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a helluva "crawl" lunch on valley blvd

kj | Jun 9, 200609:48 PM

my gf has every other friday off - we try to spend the day together and as usual, a major portion of that day is spent running errands. today, it was haircut, nails and the cleaners - her stylist is on valley blvd ( she lives in pasadena ) in rosemead. i tagged along, it was around 11:00 am - i did n ot have breakfast so i decided, park the car, walk her to her hair appointment then i would go for a walk.

i saw petrillo's up and across the street - a small pizza - thin crust, sausage was sounding good...but low carbin' what to do. but 1st i walked by a vietnamese sandwich shop - not sure the name - but it was hopping - maybe i'll take a closer look on the way back.
as i walked up to it ( never been to this petrillo's my local one is in glendora ) - the restaurant was closed at lunchtime but the to-go section was open - i decided to keep walking - i then come across Claro's italian - is this related to the claro's i frequented in tustin....yes !!!

this claro's had an even more rustic, local store feel to it then the tustin locale ( i loved that store ! )

walk around - decide to get a few meatballs, some sausage, peppers and onions ( yes, all cooked ) with some marinara on top and a bottle of pelligrino - sit outside at one of their tables - an old timer was sitting there and we discussed " the neighborhood" the food etc. btw when i was checking out, they had 4 different platters with "taste" items - all were outstanding - and perfect for me - just a one bite sample.

awhile back i remember someone asking about an italian market like those in ny - not sure if this place fit's the bill but i tell you what - the stacks of cookies, the fresh loaves of bread, the pastas, the olive oil's - if i lived nearby, i would visit once a week for sure - i also found out they have a store relatively close to me in west covina - it's on my list.

after i finish my snack i see 888 seafood - never been - i'm sure my gf and i will go there for our "formal lunch " so i start walking back to the stylist. i come across the newly opened vann's bakery - of course i stumble in - this is the larget bakery i've been to ( i do not visit many bakeries ) - it's an amazing store - a rainbow of colors on all the various confectionary treats - i got a laugh out of a delivery truck in front stacking 50 pound bags of c&h sugar in the front - i showed restraint here - no treats...yet

i make it back to the sandwich shop...sorry don't know the name ( same side of street as 888 - about 1/4-1/2 mile west ) - i decide to walk in take a look - i couldn't resist - i order 3 egg rolls ( $1) and the house special sandwich ( $1.50 ) - they give me the egg rolls immediately - almost all pork filling, a few veggies, ginger taste - excellent and fresh !

my gf calls asking where i am because she forgot to bring cash and she needed to pay for her haircut - i could see the shop from the sandwich place...i told her 2 minutes ! just as i got my sandwich, she called again - took my bag and started walking. paid for haircut, she had to go next store to the beauty shop - i stood outside looking at the bag - i could smell it - i told myself - only 2 bites - you still had lunch with gf and should not be eating bread !!

i opened it up - took a bite .....omg !!!! heaven - crisp veggies, crunch to the roll, yet chewy fresh, had slices of bbq pork, turkey and a pate spread out on the roll - the chinese parsley/ cilantro and i believe a little bite from daikon is one of the most amazing sandwiches i've every had - it had a fair amount of meat - not packed full - but for $1.50 - it has to be the best sandwich deal ...ever !!!

i actually showed restarint and only took 2 bites.

and yes...still went to 888 with the gf - it was very good - i did not eat much - but i like ocean star and triumphal palace more - sorry i've written enough already so no need to detail 888

as i drove off, i thought - damn - the variety, the great flavors - all within a stroll - i've pub crawled in england and italy - this was better, even though alcohol ( maybe next time, i'll carry a bottle of wine in a paper bag ) would have heightened the experience...i love so cal !!!!!

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