RIALTO, Calif. — In Rialto, a restaurant is serving over-the-top waffles and spicy sandwiches from a train station.
Terrance Harper, owner of Forum Blues Café, spent years cultivating these out-of-the-box creations.
“Simple isn’t my style, and I didn’t want to be like anybody else,” said Harper.
The Forum Blues is definitely not like anything else. First off, the breakfast and lunch spot is inside the Rialto train station.
"When I looked at the building, it had a breakfast feeling," Harper said. "It just spoke to me. I fell in love right away."
Harper thencombined his other loves: sports and music. From the unique eats to the design and even the name, they all honor his passions.
“OK, I was like, 'Blue, forum blue. Oh, how about I do a blues café?' And that’s how it came to life,” he said.
Blue has a double meaning in this case. Harper is a die-hard Lakers fan, so the name "forum blues" comes from the team’s time playing in The Forum. Instead of purple and gold, the owner Jack Kent Cooke preferred to say forum blue and gold.
“It makes me feel like I’m still incorporating my town, Los Angeles and favorite team into it,” said Harper.
He also celebrates his favorite team in his top two dishes. The Hot Mamba and The Mambacita honor Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi. Harper had these on the menu before their passing and always hoped they would get the chance to try the sandwiches.
The fried chicken sandwiches are top notch, but the Forum Blues is known for waffles. Harper won't share the secret batter recipe, but the waffles are homemade and thin.
“It’s more light, like a difference between fluffy pizza crust versus thin crust,” said Harper.
You'll find waffles smothered in butter and served plain paired with brown sugar Hennessy wings in the Boogie Woogie or Brunch Boogie plates. But the waffles also come smothered with various toppings like cheesecake sauce and fresh fruit.
“It’s a place you can come where you can get unique food that’s not carnival food, not your day-to-day food,” said Harper.
This small but vibrant space is usually full of diners grubbing down on these delicious dishes, but since the pandemic, Harper had to reduce his staff from 17 to just three. The restaurant still only serving takeout but remains busy. The team works nonstop to crank out orders, never missing a beat.
“[Customers] are getting people who are cooking food that really care about what they are making,” said Harper.
Care and flair from this hardworking team at The Forum Blues located at 261 S Palm Ave. Rialto, CA 92376.