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Bulgarini Altadena-- anything near Bulgarini that I should try?

I usually get my Bulgarini gelato at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena. Now that Bulgarini's shop is open in Altadena, I would like to drive over to check it out. Is there any place near Bulgarini that I should also try? Since Bulgarini is only open until 8PM right now, I am thinking of a lunch or early dinner place that is cheap and good, and within a few miles of the Bulgarini shop. Thanks.

Bulgarini Gelato
749 E. Altadena Dr. Altadena, CA. 91001

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  1. Isn't Fredo's cheesesteak around there? I think another chowhounder did the Bulgarini and Fredo's run not too long ago.

    5 Replies
    1. re: bigtums

      Yes, I remember a recent post about Bulgarini and something. Maybe it was Fredo's. Thanks bigtums. Actually, a cheesesteak doesn't sound like a bad idea. :)

      1. re: katkoupai

        I heard that the other stuff is pretty good, like the hot dog and pastrami too. The fries and onion rings aren't anything to rave about-in fact I think a bad of chips would be better with the cheesesteak for the difference in texture (Yeah-I actually think about my food that much, crazy eh?). Enjoy!

        1. re: bigtums

          Thanks. :) I really need to go. I've read some of the old posts now, and man, it sounds good. I think about food too much!

          1. re: katkoupai

            There's no such thing as thinking about food too much! Okay, maybe there is and since I've found this website, it hasn't helped my addiction. (Plus being pregnant is helping either).

            1. re: bigtums

              Yes, I think if anything, Chowhound is making me more sinful, because now I have a venue where I might think about food so much. I can at least say that I think about food more than I eat it.

    2. If you're into coffeehouses, the Coffee Gallery is a few blocks down Lake Ave. from Bulgarini, just north of New York Dr. It's a funky little coffeehouse with art on the walls, ratty sofas, and odd-looking employees, most of whom sport multiple tattoos. Their lunch salads are good and the pastries, while not of Europane quality, at least aren't the usual pasty-looking flat croissants and such you see in a lot of coffeehouses.

      3 Replies
        1. re: katkoupai

          I'm thinking that, if you're going to head all the way up there, you might just want to make a meal of their gelato. I don't generally obsess, but this stuff is amazing...

          1. re: HungryGirl

            Good point, HungryGirl. I was concerned that I might ruin my appetite for gelato if I had a big meal. That said, I'm still curious about what is good and nearby. :)

      1. there's a new restaurant within walking distance of bulgarini's, it is amy's patio cafe. the weblink is:


        it's not a great place, just a simple place. there really isn't much else in altadena. fox's restaurant is nearby at 2352 Lake Ave - i think they just serve breakfast & lunch.

        4 Replies
          1. re: budabonz

            Fox's is a dreadful little greasy spoon. Amy's looks a lot more promising but I haven't tried it yet. It would be hard to do worse than Fox's, though, unless you're pining for flyover-country diner fare. Personally I think the fig tree in the alley behind the restaurant is more appealing.

            As mentioned, Fox's closes at 2pm, so most people are spared the indignity. I ate there once and decided that was enough. Nice staff, but I really dislike that kind of food.

            1. re: ttriche

              Thanks, ttriche. I actually passed Amy's today. It looked like a cute place. I decided to have dessert, instead of lunch, and only went for the gelato at Bulgarini. I haven't heard of or noticed Fox's.

            2. re: budabonz

              Thank you, budabonz . I saw Amy's. It looked nice from the outside.

            3. Just make sure that you go for your gelato Wednesday-Sunday 12 Noon-8PM. I should of checked first but especially when it comes to sweets I go on impulse and this afternoon I was greeted with a closed shop, and no I'm not sobbing! I'm not!

              1 Reply
              1. re: sel

                Sel, what a bummer! I noticed on their website that they were closed Monday and Tuesday. Maybe, he was making gelato.

              2. Nearby there's an Italian deli whose name escapes me at the moment.

                3 Replies
                1. re: SauceSupreme

                  Pietros. they have some good sammies (as Rachel Ray would say), if that sounds good for dinner. They also do some pastas and pizza but I have never tried them, so I can't vouch for that selection.

                  1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

                    Thank you. I passed by Pietros today. Maybe I will try it down the line. :)

                    1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

                      Actually, Pietro's is the sandwich/pizza shop - the deli is Roma, right next door, though it's more a combination salumeria/grocery, since he just sells ingredients. GOOD ingredients, like literally-melt-in-your-mouth imported mortadella, and his own excellent fresh sausage. As for Pietro's, I like their sandwiches, except that the bread they use has a soft crumb and tough crust and they double-slice it (so that there are two whole layers of ingredients with a slice of bread in between)...so when you bite down the innards tend to goosh out the sides. Not an eat-while-driving kind of sandwich!

                  2. I finally went to the Bulgarini store today. I had the hazelnut gelato and the pistachio gelato (half and half) in a small cup. It was delicious! For some reason, I liked it even better than when I have their gelato at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena. This may be the best gelato that I've ever eaten. I really loved it. I took the advice of just enjoying the gelato, instead of having lunch first. I do wish their shop was in Pasadena, though.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: katkoupai

                      I went to Amy's last weekend. It seemed to have a lot of the problems a startup place with inexperienced management have. The menu is also a little pricey for many things (I love the Rehns blueberry pancakes for $3.75 so you might go ahead and call me cheap, but they really are lovely and huge). Got eggs benedict, and tried to glance at the omelettes others ordered, which also looked just okay. They seemed to be short on help except for bussing, and the kitchen was having a hard time keeping up too. Our food was just okay, but our waitress was very nice. The hollandaise was kinda bland, and the English muffin was white, not even slightly browned, much less "toasted".

