By Jackie Gonzales
Breakfast may be considered the most important meal of the day, but brunch can often be the most enjoyable. Specialty sweet delights straight from the griddle, savory amalgamations of egg, cheese, meat and vegetables, and refreshing fruity cocktails combine to make the perfect midmorning feast.
For residents of the Foothills, the Metro Gold Line provides easy access to plenty of brunch options within walking distance. My girlfriend and I recently visited three restaurants at three different Gold Line stops in Pasadena, each with their own unique qualities and delicious meals.
My first stop was Del Frisco’s Grille off of Lake Ave, only about a 10 minute walk from the train station. We began with the brunch tradition of cocktails, her ordering the White Sangria and myself a simple screwdriver. Although, I quickly wished I had also ordered a Sangria if only to enjoy the small “fruit-cicle” that adds the extra fruity flavor to the wine.
For our meals we each went for a classic with the Del Frisco’s signature touch. I would definitely recommend their chicken and waffles, the secret of which lies in the spicy syrup they give you to smother the dish in. The other meal of choice was the red velvet waffle, which subtly brings in that chocolate flavor of a red velvet cake and builds upon it with berries. Finally, if you are a bruncher who prefers a little food with your midmorning cocktails, Del Frisco’s drinks by the carafe or build your own Bloody Mary should place this spot at the top of your list.
Next on the path was Russel’s, a small breakfast spot a short 5 minute walk from Memorial Park Station. Russel’s is a fairly small, intimate restaurant which makes your meal feel that much more homemade. My girlfriend and I chose the latter and it was well worth the wait. From her raspberry mimosa to my feast entitled “The Big One” this quaint spot does everything right. My meal included eggs, bacon, hash browns, and a choice of pancakes, French toast, or waffle, and a choice of toast, bagel or English muffin. My inclinations leaned towards the waffle and English muffin, resulting in one of the best cooked waffles I had ever had. Russel’s is the perfect place to find breakfast cooked with great attention to detail and quality.
Our final brunch location lead us off of the Del Mar Gold Line station and to Green Street Tavern. Again, a champagne cocktail began our meal. A light mixture of some bubbly, guava juice and rose petal set the stage for two unique takes on the classic griddle breakfasts, French baguette French toast and a cast iron hot cake. You have never experienced a truly fresh cooked meal until you receive bacon still sizzling on your plate. The baguette gave the French toast such a distinct mix of textures as the cinnamon sugar formed a crunchy outer shell, shielding the inside, maintaining a melt in your mouth core. The only shortcoming of the griddle cake is that you have to tear yourself away from it to prevent from eating yourself out of your pants.
All three locations provide a unique experience and flavors for residents of the northern San Gabriel Valley area. With ease of access to the Gold Line, and tons more options to choose from, the brunch possibilities are seemingly endless.