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Gerlach's Grill-- a little bummed

katkoupai Mar 11, 2007 11:03 PM

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. Alimentary My Dear Watson RE: katkoupai Mar 12, 2007 01:04 AM

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

    1. barryc RE: katkoupai Mar 12, 2007 01:10 AM

      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
        katkoupai RE: barryc Mar 12, 2007 09:14 AM

        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. m
        mc michael RE: katkoupai Mar 12, 2007 06:13 AM

        The burritos are pretty good.

        1. ipsedixit RE: katkoupai Mar 12, 2007 10:19 AM

          Grilled fish is always good.

          7 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit
            katkoupai RE: ipsedixit Mar 12, 2007 10:21 AM

            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
              ipsedixit RE: katkoupai Mar 12, 2007 10:32 AM

              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.


              1. re: ipsedixit
                katkoupai RE: ipsedixit Mar 12, 2007 10:38 AM

                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
                  yinyangdi RE: katkoupai Mar 12, 2007 04:06 PM

                  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
                    katkoupai RE: yinyangdi Mar 12, 2007 05:02 PM

                    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
                      yinyangdi RE: katkoupai Mar 12, 2007 06:47 PM

                      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
                        katkoupai RE: yinyangdi Mar 12, 2007 06:50 PM

                        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. t
            trojanhorse RE: katkoupai Mar 12, 2007 10:59 AM

            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
              katkoupai RE: trojanhorse Mar 12, 2007 11:14 AM

              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
                rantsnravesnreviews RE: katkoupai Mar 12, 2007 08:23 PM

                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.

                1. re: rantsnravesnreviews
                  katkoupai RE: rantsnravesnreviews Mar 12, 2007 08:33 PM

                  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. :)

            2. s
              socal RE: katkoupai Mar 19, 2007 12:56 PM

              I actually think Gerlach's is fantastic, but I see no reason NOT to have fish.

              I don't think I've had anything but the salmon taco plate in a long while. It's one of those things that I do crave. The salmon is tasty, the hot sauce is good, the salad and dressing are very good and the saffron rice is a nice counterpoint to the spice of the tacos and the tartness of the salad.

              Haven't tried the traditional mexican food there, but I don't see why I would.

              1. g
                go_bears RE: katkoupai Mar 19, 2007 01:13 PM

                If you decide to try Gerlach's again and are in a burrito mood, try the scallop burritto. Its not really on the menu (they have a scallop plate and scallop tacos on the menu) but they will make it for you. Don't expect a traditional mexican burrito, but I like it so much that I haven't ever ordered anything else at Gerlach's.

                2 Replies
                1. re: go_bears
                  ipsedixit RE: go_bears Mar 19, 2007 01:26 PM

                  They'll do the same with the salmon, if you ask.

                  1. re: go_bears
                    katkoupai RE: go_bears Mar 19, 2007 01:32 PM

                    Thanks for the suggestion. I might go back to try a fish or seafood item again.

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