                      I like the eggs benedict at the Diner on Main and Wild Thyme best so far of the places I've tried. (Both the same family as Shakers, Beckham, and Central Park Cafe.) I also think if a breakfast entree is $10, the ham ought to be better than just boring old regular ham?

                      The bigger disappointment was the fruit bowl. I'd rather pay $6 for a nice one like Marstons serves, this was $4. It looked like it had been refrigerated a couple days, the cantaloupe got that whitish color from drying out, the grapes looked a week old, and there was a slice of grapefruit that required a lot of work to get the fruit off the rind.

                      However, they have a nice concept and menu, and they may improve with some experience, so I'm not giving up on them, since I think we need more/better breakfast options in this area.

                      1. re: MaryT

                        Hi Mary, always on the lookout for good breakfast. Where is Rehns? Thanks!
                        Also, on Lake just south of Washington is La Caravana which serves wonderful pupusas (I like the Plato de Mini Pupusas (9 different types - they have 10 types you can order from). Also, I had their Sopa de Res once and it was really good.

                        La Caravana
                        1306 N Lake
                        Pasadena 91103
                        (626) 791-7378
                        Sun-Thurs 10-9
                        Fri-Sat 10-10

                        1. re: WildSwede

                          The Reyn Coffee Shop is on the west side of Lake Street, just south of Orange Grove.

                          1. re: Local

                            Decent burgers and pretty good egg-and-stuff platters, and a smart-talking waitress flirting with ancient customers. Not a destination, but a good coffee shop. Breakfast and lunch only, and they don't take any sort of plastic.

                            1. re: Local

                              Oh! I eat there quite often for breakfast, thanks! I pay with credit card every time I go - $10 +,

                      2. There's always Tonny's Mexican (on Lake/Orange Grove).

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: The Oracle

                          Hey, does Tonny's have omelettes (non-frittata style I mean, did I spell that right, sorry), etc. or is it more Mexican breakfast entrees such as huevas rancheros?

                          Rehns has been mentioned before, I think some have described it as "earthy" and downhome, etc. The omelettes are not great, but those blueberry pancakes are yum. And it has an almost midwest or southern feel at times, even moreso depending on the customer mix you catch. And those 2 main waitresses are a riot.

                          I need to educate myself on these pupuseria places. I used to hike with a guy from El Salvador, and he used to talk about their food. What would be a good type to try?

                          Sorry, now, that is 2 questions isn't it.

                          1. re: MaryT

                            Oddly enough, one of my favorite of the pupusas was the pepperoni. It was really good and shocked me! I also like the chicharron, frijoles con queso, queso, Jalapeno with cheese. These were my favorites. Their cabbage slaw and salsa is not that tasty (I prefer the ones served at Mestizo on Lassen in Mission Hills) but add some tapatio and salt/pepper and it is fine.

                            1. re: WildSwede

                              I will try it the sampler idea. I think I had heard about another place on one of the parallel streets, like Los Robles or Fair Oaks that might be worth a try, I'll research.

                              Tapatio and salt and pepper Can be better than bad salsa at times, huh.

                              1. re: MaryT

                                Yeah... it is nice to have that option! Enjoy and thanks!

                        2. Fredo's is getting hype so I decided to try it myself. I live in the area, and so after my weekly grocery shopping I decided to get a sammie to go before I went home.

                          I told Dan I heard great things about his sammies and ordered the works, peppers, onions and mushrooms. He took my order and immediately told me that the kitchen staff is all new and today was there first day. He was clearly concerned, and chatted with me while I waited for my sammie.

                          I got it inot the car, with the intent to wait until I got home to eat, but since that is 10 minutes away I thought I had better get at least a couple bites. Yum. It was delicous. I took several large bites in the car and then devoured the rest of that half when I got home. Tons of meat, not a single piece of gristle, juicy with out being soggy and just the right amount of cheese and pepeper, onion etc so as not to overwhelm. I have no complaints. My bread was soft, and the roll ws large but definate did not overwhelm the sammie. Plenty of meat in every bit. A half was more than enough. I hope he does well. I will go back and I recommend the philly's.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

                            Agree with you on all points! I had a great mushroom cheesesteak yesterday(with wiz). The cheese, the meat, the onions, mushrooms were blended into a perfect uniform mass yet each item was still uniquely distinguishable. I was only able to eat half also and am now eating the other half for breakfast. :P

                          2. Sorry to bring up a relatively old thread, but I had the hazelnut, pistachio and choco/hazelnut here today. good stuff! too bad I don't live around here.

                            as for nearby eats, I hopped on the 210 and ate at Din Tai Fung in Arcadia.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: choctastic

                              great choice on DTF. it's a nice drive down altadena drive to the 210.

                              note BULGARINI is now screening movies and serving homemade pasta dinners every other week. i believe the next will be fri., 8/17. delicious.

                              also, note the new and much improved hours:

                              Wednesday & Thursday: 12pm - 9pm

                              Friday: 12pm - 10pm

                              Saturday: 11am - 10pm

                              Sunday: 11am - 9pm

                              1. re: revets2

                                Thanks for the update on the hours, revets2 - I'd been struggling to get there before closing, now I won't have to be rushing.

                                1. re: ElsieDee

                                  Get on their mailing list next time you are there, they'll spam you with the movie night announcements (this week's is "Ciao Professore", starting at 8:30pm) and so forth. Leo finally hired some help, too, so the place is slightly less of a madhouse.

                                  But only slightly.