Pie 'n Burger is a little joint near the corner of Lake and California in sunny, oak-tree lined Pasadena. Once you step inside, you feel you've been transported back a few decades (according to their website, 1963 to be more precise) .. you're greeted by a long diner counter that stretches down the narrow space to the back of the restaurant, where 3 or 4 small tables are tucked in the corner. The dark wood paneling that was so popular back in the 60s and 70s surrounds you, absorbing the natural light that streamed in from from storefront window.
My compadres and I sat down at the counter, focused on our mission: we each ordered a burger, later followed by a slice of homemade pie. (Sidenote: how can anything made at a restaurant be called homemade? well, unless it really was made at home like the tamales at Mexican places or the various packaged, cooked goodies found at Chinese markets.)
The burger was pretty good. Not amazing, but not bad at all. It was like a really big In n Out burger. The buns were toasted so that the edges were all crispy; the meat was pretty thin, but had that nice grilled flavor, and was still fairly soft, not overcooked or chewy. There was a ton of lettuce piled into the burger, which I liked b/c it gave the burger a feeling of freshness and added to the crisp factor, which I always enjoy. There were a couple of pickles thrown in, no tomatoes, special sauce (aka Thousand Island) and, at my option, onions. All in all, it was a good-sized burger that was juicy enough to be dripping onto my plate (and my clothes, as I'm a messy eater), good enough for me to summarily consume in probably less than 5 minutes. It hit the B-spot.
The fries were nice, too. Relatively thick cut, and extra crunchy.
Then we moved onto the pie. Dutch apple a la mode, banana cream, and strawberry with whipped cream. All good choices. I'm a huge fan of banana meringue, so I was partial to the creamy smoothness of the custard and the chunks of banana; I don't usually like meringue, but this was done well, so it complemented the bananas well. The crust was flaky and moist. Mm. We especially liked the strawberries in the strawberry pie - huge pieces that were sweet and juicy. ~
Burgers and pies are like the Bonnie and Clyde of LA dining. It's just another one of those perfect unions that had to have been forged in heaven by The Man himself: popcorn and soda, pizza and beer, milk and cookies, milk tea and tapioca balls... So if you're craving something salty, something sweet and ultimately satisfying, Pie 'n Burger is where you wanna go.
Pie 'n Burger
913 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106