Good eats near Pasadena City College?
I've just enrolled in a weekend class at PCC - the school's more or less at Colorado & Hill in Pasadena, and I drove around last weekend but didn't see a lot of promising options. Any decent eating options within walking distance or a quick 5-min. drive that you all would recommend? I've usually got an hour for lunch, I'd rather not spend it in the purgatory that is the Burger King on the corner all the other students seem to frequent!!!
Thanks a mil for your help...
You've got a ton of great options...
If you go west on Colorado from Hill, you'll find a Zankou Chicken (pita wraps, chicken, hummus) (a few doors west from McDonalds).
If you go a few more blocks west (maybe 1/4-1/2 mile) (towards Lake), you'll find a couple great Thai places (PresidentTwo (upstairs above Subway) and Taste of Bangkok (between Mentor/Lake).
In that same area (Mentor/Lake), there's a great bakery (Euro Pane) and Lovebirds Cafe has decent sandwich options (but the lunch time rush can be ridiculous).
If you like Indian, there's a couple Indian buffet options (Rahdika's (Between Lake/Mentor and Cordova/Green) on a little street/alley called Shopper's Lane). There's also one upstairs by PresidentTwo - but I can't recall the name.... New Dehli, perhaps?
If you go south on Lake, you'll find more food options (Wheatberry (great sandwiches)), Zono Sushi (good lunch specials)... a little further down (Lake/Del Mar) is Corner Bakery (sandwiches/salads)..
Some so-so Mexican chain options: Sharkey's is the best, IMO (on Cordova, just west of Lake) - there's also a Rubio's (on Lake) and a Baja Fresh (on Del Mar, just east of Lake) - if you are into that kind of thing.
Oh! and just so you can weigh in on the heavily debated Pie n' Burger, check it out as well -- (on California, just east of Lake).
That should keep you busy for awhile. If you are looking for anything in particular, let us know!
If you want a burger or chicken sandwich - that type of thing - your best bet in the area is Tops, which is located on the SW corner of Walnut (one major street N. of Colorado) and Allen (next major street east of Hill). Fantastic onion rings and fried zucchini. Burgers are the thin, charbroiled variety. They also have chicken sandwiches, burritos, etc.
Definitely better than McDonald's, Burger King, etc.
You probably noticed the Tommy's on Hill, north of Colorado.
I second the rec for Zankou. Probably the closest, best, cheapest option.
Go a couple blocks east on Colorado and you'll find a place called Big Mama's & Papa's pizza. Big slices of thin-crust pizza, that's a lot better than you would expect. Seems like a good lunch option.
There's a Thai place directly across the street from PCC that isn't bad. Not the best in the area, but certainly convenient.
Slightly more than a 5-minute drive, but no more than 10, you'll find a huge Whole Foods Market at the corner of Foothill & Rosemead (take 210 east to Rosemead North exit).
Whole Foods has a tremendous prepared foods section; they do nice sandwiches to order; and all kinds of other stuff. There's a really nice variety of things to choose from. I think you could make it there, get something, bring it back and eat it in less than an hour.
Mediterranean Cafe has really good kebabs and is inexpensive. No decor, just good food. Go west on Del Mar and turn right into the parking lot just before getting to Lake St (where Baja Fresh is). The place is two doors in, next to the Mission Art School and Wahoo's.
Is this the place where the proprietor is a bit of a grouch, won't serve any food 15 minutes before he closes, has the lights off, the chairs on the tables, and sweeps right under the feet of the patrons at the outdoor patio 10 minutes before closing?
If so, the place is ok, but Zankou wins hands down in my opinion. There is no other place that does garlic sauce like they do! Just had their leftovers for lunch. Mmmmm.
That's the place. It closes at 8:00 p.m. The food is really good however. I get the combo steak & chicken kabob or the groud beef & chicken kabob. Its not on the menu but just ask for it. They serve it with hummus, a nice feta salad and good rice pilaf.
The place is, in my humble opinion, better than Zankou.
The owner is kinda rude the closer it gets to closing. I suspect he has a hottie waiting for him somewhere.
Two quite adequate Mexican joints are Amigos, at Colorado and Wilson, and Lupita's, in the strip mall on the NE corner of Colorado and Sierra Madre. The latter has I think better food, and is cheaper (and much plainer). Check out their dark-roasted salsa. There's also Rosarita's at Craig and Walnut (next door to In-N-Out), which I've heard raves about from Latino co-workers but have not yet tried.
There's a Hamburger Hamlet, if you like those, on Lake between Cordova and Del Mar, and Green Street Cafe in the block north of that, both accessible from Shopper's Lane. HH actually has some decent stuff - I love their fish and chips, and the Cajun burger - and GS is pretty good if pricey for lunch, though I'll never try dinner there again.
Oh, and speaking of fish and chips, Brit's at 1770 E. Colorado is supposed to have the best around, though I've yet to test that assertion.
Paring down the options to the only ones I actually enjoy (some have been mentioned by others):
Across the street is Haidar Baba which has passable Persian food.
Here's a curveball: the taco truck on the Caltech campus (Ernie's)- different locations - is excellent and cheap with a huge menu - both Mex and American and all of it well made.
Easy Walking distance:
West on Colorado:
Zankou Chicken: fast, cheap, and very tasty
Andy's Coffee Shop: straight-forward diner food, good breakfast.
Europane: maybe the best bakery in LA. Prices aren't cheap but then go to an inferior bakery in the westside and it is a bargain.
President 2 (Two): best Thai food in Pasadena - and they deliver.
Longer Walks: Lake Avenue
Zono Sushi: perfectly adequate with reasonable lunch specials
Mediterranean Cafe: yeah the guy is grinchy but the food is good
if topps suits your fancy, you can do better and drive a little further east to lee's hoagie house on colorado just before sierra madre (the actual cross street is roosevelt). all the stuff is good (i think the number of police cars you see there over the course of the day is a good indicator) - but try the chicken hoagie - and get their number - you can call ahead and ask for pickup.
similarly, it's a little bit farther drive, but after you try it once, you'll want to call ahead and get one of the fish taco plates (i'm partial to the sea bass, but the lamb is good too) at gerlach's grill at the corner of fair oaks & glenarm. i live 3 miles away on the other side of PCC and it's usually ready just about when i get there. the only problem is if you eat the whole meal you'll probably go into food coma in the afternoon - i'm a big eater but the three tacos, rice & salad for only $6 fills me up.
if you like zankou but get tired of it, you might try a little place at the NE corner of villa & allen, can't remember the name, i think they're still there, but the proprietors are armenian, and the style is a bit... earthier for want of a better way to describe it.
i'm not so impressed with zono sushi, IMO the one in glendale is a lot better.
brits is OK, nice change of pace.
but that chicken hoagie at lee's (along with the complimentary homemade pickles) is awfully good.
thanks a mil for the recommendations - you all rock, i live mere blocks from a zankou in HW so i'm well acquainted with their food already. tried med deli based on everyone's advice here last weekend though, and it was delicious. looking forward to either brit's or europane this weekend, i've actually been meaning to try europane anyway and had no idea it was that close until several people recommended it!