Pasadena >Food & Dining > Pie'n Burger
913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA | Directions 9110634.136002 -118.131496
Neighborhoods: South Pasadena
This place is a classic. Come here get a burger and make sure you save room for pie. Duh.
There is no final, perfect hamburger. No quintessence of burger greatness. But if there were one, it would be this incredible little Pasadena diner, a national Mecca for burgerphiles.
Generations of Pasadena-area residents have come to this tiny diner to do battle with the surly wait staff over -- you guessed it -- pies and burgers (plus breakfasts, salads and sandwiches). Both the lemon and banana meringues are known to elicit shrieks of delight upon first bite.
Old school burger joint with old school charm. The burgers and simple and homey, tastes like a backyard BBQ burger. The pie is equally as unfussy and equally as tasty.
Excellent food, WORST SERVICE EVER!!!!!!!!! – Ok let's just begin by saying the positive aspects of the restaurant. The food is truly very good. From the burgers to the breakfast you will enjoy each bite........that is if you get it for take-out. I cannot begin to express how awful the service is and let me say that I've lived within walking distance for TEN years and have never once received friendly service. This is not a one time bad experience at this place, it is constant. I only eat there when a friend is willing to go pick it up as I always leave there with a bad taste in my mouth. For those reviewers who attributed the attitude to being Asian I can assure you it has nothing to do with race, it simply is all about people who are rude and cold, regardless of anyone's race. Time after time we are met with condesending comments and blank stares. These people are not employable and I can't believe anyone would hire them. The owner himself is a nice man and I just don't know how he's ended up with one total a-hole after the next. Time for a change because this place will not withstand as long as this service continues.
For locals only! – I've have read most of the reviews here and it seems that both the negatives ones and the positive ones are true. Great (greasy) burgers! Just like I like 'em. Fries are your average cafeteria, greasy and dry?McD's are much better. It appears that the owner thinks that his bread n'butter are the local customers, they don't care much about the occasional straggler that walks in to just "try them out". I felt it when I first went in there for the first time, you get that ?WTF are you? look and then after waiting for a very long while (I guess once they figure you ain?t going away until you eat) they decide to talk to you and tell you to sit where ever you want. Yep..waitresses are not friendly at all to the non-locals! All the time we stood there waiting, I saw how friendly the staff was with some of the other customers already eating, the kind of service I would have like to have but didn?t get.
Since my friend worked close by (she really liked their burgers) I sort of became a regular customer and I guess once they saw me there more often, I started to get better service. Once I became a ?regular? I could tell who the newbies were; they were the ones standing by the register with a clueless look on their face and no one to help them. The ones that brave the wait and the uncomfortable feeling of being stared at by other customers and ignored by the staff, are in for one damn good burger.
Behave yourself in a white community! – This is the most discriminating restaurant I have ever been to in Southern California. A warning, if you are Asian, please do not venture into this restaurant unless you are with a white friend or expect be thrashed. I went there once on a Sunday morning, all this talk about over-priced food, no parking space and rude service was true. I am not a person who is usually too picky about the service, but to sit on a bar for 25 minutes waiting to order food while the Caucasian customers from your left and right who came after you had already ordered and gotten their food, that is just over the line. During the meal I was not attended even once by the waitress and had to ask five times for a piece of napkin and was refused any napkin after a white male customer who sat next to me threw his used napkin to my side of the table, when I started complaining and received only a nasty stare from the waitress, the same customer turned to me and told me to behave in a white community. The waitress certainly seem very ill educated and ill mannered.
I left the bill and a dollar tip but really think I shouldn't have. I give this restaurant a one star rating, but I think half of a star is more than enough.
Cool little place with awesome pies! – It's an old school restaurant with what appears to be the same furniture it had when it opened (which I think is pretty charming). They serve the classic comfort food but you gotta try the pies - esp. the banana cream pie. It really is that good.
It can get crowded so don't be shocked if you have to wait a few minutes to get a seat.
Bad taste in my mouth – After reading raving reviews, my husband and I finally made it for lunch. We got seated at the counter and ordered cheeseburgers and fries. It was nice to see your lunch being made right in front of your eyes. Fresh lettuce, freshly grilled hamburgers on a toasted bun with thousand island dressing were assembled and neatly wrapped.
