nice lunch at Central Park in Pasadena! (formerly Soda Jerks)
just came back from a very nice lunch at the newly opened Central Park restaurant. With a friend, split a tuna nicoise salad (baby greens, potatoes, tomatoes in a very nice dressing) and chicken caprese sandwich (foccia bread, mozzarella, carmelized onion, balsamic vinegar). The server forgot that I wanted french fries instead of the broccoli salad, but that's ok. The broccoli salad is actually more exciting than it sounds. Food came very quickly, and service was good.
Can hardly tell that this was formerly Soda Jerks on the inside, with wall art of movie stars (mostly black and white photos) everywhere. There is kind of a sun room near the front of the restaurant that seems to be the nicest part of the restaurant.
Near the hostess station, there are also menus for Wild Thyme, Shakers, and Diner on Main (Alhambra), all of which I have eaten at, and none of which I thought were exciting. However, this place has a nice variety of stuff on the menu - pasta, salad, sandwiches, burgers, pizza and just about everything is less than $10 for lunch. Great food, priced just right.
If I had to point out any downers, it would be that the yellow tomatoes in the salad seemed to be refrigerated a little too soon (tasted kind of mealy) and be warned that the lemonade/arnold palmers are served in a slushy lemonade that isn't very sweet.
While service was exemplary, I was disappointed with almost everything we tried. The warm calamari salad on spinach was drenched in a sickly sweet dressing, while my ravioli was downright salty. The chicken satay was tough, overcooked and bland. Even the children's menu disappointed -- portions were large enough, but the pizza and the pasta were pretty tasteless. The Grand Marnier crepes were a soggy mush.
I wish I'd gone with my instincts and tried the hamburger, which looked appetizing.
Selection of hot teas was disappointing -- Bigelow's, which is a notch below Twinings.