I grew up in Pasadena. Third generation, my grandfather worked for Cal-Tech then JPL, and my grandmother was in the women’s club, my father was and engineer at, well you know, that big building. I spent too much time at Bullocks on Lake Street, and cried when Macy’s bought it. I couldn’t believe it when Saks closed, wasn’t there enough rich old ladies in Pasadena to keep it going? I remember the Haagen Daz, and Jergens.
Fast forward several years. Notice in the above paragraph I did not mention the place, you know the place that everyone talks about. Its probably because I was a vegetarian for 8 years, them moved away for 10, and now that I have been back in the Dena for 10 years, someone had to drag me to a Pasadena icon. Gee how could I have ever missed the place?
I met my S.O. for lunch, I was shopping on Lake Street, yea, I have come to terms with Macy’s, and I actually like Ann Taylor! So I had worked up quite a hunger. We decided to go to Pie n Burger. He was appalled that I had not been there, and I call myself a native.
The place was busy; as I am sure it usually is at lunch. It was much smaller that I thought, with just a few tables and a counter. The menu is basically on the wall. Everything right there, it takes you back a few years too, Lo Cal plate, when is the last time we heard that. I started to consider something other than a burger, a grilled tuna? chefs salad? and quickly snapped out of it.
Cheeseburger, NO thousand, pickle, lettuce, tomato and grlled onion; thank you, my S.O. had hamburger with the works, drippy, messy, apparently delicious Thousand Island homemade on the premises.
Well, I was not disappointed and snarfed up every last bite of the hand made patty with the perfect amount of melty cheese, and french fries. The size is just right; you can get your mouth around the thing, barely. The charm of the place is that it takes you back, the kitchen is right in front of you and you watch everything being made, the waitresses have been there forever and seem to know everyone, except me of course, even my S.O. was recognized. He probably is a closet Pie 'n Burger fanatic but wouldn’t let on.
Oh, and the pie, not that I had room for any, well just a bite, boysenberry, yum. My suggestion is to go off peak times so you don’t have to wait and get ice cream with the pie. Yum.
Pie 'n Burger 913 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91106 626.795.1123