Quick, Tasty Pitstop for 50 in or near Old Town Pasadena?
I'm leading a Sunday bus tour through Pasadena and need a spot where my 50 charges can get off the tour bus, pick up a nice snack or beverage to go, use the restroom (multiple stalls a must!) and be back on the bus within 20-30 minutes.
The tour deals with crime and local history, and the riders are a sophisticated bunch, so the pitstop must have some charm and offer high-quality snacking options. First choice was Europane, but I don't think they could handle so many people. Help me, Pasadenans... were you me, where would you take your passengers?
Gelsons? It's at the back end of the Paseo across from the convention center - Green St. Bus can park underground and charges can go uo the elevator or use the stairs to the store inside. Parking is free w/validation. Parking also streetside. They have a carving station, deli section, salad bar and a Victor Benes bakery. If the market does not work how about: S Lake and Del Mar. Not Old Town tho - Plaza has Trader Joes at the top and a Corner Bakery at the street level. Great parking there too! Another place would be at the corner of California and Lake. Wild Oats is there, a Peets coffee and a bagel shop. Wild Oats is an upscale health food market but, they have a great salad bar and a deli section where sammys could be made. There is also a juice bar and a small bakery. If none of these places do the job. I can lastly recommend Arroyo South across the 110 freeway and over to Bristol Farms. There patrons have a great sushi take out, pizza bar, salad and sandwhich bar. There's also a bakery and fine deli section. Across the street there's a Shakers restaurant which has a great curried chicken salad.
Have a great time! :) KQ
I would drop them near the corner of Colorado and Fair Oaks. There are plenty of restaurants, both casual (and quaint) and more formal; lots of shops, and lots of history. It's a historic area, with plaques on the walls of businesses, and some of the oldest commercial architecture in Southern California. If you go about two blocks south on Fair Oaks, there's a public park that probably has the bathroom facilities you are looking for.
Nearby are many high-quality, and some fun, food options. No chains (i.e. McDonalds-type places). Il Fornaio has a take out bakery with good sandwiches, as does Aux Delices. Mexican tortas are available from Tortas de Mexico, and El Toreo has some of the more solid California/Mexican cuisine around. Father's Office has lebanese food, and well, there are tons of other options.
Here's a link to some history on the area: http://www.oldpasadena.com/book
And here's a link for planning itineraries in the area:
That link also has a map of restaurants:
(okay, there are some chains.)
It's a good area to stop for a bit.
Thanks for the suggestions and helpful links!
I should have clarified that I'm hoping to find a single, not ginormous place to drop them at, as one or two people always lose track of time and we need to be able to easily locate the missing souls. A market might work if there weren't a lot of other tempting businesses around, though it would be more in keeping with the theme if we could introduce the passengers to someplace uniquely Pasadenan and fun or chowish. What about Beadles? Or is there a quick oldie-timey sandwich joint somewhere?
KQ, Bristol Farms could work, only that's near the end of our tour route. The mid point has us around old town and cruising along Washington and Colorado to the east, though we can detour for good grub.
Beware! Beadles was recently sold to a Korean business. Menu has changed, some things good, somethings not so good. Prices are higher too. They now have a salad bar that includes Korean/Asian things like seaweed and Kimchee. The lunch counter has sushi and some chinesey type stuff. For only 30 minutes, I would go to Cal and Lake for Wild Oats and Peets or down to Bristol Farms. You can also look at One Colorado Courtyard between: Fair Oaks, Colorado Blvd, DeLacey, and Union. There's an Il Fornaio rest., the barkery - a bakery for dogs, a great card shop-Papyrus, a hamburger shop, a sushi/Japanese rest., A Crate and Barrel and Gordon Bierch upstairs. The sandwich landmark, Rick's, is actually at Walnut and El Molino, the place for burgers and other greasy stuff but, it's in the residential area. Good Luck - KQ
We ended up going to Connal's, which was perfect--fast and tasty burgers and malts, and it's midway between a hammer murder and a bathtub suicide, so it fit our theme wonderfully. Thanks again for the suggestions.