys can make some money, bottle it!