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Pasadena breakfast/brunch

Foodieaholic Jun 28, 2008 11:06 PM

Well, I've given up trying to find a board that covers mainly breakfast and brunch in Pasadena. I guess 53,000+ boards wasn't enuf to cover this question. So, my fellow chowhounds your my lifeline. I've tried Yahaira's, Wheatberry (recently closed), Cafe Verde. Any other good recommendations out here from you hounds? Also, can anyone confirm if the 561 Cafe (the Culinary Institue School restaurant) does breadkfast or brunch? Thanks a brunch!

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  1. ipsedixit Jun 28, 2008 11:18 PM

    Lots of choices ... just off the top of my head:

    The Raymond
    Firefly Bistro
    Green Street
    Mike and Anne's
    La Nueva Posada
    Andy's Coffee Shop
    Central Park
    Pie N Burger
    Wolfe Burger

    1. k
      kotatsu Jun 28, 2008 11:20 PM

      A couple of options come to mind.... Central Park on Fair Oaks is my current favorite place for breakfast on the weekends. Green St. Cafe on Shopper's Lane (just east of Lake) is also popular on this board. A couple of less-often listed places, but that I still feel are very good
      -Heirloom, in South Pasadena on Mission
      -Kathleen's, on Lake, about 3 minutes north of 210 fwy, west side of the street.

      Hope you enjoy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kotatsu
        CookieEater Jul 1, 2008 03:15 PM

        I really wanted to like Kathleen's, but for some weird reason all the cold things there are suuuuuper cold. First the room was freezing and the a/c blasted so hard I had to try to switch tables. Then the spinach salad was very nearly frozen and had actual ice crystals. I forgot about it thinking it was just an anomaly, but several days later I mentioned the name of the place to a coworker and she said I don't like that place, everything there is so cold!

        Anyway, any of these places people mention here are worth trying. But Pasadena still hasn't given me that transcendent breakfast experience that I've been looking for.

        If we're sticking strictly to Pasadena (not South Pas or Monrovia), Marston's is my favorite for traditional breakfast foods. Roscoe's is my favorite non-traditional.
        I bet Green Street would be good, their menu sounds yummy.

        1. re: CookieEater
          chowchow12345678 Jul 1, 2008 04:10 PM

          I don't remember Green Street's omelettes, but their pancakes aren't good, if I remember correctly they were dry and bland. You'd think Green Street can do a decent pancake but I thought it was one of the worst pancakes I ever had. I prefer their dinners.

      2. e
        exilekiss Jun 28, 2008 11:23 PM

        ipsedixit has a nice list to start with. :)

        In addition, Marston's and Le Pain Quotidien.

        Marston's Restaurant
        151 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91103

        Le Pain Quotidien
        88 Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: exilekiss
          Foodieaholic Jun 28, 2008 11:29 PM

          Exiledkiss: I 4got bout Marston's. I've been there a fav.
          Kotatsu: Been to Green St but never 4 breakfast. Gotta get there 1 day in the morning.

        2. r
          RoxyGrl Jun 28, 2008 11:58 PM

          Not Pasadena but I also like Peach Cafe in Monrovia

          11 Replies
          1. re: RoxyGrl
            crystaw Jun 29, 2008 12:24 AM

            I second the Peach Cafe rec-Monrovia is about a 10 minute drive from Pasadena. Marston's is also quite good but it gets really crowded. Central Park also serves up some worthy breakfast and I have yet to try their weekend items! I don't think I saw it on this board but Europane (near Wheatberry actually) has some killer items, I've enjoyed just about every pastry/sandwich I've ordered there.

            1. re: crystaw
              Fru Jun 29, 2008 07:00 AM

              The Langham (formerly Ritz Carlton, Pasadena) is a beautiful setting. Russell's in Old Town has the best bacon I've ever had. Just a little further out in Eagle Rock is Camilo's on Colorado. I have very reliable information from friends whose taste in food I respect that it is very good. I just haven't gotten there myself but intend to in the next couple of weeks. Euro Pane is missing from the above lists as well. It is primarily an awesome little bakery with a small breakfast and lunch menu and bistro style seating. Nicole's in South Pasadena is primarily a specialty foods store but again has nice bistro seating for breakfast and lunch. www.nicolesgourmetfoods.com The croissants, baguettes and brioche are delicious.

              1. re: Fru
                maxzook Jun 29, 2008 08:19 PM

                Russell's is my choice when the line at Marston's is too long on weekends. Which is to say, pretty much always.

                30 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

                1. re: maxzook
                  misseatalot Jun 30, 2008 09:35 AM

                  My first choice is Russell's. Best banana nut pancakes, so soft and so rich. Also they have the best sausage to go with their breakfast dishes and good rich coffee. Also a vote for Europane.

                  1. re: misseatalot
                    katkoupai Jun 30, 2008 03:45 PM

                    I've tried Russell's, Central Park and Marston's. My first choice would be Russell's. Marston's is good, but I thought the portions were huge. Order one plate and share there. Central Park is also decent.

