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Gerlach's Grill-- a little bummed

I tried Gerlach's Grill in Pasadena for the first time today with my fam. We ordered the fish and chips plate, the lamb kabob dinner and the three carne asada tacos plate. I was really looking forward to it, since I had heard good things about it on this board. Well, the result was the thing we all liked best was the side salad, and basically only the side salad. The lamb was a bit tough and smelled off, the rice seemed cheap and like yesterday's rice, the asada was a bit too chunky, and the fries were soggy. The overall quality was mediocre at best. I'm bummed, because I was really looking forward to eating there. Aside from the salad, the fish in the fish and chips plate was probably the best main meal of the three. I will definitely go elsewhere for carne asada and for kabob, and I don't know if I'd go back to Gerlach's. Also, I'm one who hates to waste food, but I actually threw out all the rice that came with these meals, and that was quite a bit of rice. :(

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  1. I've never understood the raves either. Mediocre food in a dumpy location. Utterly undistinguished.

    1. the food is better when grach is cooking - which is highly unlikely on a sunday; i actually thought they were closed on sundays.

      1 Reply
      1. re: barryc

        They were open and doing business on Sunday afternoon, around 5:20PM. I don't know about their hours. It was my first time there. :)

      2. The burritos are pretty good.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Yes, maybe their fish options are better.

            I did notice a separate white board menu with fish options. Maybe those were more fresh. But what about that rice? Maybe next time if I go, I'll ask for no rice, extra salad, and also ask what their freshest meat or fish option is that day.

            1. re: katkoupai

              Hmm, what about the rice? I just know they give alot of it. Never found the rice to be bad, or good.

              Also, one has to keep things in a bit of perspective despite the raves (or rants) by fellow 'hounds. Gerlach's has to be appreciated for what it is -- viz., a neighborhood grill that offers solid food at a good price point, with a very convenient liquor store next to it.

              Is it something to drive out of the way for? No.

              Is it going to rock your world? Mmm, probably not.

              Is it good for some grilled seafood and meats every so often? Probably.

              Cheers.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                True. It was $30 for the three meals, total. Still, I guess I've had cheaper food that was much fresher, and I didn't think any of the food was solid or good (except for the salad) :). Good advice though about keeping perspective re. what people say on the board.

                I *was* able to purchase Hoegaarden beer from the liquor store next door, which is a white Belgian beer that isn't sold everywhere. So that was cool.

                Thanks for your reply ipsedixit. I appreciate it. :)

                P.S. I didn't know Gerlach's was a hole-in-the wall (basically a walk-up window) until I drove by it on Fair Oaks. From all the posts, I imagined it as a small sit-down restaurant. :)

                1. re: katkoupai

                  I've seen Hoegaarden for sale at several different places: WF (3rd/Fairfax location) and, I wanna say, BevMo (WeHo location), to name two.

                  1. re: yinyangdi

                    Thanks for the info. I really like that beer, but I don't drink too often. It was just cool to see it there (unexpected). Thanks for letting me know other places to get it. What is WF (Whole Foods)?

                    1. re: katkoupai

                      yeah, I didn't want to write the name "outloud" (so to speak) I'm totally bummed that WF bought Wild Oats.

                      Also, I've seen Hoegaarden on tap in several places, too, but haven't really been drinking all that much beer when I'm imbibing.

                      1. re: yinyangdi

                        I have only shopped a few times at Wild Oats. I appreciate their fresh juice bar. I hope that when WF takes over, they keep that. :)

          2. For really good, fresh lamb and beef kebabs and excellent falafel, hummous, and baba ghanouj, try the mediterranean cafe on lake avenue. It's only accessible from the back (parking lot) side, and is just down from wahoo's fish tacos. You can get a combo plate that will fill up even a big eater for under $10.

            3 Replies
            1. re: trojanhorse

              I went to the Mediterranean Cafe recently, on the recommendation of Ernie on this board, and really loved it. Fresh quality and cheap prices. Less than 10 bucks for a meal and a drink. I agree, trojanhorse, wholeheartedly. :) In fact, I was thinking about this place, as a comparison point, when I wrote the above comments. Thanks for posting this. :) I never had the lamb there, but the veggie combo plate was really yummy and fresh and fairly cheap.

              1. re: katkoupai

                It really has alot of bang for the buck. Good food and very reasonable prices. Haven't been to Gerlachs for a few years, but it was always good to me although I only order the grilled fish.
                http://rantsnravesnreviews.blogspot.com

                1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

                  Thanks for the input. It seems that the fish options at Gerlach's would be the way to go, then, if I decide to give it another try.

                  I definitely will be back to Mediterranean Cafe, though. :)