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Restaurants & Bars

Smitty's Grill (Pasadena) - review -- great burger!

The Oracle | Dec 7, 200605:36 PM     8

Let me start by saying, I've never enjoyed Smitty's in the past. My office used to be right around the corner, and I tried it several times for both lunch and dinner and was never really impressed. Nothing struck me as good, and I've been surprised it's stayed in business for so long.

A friend was craving their prime rib, and so we headed there for dinner. I wasn't terribly hungry, and perused their wine list. I was pleasantly surprised by their offerings - as most were some of my mid-range favorites. I settled on a favorite Zaca Mesa Syrah.

For some reason, my not-so-hungry self zoned in on a burger. Very atypical for me -- but, hey, what the heck (the diet can wait). I ordered the "Smokehouse Burger" (Applewood bacon and cheese)... and I've gotta say - those that have been craving a good burger, should head here. For 10.95 you get a mound of heavenly goodness. Meaty slices of bacon, a very thick portion of meat, the bread is delicious and the cheese melted in perfectly with meat and sliced pickles. I opted not eat it with the tomato and lettuce it was served with (it came open faced, so it was very easy to remove). You can pick any side, but I stuck with the fries that came with it. They were lightly seasoned and VERY good when they first came out of the kitchen, but as I focused on the burger, and returned to them later -- they were cold, hard and pretty stale tasting - which was surprising to me.

I did not try a bite of the prime rib, however tried the mashed potatoes that were with it -- and they were heavenly. They are not heavy - but thin, very creamy and you could taste the butter oozing through the bite.

The room was quite full and the noise level was a bit much (although we were seated near the bar -- but I got the feeling the general noise of the main room is loud). I was there at 5:45pm without reservations and there were only 2 available tables by the bar. The hostess did not set a good tone for me, as she had a bit too much attitude - but I chalked it up to her hating her job and having a bad day. The waitstaff, however, was very professional, pleasant and attentive -- and extremely efficient (clearing plates, refilling glasses).

Would I go back? Not sure -- the noise level was high for my tastes and my diet doesn't allow me to crave a burger THAT much, however, I no longer will avoid Smitty's like the plauge, as I have done in the past - and would recommend it to people in the area. If you are looking for meat and potatoes/comfort food in Pasadena - this would be a good option away from the old town craze. It's part of the Smith Brothers Restaurants (Parkway Grill, Arroyo Chop House, Vibrato) and I would consider it to be a very casual version of ACH.

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