This week, I’m visiting a personal favorite. Mr. Roboto Tokyo Grill, commonly referred to simply as “Roboto’s”, was one of the first places I discovered when I first moved to Tallahassee in 2010. Located within walking distance of my previous apartment, Roboto’s was my “go to” place where I was able to quickly pick up some quality food before hitting the books again. Roboto’s is a “fast, casual restaurant chain” that specializes in “Japanese hibachi and also a variety of pan Asian, Thai and vegetarian options.” Open since 2008, Roboto’s flagship location is on West Tennessee St., but due to their rapid success and popularity, they now have a second location on West Pensacola St. as well. No matter what time of day you visit, Roboto’s always has a fun, friendly, and relaxed atmosphere, embodied not only in the affable and helpful staff but also by the colorful and vibrant murals on the walls, depicting images as diverse as traditional Japanese koi fish to epic battle scenes reminiscent of old monster movies.
As you walk into Roboto’s you are always greeted by the dull roar of people enjoying their food, punctuated by the cadence of orders being called out. Mix this with the music emanating from the speakers above and the smell of fried rice from the kitchen in the back. All these elements work together to create a fun, casual environment in which to enjoy a meal.
On this trip, I ordered General Tso’s Chicken, along with some Spicy Tuna sushi. General Tso’s Chicken is from the “Kitchen” section of the menu; it is breaded chicken in a tangy and sweet sauce, served with fried rice and vegetables. But, if you’re like me and you love Roboto’s fried rice, make sure to ask for double serving instead of the vegetables. Roboto’s fried rice is absolutely delicious. I’ve tried to duplicate it at home numerous times but, unfortunately, with very little success; it’s tough to get a fry pan hot enough to properly fry the rice instead of just serving to simply heat the rice up. So, whenever I get a craving for fried rice, I make my way over to Roboto’s.
I also ordered the Spicy Tuna roll, which includes pieces of tuna and avocado wrapped in rice and nori, and topped with spicy mayo. For my palette, the spicy tuna roll has just the right amount of spicy kick to it, being present but not overwhelming. For those still on the fence about the whole concept of sushi like my girlfriend, get the Country Bumpkin, a great choice if you want to try sushi but you don’t like the idea of consuming raw fish. The Country Bumpkin consists of grilled chicken, cream cheese and avocado wrapped in rice and nori. While not a traditional Japanese sushi restaurant, Roboto’s has a good sushi selection and definitely does a more than adequate job of the sushi that it does make. You’re sure to find a favorite amongst the selection available. Offering some wonderful combinations of flavors, their tasty sushi is delicious and definitely hits the spot.
As usual, Roboto’s fulfilled my expectations and my stomach, and I leave more than satisfied yet again. I encourage you to visit either of Roboto’s locations and try it for yourself. With a wide variety of food that offers something for everyone on its menu, Roboto’s is a local favorite that, without hesitation, gets the Eat Like a Nole stamp of approval!