                    Central Park Cafe
                    219 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

                    Marston's Restaurant
                    151 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91103

                    30 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

                    1. re: katkoupai
                      Foodieaholic Jul 11, 2008 06:23 PM

                      Kat, where's good Persian comfort food in Pasadena? Is Caravan Serai still around?

                      1. re: Foodieaholic
                        katkoupai Jul 13, 2008 10:54 AM

                        I have seen Caravan Serai but I have never tried it. It's near the Pasadena Playhouse. There is a Persian restaurant called Heidar Baba, across the street from PCC. I have never tried it.

                        My family likes Raffi's in Glendale and It's All Good in Reseda. I like Shamshiri Grill in Westwood.


                2. re: Fru
                  patz Jul 1, 2008 01:19 PM

                  if you're heading to eagle rock, auntie em's has an AMAZING brunch! i went every week when i lived in the area
                  EDIT: just noticed someone already recommended it - my recs on what to order there (besides cupcakes!) are below

                3. re: crystaw
                  Foodieaholic Jun 29, 2008 10:55 AM

                  Cry, thanks for your recommends. Wheatberry is dead, i.e., now closed. I was last there about in May. Love EuroPane, but isn't their breakfast selections very limited? I need to convince Sumi de owner to expand her "breakfast" menu.

                  1. re: Foodieaholic
                    diningdivala Jun 29, 2008 01:43 PM

                    Euro Pane has mostly pastries, French toast some days, good coffee, and that egg salad sandwich. The sandwiches and soup are great for more brunchie options.

                    Marston's: seriously, the French Toast is still decadent and delicious.

                    I had a horrible bruncha at Cafe Bizou not too long ago. Green Street breakfast is really pedestrian and very crowded, but the zucchini bread is pretty tasty. I saw a nice looking brunch menu on that hidden spot on Green in Old Town, Green Street Tavern I think is the name.
                    Haven't tried it yet, but like I said, the menu looked good, not too expensive. My guess is the food is 100 times better than Twin Palms across the way.

                  2. re: crystaw
                    slacker Jul 11, 2008 12:32 PM

                    I third Peach Cafe. I was so pleasantly surprised. Plus they serve breakfast all day! Yippee!

                4. burumun Jun 29, 2008 02:00 PM

                  Definitely try Marston's (see my post http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2007/12/pasadena-brunch-journey-part-1.html
                  )I've had the eggs benedict, the french toast, and some salads and were all great.

                  Also, second Green St Restaurant. And if you wanna venture a little further, try Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock (http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2007/...


                  Also, 561 Cafe definitely does breakfast, but only til 10ish and then reopens for lunch at 12. Remember they're not open Sat Sun though. I wasn't too impressed when I went - seems to me the students were more concerned about what they're having for lunch than making us food. Our sausages were nearly fridge-cold and so were the pancakes ...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: burumun
                    trolley Jun 29, 2008 04:04 PM

                    do you mean the school cafe right next door? that place is open only m-f. and it's full of students and the food is inconsistent. they have great croissants and cookies. 561 has very erratic hrs. i walk by at least 3 times a week since i live a block away. i've never seen them open for breakfast.

                    1. re: trolley
                      Foodieaholic Jun 30, 2008 12:27 AM

                      Burumun & Trolley: thanks 4 the info on 561 school cafe for breakfast. I guess we'll just go this week to see for ourselves: is it or isn't open 4 breakfast, and is it any good? Anyone ever heard of Amy's at Lake & Altadena?

                  2. Quik Jun 29, 2008 03:16 PM

                    My personal favorites are Mike & Anne's in South Pasadena and Auntie Em's in Eagle Rock.

                    1. s
                      SGV Gal Jun 30, 2008 02:07 PM

                      Here are our favorites:
                      Mike & Anne's (So. Pas) - service sometimes is a little slow; great patio dining
                      Julienne's (San Marino) - closed on Sunday's, love everything, expect a long wait
                      Leroys (Monrovia) - good, cheap diner (great tator tots!)
                      Auntie Em's (Eagle Rock), self service coffee, great cupcakes
                      Camillo's (Eagle Rock), really good dishes

                      We're still looking to add to the list. Tried most of those listed so far.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: SGV Gal
                        Foodieaholic Jul 1, 2008 12:04 AM

                        For Aunt Em's can u recommend anything for breakfast besides cupcakes & coffee? And how busy is it during that time?

                        1. re: Foodieaholic
                          patz Jul 1, 2008 01:22 PM

                          french toast is out of this world. they have great daily specials - you can't go wrong with any of their egg specials (depending on what's in season, they have roasted garlic and broccoli, mushrooms, pesto...). my so would get the open face sandwich with tomato and avocado every time we went (which was often)
                          it gets pretty busy on weekends, be there by 10 to avoid a long wait.

