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Any good eats in northern Pasadena (Washington Blvd area)?

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I noticed that the Washington Blvd area (east of Lake) is looking a bit revitalized. Any good eats in that area? Cheap is OK? Snacks, bakeries, coffee places, restaurants? I'm curious what chowhounders think.

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  1. Sandwiches by Connal is a good spot for burgers, shakes and (yes) sandwiches. On Washington, just east of Hill.

    1. The one truly chow-worthy establishment in that area is Carmela Ice Cream, which opened last year. I like House of Basturma, which is practically next door, and opened in 2010 (thread: .http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/661008). House of Cakes and Cookies and Sarkis Pastry have good old-school Armenian cookies. Koko's is probably my favorite of the Armenian bakeries in the area for savory items, like lahmajune. Vrej (on Allen) has satisfying za'atar croissants and excellent knafeh on weekend mornings.

      I've had pizza from Domenico's, which wasn't great, and burgers and shakes at Sandwiches by Connal, which was standard mom-and-pop stuff. Burrito Express has okay-ish gringo burritos, and Lebanese Kitchen has okay-ish Lebanese food, though I prefer Mediterranean Kitchen on South Lake. I've been warned away from Mijares -- apparently it used to be good but has declined sharply. I've been meaning to try Scuderia Torino, which is supposed to have good soujoukh and lebni sandwich. I haven't tried Bliss, but it's primarily a hookah cafe.

      I can't think of anything else worth mentioning in the immediate area.

      1. people seem to really be into the sandwich you get from Roma Deli which is on Lake. I just tried it a few days ago and thought it was alright. It's a huge step up if you're used to Subway sandwiches, but it seemed to be pretty standard fare for Italian delis (like Claro's and Bay Cities)

        1 Reply
        1. re: andytseng

          Huge difference between Roma Deli sandwich and Claro's - the latter are on soft rolls with lettuce, tomato and Italian dressing, while Roma's are on a freshly-cut crusty roll with just olive oil, cheese, and three kinds of meat. Sort of the Sicilian answer to the French jambon-beurre. I enjoy both kinds, but given the choice of living close to either I'd pick Roma; how lucky that I do!

          Lebanese Kitchen up on Washington used to get a lot of love here, though we've never tried it. La Caravana on North Lake, across from the Food 4 Less, is Salvadoran, and very good and not expensive. Pinocchio's, a block north of Washington on Lake, looks like a decent Italian place; we've had only appetizers, when we attended a community meeting there, but we intend to give it a try in the future.