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Pie ‘N Burger

913 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA - (626) 795-1123
Posted By Elise on 7/2/2014 2:20:00 AM
Pie n' Burger has a lot going for it. For over 40 years the little diner has graced the corner of California and Lake. The current owner is Michael Osborn, who ate at Pie n' Burger on summer trips to visit his grandmother. He began working there in 1972 and never left. The Formica® counters and elderly waitresses make entering Pie n' Burger feel like a trip back in time circa Nick at Nite. Pie 'n Burger has been around so long that its diet plate of a burger patty, peach slices and cottage cheese has actually come into vogue again.

The meaty patty is nicely charred. Burgers come standard with big leaves of iceberg lettuce, pickles, and thousand island dressing, which makes for a delightfully messy handful. There is so much lettuce on it that it probably counts as a salad, but instead of being filler, the crispy iceberg makes the burger strangely refreshing. You can also order your onions grilled, which we highly recommend.

As the name suggests, pies are the star of the show here. The fruit pies are possibly the best pies in the Los Angeles area, especially the blueberry pie. The flaky crust fairly bursts with blueberries, and the slice collapses under the weight of two massive scoops of ice cream. The cream pies are topped with meringue instead of a whipped cream topping, the best of these being the banana. When olallieberry season comes around it is newsworthy.

Best of all, Chronicle Wine Cellar is inconspicuously located in the back of the parking lot. You can stop in and pick up a bottle from the friendly shopkeeper, Gus Martin, before your meal. The diner doesn't charge corkage, so you can enjoy your burger with a shiraz or zinfandel.

Old-fashioned also means no credit cards. Cash or checks only, and I think a check might be pushing it. Although once as I dug for an elusive two dollars, the cashier said, "It's ok if you don't have it." Talk about the good old days!

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
blueberry pie
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Blueberry Pie!
"Blueberry Pie!"
Elise





This flavorful mincemeat pie is christened with a dollop of hard sauce for a decidedly British touch.
"This flavorful mincemeat pie is christened with a dollop of hard sauce for a decidedly British touch."
Chris & Amy Ayers


This peanut butter meringue pie had crushed peanuts folded into the smooth custard layer.
"This peanut butter meringue pie had crushed peanuts folded into the smooth custard layer."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Our waitress halved this handsome raspberry pie for us to share.
"Our waitress halved this handsome raspberry pie for us to share."
Chris & Amy Ayers


A small sign above the pie case reads, 'Take one of our world famous homemade pies home for that special occasion or just when you want to live it up.' No argument here!
"A small sign above the pie case reads, 'Take one of our world famous homemade pies home for that special occasion or just when you want to live it up.' No argument here!"
Chris & Amy Ayers


The crunchy-soft strata of pickles and grilled onions are a textural wonderland on this cheeseburger.
"The crunchy-soft strata of pickles and grilled onions are a textural wonderland on this cheeseburger."
Chris & Amy Ayers


The grilled onions, mixed with the homemade dressing, makes for a stupendous burger experience.
"The grilled onions, mixed with the homemade dressing, makes for a stupendous burger experience."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Ditalini, a short tube pasta, is used in this macaroni salad, though the coarse-cut purple onions make this dish quite pungent.
"Ditalini, a short tube pasta, is used in this macaroni salad, though the coarse-cut purple onions make this dish quite pungent."
Chris & Amy Ayers


When The Travelin Man ordered pancakes, he was asked if he wanted them thick or thin, like crepes.  These are the thick ones.  Slather them with the homemade preserves sitting on the counter and you have the start of a fine breakfast!
"When The Travelin Man ordered pancakes, he was asked if he wanted them thick or thin, like crepes. These are the thick ones. Slather them with the homemade preserves sitting on the counter and you have the start of a fine breakfast!"
Cliff Strutz


Next time, we'll skip these humdrum hash browns in favor of more pie!
"Next time, we'll skip these humdrum hash browns in favor of more pie!"
Chris & Amy Ayers


Hamburger of the gods
"Hamburger of the gods"
Elise


We were surprised to find the spicy salsa with green chiles was also made in house.  This went very well on eggs and potatoes.
"We were surprised to find the spicy salsa with green chiles was also made in house. This went very well on eggs and potatoes."
Cliff Strutz


Sitting at the counter affords a view into the kitchen.
"Sitting at the counter affords a view into the kitchen."
Cliff Strutz


According to clock near the front door, it is always time for pie!
"According to clock near the front door, it is always time for pie!"
Cliff Strutz


Just a few blocks from CalTech, Pie 'N Burger is worth a drive from anywhere in greater Los Angeles.
"Just a few blocks from CalTech, Pie 'N Burger is worth a drive from anywhere in greater Los Angeles."
Chris & Amy Ayers



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