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Oct 26, 2004 03:15 AM

Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain

  • r

There have been mention of the great ice cream and malts at Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain in South Pasadena. But they also serve food there from what I understand. How is their food?

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  1. It's not bad at all. I'm partial to the turkey avocado and chili cheese dog, but avoid the "crabby" chowder. Too salty and no meat. Their salads are the usual iceberg lettuce with a wedge of tomato. A step up from coco's. I'm slightly curious as where the kitchen is because it's only a counter in the middle of a store. Where they get the food is a mystery to me.
    Your best bet would be to walk half a block north and into Wild Thyme. Now that place knows how to make a mean brunch. The best part? You get to draw on the tables. Unleash your inner matisse!

    805 Fair Oaks Ave
    South Pasadena, CA 91030-2605
    Phone: (626) 799-4169


    7 Replies
    1. re: tetleyaddict

      Since you know that area well, how is Gus's Barbeque and Cocktail Lounge that is on 808 Fair Oaks Ave?

      1. re: RUBulldog

        Not the worst offense to humanity, but really pretty lame on all accounts. It's really more of a coffee shop - kinda if Denny's starting selling 'cue.

        1. re: RUBulldog

          I passed by Gus' for several years, and finally tried it a few months ago. I wasn't impressed and won't go back. The food wasn't good and the atmosphere was out-of-date.

          Fair Oaks Pharmacy does make good sodas and shakes. I've never had their food, but from what I've seen being there, it's nothing to get excited about.

          1. re: Chris

            Gus's has great neon, and isn't a bad bar, but the barbecue is just wretched; flabby, sugary stuff surpassed in its awfulness only by the also-great-looking Hutch's near Pasadena City Hall.

            Fair Oaks Pharmacy does well by its phosphates and fresh-lime rickeys, but the food is pretty ordinary.

          2. re: RUBulldog

            Depressing, dated, half-empty and staffed with brusque aging waitresses who think you're the reason their lives turned out that way.

            I had been seduced in by the cool neon sign out front, but don't you make the same mistake.

            Someone smart would buy it & fix it. There's too much money in that area for that location and booze license to be wasted that way. (The Zeke's people, perhaps?)

            1. re: RUBulldog

              having being raised in south pas, i can say that gus' bbq is one of 3 or 4 barely average restaurants in south pas that have existed for seemingly an eternity without closing. CT is another one.

              as others have said, the worst entree at gus' bbq is the bbq. if you have to check it out, stick to the sandwiches.

            2. re: tetleyaddict

              Don't know about the food, but I had a raspberry malt (extra malt powder) that I still think about. Best malt I've ever had.

            3. A bit up the ways north on Fair Oaks is SODA JERKS, which also serves great malts and ice cream delights (with ice cream from Fosselman's as well).

              The shakes and sundaes are gloriously satisfying in a Norman Rockwell way. I always get the S'Mores Sundae, which is essentially your basic campfire s'mores (i.e., chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow) served a la mode with vanilla ice cream, and topped with a good dallop of whip cream and a nice little cherry.

              1. This place really needs to get a grip! The little teeny boppers working here are out of control. My wife and I stopped in on a Friday night and was forced to leave because of the loud rabble rousing and violent horseplay, that the apparent friends of the inexperienced high schoolers working the fountain were encouraging. Ironically, their friends causing the disturbance weren't eating anything. The kids literally had to scream across the room to find out if we wanted something. On our way out the door, two other couples noticed the "hilarious riot" and turned right around and didn't bother to walk in. As we were waiting for the traffic light to cross the intersection, we all commiserated how horrible the management had become. We've been trying to give this place a chance for 14 years now, because of it's location and potential for being one of the old soda fountains of Route 66, but unfortunately nobody involved with this place knows what that means. We won't be going back!

                9 Replies
                1. re: Tonyri

                  The place everyone else on this thread is talking about closed nearly a decade ago.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      I was referring to Soda Jerks. Nevermind.

                      1. re: Jack Flash

                        Sorry, Jack. Confusion reigns like usual.

                            1. re: Servorg

                              But thing is when I'm on the pier which isn't often i go for the frozen custard and concretes at pier burger.

                              1. re: jessejames

                                It's good to have choices, even if you don't avail yourself of them.

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  Yes. Fossilmans which is the brand they carry is nice too.