By Luke Quezada
Photos by Luke Quesada
You’ve been eating the same things your entire life in this town. Why not look past the ordinary and venture into the unknown with these five lesser known morsels.
Meatball Sandwich at Domenico’s
Domenico’s is back in South Pasadena after an absence of several years. With new ownership came changes to the Domenico’s menu including additional items, unique new recipes and a new and improved red sauce recipe. Although known primarily for its pizza, the meatball sub is worth its fair share of praise. Derived from an original recipe, this sub has perfectly airy meatballs, a homemade red sauce, and soft bread. This is very much a messy, no nonsense sandwich. You are not going to get anything fancy, but you are going to get a mouth watering, flavorful sandwich that is more than enough to relieve your hunger.
Domenico’s, 700 Fair Oaks Ave, Open daily Lunch, Dinner
Kalua pork at Hawaiian BBQ
Hawaiian BBQ has been under new ownership for a little over a year now. The menu now includes sushi and every recipe has been updated. This change brings a more Korean style take on classic Hawaiian dishes. The tender pork and mac salad is rivaled only by the authentic Kalua Pork plate lunches of Maui. Being a more Korean style version of the dish, there is a large amount of cabbage mixed in with the shredded pork. Served with white rice in a Styrofoam tray, the essence of the islands is perfectly captured in this dish.
Hawaiian BBQ, 711 Fair Oaks Ave, Monday-Saturday 10:30-9:00
The Friday Special: Roast Pork sandwich at Papa Don’s deli
Nestled away on the west side of town, Papa Don’s deli is home to dozens of subs all crafted by a chef with an impressive attention to detail. With slow roasted pork, tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, green chile and red onions on soft bread toasted to perfection, the Roast Pork sandwich satisfies every time. The pork butt is slow roasted for 2 ½ hours before it is braised in an original sauce with chile guajillo and chile de árbol for a hint of spice. This along with tomatoes, onion and spices is added as the fat is slowly rendered away for an additional day. When it all comes together, the result is a savory sandwich packed with tender, shredded pork, crisp vegetables that is served every Friday.
Papa Don’s Delicatessen, 303 Pasadena Ave, Monday-Saturday, 8:00-3:00
Mid-East wrap at Grassroots
For a dish that’s healthy without sacrificing flavor, try the Mid-East wrap at Grassroots. Health foods store Grassroots may be known for its shakes, juices, and salads, but this wrap makes a great healthy vegetarian lunch option. With chopped iceberg lettuce, hummus, quinoa, tabouli, cucumbers, tahini dressing, and more all wrapped in a whole wheat or gluten free tortilla, the Mid-East wrap is a handheld Greek salad. Nevertheless, the fresh cucumbers, crisp lettuce and ripe avocado make a light, refreshing and flavorful combination that complements the rest of Grassroots healthy menu.
Grassroots Natural Market and Kitchen, 1119 Fair Oaks Ave, Monday-Saturday 9:00-7:00 Sunday 10:00-5:00
“The Cookie” at Bristol Farms
As soon as you walk through the front doors of Bristol Farms, the strong smell of your childhood intrigues your senses. The source is “The Cookie,” a masterpiece of a dessert. This, however, is not just any chocolate chip cookie. Warm dark Belgian chocolate, toasted walnuts and a hint of sea salt make “The Cookie” the perfect twist on the traditional chocolate chip treat. The rich chocolate chips and savory walnuts create an unforgettable flavor. The soft center and crunchy edges make the perfect melt in your mouth cookie that is served warm all day. This sweet and savory cookie has an allure that can only be understood after you’ve had one.
Bristol Farms, 606 Fair Oaks Ave, Open Daily