A few years ago, my daughter’s babysitter lived off of Hunter Road, which kept me driving by the collection of shops and restaurants on the corner of Hunter Road and Murrieta Hot Springs. One day I decided to explore what was there and stumbled upon Aromas Café. At that time it was a café-florist, which made a colorful, fresh smelling combination, but perhaps it wasn’t the most child-friendly place. I could easily imagine my own toddler tipping over a bucket of expensive roses or pulling down a forty-dollar plant. Needless to say, I kept Aromas as a me-time, child-free treat.
Fast forward four years, and now Aromas has received a major facelift. Stephanie Pisarek, along with her parents Bob and Sandy Pisarek, purchased the café this past June. Gone are the flowers and limited seating. Now Aromas is a spacious café with plenty of tables, a comfy couch, and a child-friendly atmosphere.
I’m happy to report they still have all the delicious coffee drinks that the original Aromas was known for. My go-to was always the sugar-free, fat-free ice blended mocha. It tastes the same as before, and in fact, might just be even better. It’s so sweet and creamy; it’s hard to believe it won’t actually ruin your diet. But if counting calories isn’t your thing, then you have to try their super popular Almond Ice Blended. Yes, it tastes just like an Almond Joy Bar, but unlike a candy bar that’s gone in two bites, you can enjoy this drink sip after sip. Then there’s the incredible Peanut Butter Mocha, which is exactly like drinking a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup. If you’re in the mood for that decadent chocolate/peanut butter combination, this coffee drink is a must.
Aromas also offers other tasty coffee concoctions you won’t find at that “S” place. Named after favorite treats such as s’mores, strawberry shortcake and even German chocolate cake, these unique coffee drinks will satisfy any sweet tooth. Or perhaps you have a special flavor combination that you want to try? If they have the supplies, they’ll make it for you right there and then. If not, Stephanie says, “We’ll special order any drink ingredients a customer wants.” All their specialty drinks can be ordered hot or cold.
Indeed, it’s all about pleasing the customer at Aromas. Stephanie previously worked at the now-closed California Bagel, and many of her loyal customers have followed her to Aromas. So she decided to keep the California Bagel tradition of serving their extremely popular tiny cinnamon buns called cinni-minis. These remarkable little treats are fresh, warm and delicious. I’m warning you now – one won’t be enough. But since they’re just fifty cents each there’s no problem buying more.
Of course, being a café, there are a lot more baked goods to choose from. They have apple sticks which taste like cinnamon buns with apple cobbler inside, large (actually huge) cinnamon rolls, bear claws, muffins, brownies, cupcakes, and cute coffee cup shaped cookies. Their menu will change seasonally, so when fall comes around look for their delicious apple and blueberry crisps.
They even have fantastic breakfast sandwiches. I tried the warm croissant filled with egg and provolone cheese. It was large enough to share and I found just one half of it to be incredibly satisfying.
But Aromas isn’t just for breakfast. They now have salads, soup, and humongous sandwiches made with a quarter pound of Boar’s Head meat and fresh bread from San Diego’s Sadie Rose Baking Company. At $5.99 these sandwiches are an amazing deal and will definitely keep you full until dinnertime. They even keep your hungry four-legged friend in mind. You can pick up a homemade natural dog treat at the counter and bring it out to the patio, where doggy water bowls will keep “Fido” feeling refreshed.
In a rush to get this wonderful food and coffee? Fax or call in your order and they’ll have it ready for you. All they ask is if you fax-in your order to call afterwards to make sure they’ve received it. Handy fax forms can be downloaded from their website.
However, if you’re not in a rush and decide to linger, you’ll probably want to check out the gift items adorning the walls and shelves, as well as a couple of racks of clothes by local designer Tobie Gonzalez. Free wi-fi also entices customers to stick around and relax for a while.
In fact, it’s the neighborhood atmosphere that this family-owned business really wants to cultivate. Aromas is available after hours for a small fee for community gatherings and meetings. They want to help up & coming local musicians, so soon they’ll be hosting live music nights on the weekends. They also plan on sponsoring food booths at various charity events in the area.
Aromas Coffee & Café, 29950 Hunter Road, Suite 103, Murrieta, CA
(951) 461-6777 ~ fax 951-461-2299 AromasCoffeeAndCafe.com