                          1. re: Foodieaholic
                            Quik Jul 1, 2008 03:25 PM

                            Their tuna salad sandwich, steak sandwich and cobb salad are all very good. Their mint iced tea tasted like water last time. It is a small restaurant and can get very busy so be prepared for a short wait.

                          2. re: SGV Gal
                            Foodieaholic Jul 1, 2008 12:09 AM

                            SVGal I wanna try Aunt Eim's. Can you recommend anything for breakfast besides the caffe & cupcakes? How busy does it get during the morning? Thanks.

                            1. re: Foodieaholic
                              SGV Gal Jul 1, 2008 03:48 PM

                              Everything we've had from the open face BF sandwiches, pancakes, to the omelets have been really good. They also have great specials. We usually go on Sundays after church around 11 a.m. and the wait is about 15 to 30 minutes. While you're waiting, buy your cupcakes because they run out of some of the more popular flavors such as the red velvet. We love the mini ones - perfect 2 bite sweetness!!

                          3. c
                            curiouspooka Jul 1, 2008 12:44 PM

                            Despite its popularity among food lovers, I didn't find Marston's that good. I have been there few times on weekends but the place is always crowded and no ventilations. Food is what I CAN find elsewhere. For the same price, I rather go to Bristol Farm Cafe. Their food IS really fresh and yummy. I also second Camillo's in Eagle Rock.

                            Euro Pane serves different variety of pastries and strong coffee and yet I find their pastries little too pricy and greasy.

                            1. mrshankly Jul 1, 2008 12:59 PM

                              This thread has me nostalgic for the Old Town Bakery and their Ricotta and Blueberry pancakes when it was open:(

                              I remember going to Wild Thyme in South Pasadena a short while back and it was pretty good. Not sure how it is these days though but you may want to give it a try.

                              1. c
                                chowchow12345678 Jul 1, 2008 01:17 PM

                                Bistro de la Gare in South Pasadena has the best tasting omelettes and French toast I've ever had, and it's a charming restaurant in a charming location. Some of the servers are real Frenchmen which adds a nice touch to the experience. www.bistrodelagare.com

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: chowchow12345678
                                  Fru Jul 1, 2008 03:42 PM

                                  Oh, I've been for dinner but never even thought of it for breakfast. Now I just have to put this thread in my favorites!

                                  1. re: chowchow12345678
                                    Foodieaholic Jul 4, 2008 03:20 PM

                                    Gonna try Bistro del a Gare but how busy is it M-F morinings and how are de croissants?

                                    1. re: Foodieaholic
                                      chowchow12345678 Jul 11, 2008 01:42 PM

                                      I don't know if they have breakfast on weekdays, I've only gone on weekends and there's never been a wait. I've always meant to try their croissants but haven't yet, they look really good though.

                                  2. cacaneil Jul 8, 2008 02:47 PM

                                    you should also try heirloom bakery

                                    1. avivale Jul 8, 2008 07:52 PM

                                      Some more ideas no one has mentioned yet:

                                      Twin Palms offers a buffet brunch and live music. I've never tried it because it's pricey and I really don't need the temptation of that much food. :) But they have a very lovely patio.

                                      Red White and Bluezz-- one of my favorite wine bars and dinner spots-- does jazz and brunch now on the weekends. It's also very expensive(!) but I am curious about their blue corn pancakes.

                                      In Old Town I actually like Mi Piace for brunch. They seem less snooty at breakfast :) and offer a nice selection of omelets. Last time I ordered an iced cappucino which was served in a milkshake glass!

                                      All that said, Eagle Rock is still better for breakfast. I haven't been to Auntie Ems in a few years (too crowded). I like Coffee Table Bistro a lot. My boyfriend, who's a little less complicated than I, likes Pat and Lorraine's old-style diner. It's a few blocks from Aunti Ems.

                                      Also worth trying at least once is Larkin's southern style brunch. For $15 (yes, also pricey!) you get to choose three items from the list, which includes the unusual options of sweet or savory grits and pancakes that come pre-syrup-ed. Trust me they really taste better that way.

                                      Happy eating!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: avivale
                                        Foodieaholic Jul 11, 2008 06:21 PM

                                        Avivale, Thanks for the newbies. Is Larkin's in Pasadena?

                                        1. re: Foodieaholic
                                          avivale Jul 13, 2008 03:05 PM

                                          You bet! Larkins is in Eagle Rock-- link below.

                                          1496 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                                      2. l
                                        lady_t Jul 10, 2008 09:08 PM

                                        Green Street Cafe is overrated. If you're willing to venture out of Pasadena, Foxy's in Glendale has the best pancakes ever! Fluffy and buttery...and they are perfect every time! Their coffee is really good too - and your cup will never be empty. Oh, and the eggs benedict...yum! Sometimes there is a wait, especially for large parties, and be warned that they allow smoking (!) on the patio.

                                        1. cacaneil Sep 4, 2008 03:34 PM

                                          Have you tried Marston's?

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