I was in Pasadena yesterday for some work-related business. As it was Sunday and the agenda flexible, my day started a bit late.. Hungry visited Pie 'N Burger. Been really wanting to visit the place again ever since reading Nick Solares' article on their burger on Serious Eats.
Of the few times I visited here (the last a looong while back) I had never tried the actual burger! How lame. Sharing some pictures that I took with my compact since it seems difficult to add anything more to Nick's thorough article.
Yes I ordered hash browns instead of fries. It was that hour where it felt a bit late for breakfast but it was also my first meal of the day so.. :)
Their unpretentious cheeseburger ($6.75) was all I wanted in a cheeseburger. For my lack of vocabulary everything I love about an In-N-Out but cranked up to not Ten but ELEVEN.. The griddled buns with an ever crispier edge. Fresh lettuce that seemed to want to spring unfold like a pop up tent. A slice of American cheese that doesn't overpower. Pickles, fresh onions (red). And of course a nice juicy patty with a great char (1/4 lbs)...
A fairly liberal use of thousand island sauce here which according to Nick is made scratch from an old Kraft recipe.
The burger also crushed a couple old notions of mine of what made a great burger..
That is that the patty had to be at least 1/3 lbs (this was only a 1/4 lbs) and how it also had to be cooked medium rare. In reality the patty just needs to be very moist which it was while still having that great char and beefy flavor.
The hash browns were pretty decent but hard to leave an impression after that lovely executed So. Cal. burger.
I had a great time and the servers were all fantastic. Next time maybe I'll leave room for a slice of pie. :)
Pie 'N Burger, 913 E. California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106
Quick dinner later that day before returning back home was at Philippe's for a French Dip.
I've also only visited Philippe's a handful of times but again that felt like a long long time ago..
French Dip (Beef, $5.75), Mac Salad ($1), cup of Split Pea soup ($1.80). I kinda prefer eating upstairs where there are a few dining rooms sectioned off like somebody's home.
Extra dipped and completely drenched in au jus. Mmm.
Yup, pretty much how I remembered. :)
The au jus isn't very salty but is very flavorful like a robust beef consomme.
My friend likes the kosher pickles here ($1.05). Yes quite fresh crunchy good!
Careful with the horseradish! It's potent enough to cause temporary amnesia.
The macaroni salad was pretty mayo-ey and sweet. I still enjoyed it though where it had a fresh relish crunch. Pickled eggs anyone?
Umm, I'd like to say next time but I have my heart set on a Lamb French Dip with Swiss Cheese!
Philippe The Original, 1001 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012