The reason I gave them one star was due to the fact that their service was rude, but only to select customers, us. The couples seated to the right and left of us all ordered the same lunch. The waitress joked around, smiled at them and asked both couples if they would like extra pickle, refills on their drinks or a plate for ketchup. To us, she looked at us as if she was having a bad day and did not want to be bothered. When we asked her for a plate for ketchup, she bent down to get a plate or something and told the couple sitting next to us "I only have two hands" and chuckled. I was a bit shocked to hear the waitress say that. We weren't being rude patrons, we just asked for a ketchup plate since she never once checked with us to see if we needed anything while she was busy checking with the couple seated to the right and left of us. While eating, we noticed the person who appeared to be the owner at the register was quite friendly and was chatting with some folks that appeared to be regulars. I noticed that he would ring people up and made a point to ask customers how their meals were and stuff. What do you know, when it was our turn to pay, not a single smile and a blank look on his face, it was strictly a cash transaction. Did his mother die or something between the last customer and us? Being the only Asian people at the diner at that time I couldn't help but really wonder if the grade of service varied on your race. Overall, I rather go to In-N-Out or pay a little extra and go to Houston's.
My BOC Vote – I vote for Pie 'n' Burger for Citysearch BOC Best Hamburger EVERY YEAR. Although I enjoy the pie at this joint...it's really all about the burger for me. When the place is slow (which is not very often), you can actually see the cook putting burgers together. You know they're handmade...not frozen and shaped by a machine extruder. I would also recommend trying the peach pie (and peach ice cream) during the summer. You can't more fresh than that.
Pricey...but overall a good throwback to the old fashioned diner! – Great old fashioned diner that evidently has been around since the early 1960s. As first time visitors there, me and my BH (Better Half) decided to try the burger that many reviewers here, and at other sites such as Citysearch, rave about. And also like many reviewers I have to agree that for the price, yes they are quite small. That being said, I have to agree with those who rave about it. While over all it is a small burger, the patty is a good thickness and it was juicy and cooked to perfection. It was topped with fresh crispy iceberg lettuce and dill pickle chip(s). The Thousand Island dressing, touted to be 'homemade' by the restaurant, was in fact perfect and did taste homemade, and combined with the 'juicy patty' made this what every burger should be...a three napkin +, messy delight. So if that 's the type of quality you're looking for in a burger you shouldn't mind the pricey part, JMHO. And what's a great juicy messy burger without fries? So we had an order of fries between us. Again, a bit pricey. But again, served deepfried (hot to the table) to a crispy crunchy golden brown outside and tender inside...good 'medium' thickness cut...and with many long pieces as opposed to short stubby ones. While there we saw many other menu items being served. Mostly sandwiches which comprise most of the menu. Have to say they looked very delicious and good sized/proportioned. Oh, one complaint about our burgers. They didn't have a tomato slice. Don't know if it was omitted or that they just don't serve tomato with their burgers. But we do prefer tomato on burgers of this type. And although we didn't order 'pie', we did see huge slices being served to customers who ordered it. And I mean HUGE slices. So if you like pie you may very well like a helping from Pie n' Burger.
Worst service in ages – Me and the girlfriend were on our way to In n Out for a late dinner but decided to try this place out after hearing good things.
I had to make an illegal U-turn since there was limited, wait, there IS no parking period. After finding a parking spot about half a block away and jaywalking the street, we finally arrived. We walk in and there is no one to sit us, no one even noticed that we walked in. I remind you that there was probably only 20 people at most in there. We sat ourselves and decided to share a cheese burger and fries to save some money since we were trying the place out. Fries were $3.55 and a chese burger was $6.50. With that money I coulda gotten 4 cheeseburgers and fries at In n Out. After waiting for about 10 minutes, the un-busy waitress finally took our order with an attitude like she just finished giving birth to her 3rd child on welfare. I was thinking that maybe she just had a bad day. But the service wasnt just non-existent, it was bad and rude. We get our food, which was prepared right in front of us and it was honestly very good. The fries were just normal frozen thick cut fries but the burger meat was very tasty and the ingredients were all fresh including the bun. They served us ice water with crushed ice which was refreshing. Halfway into our meal, an octegenarian woman comes out with sunglasses and an apron and starts wiping the counter. We smile at her and she gives is a mean look and smiles about 3 seconds later, like it was forced upon her. We are both Asian Americans at UCLA fully educated in the American schooling system and it just surprises me how much racism still exixts in a place like Pasadena.
Both the old lady and waitress were talking to other Caucasian parties with a huge smile in conversation but everytime they passed us, it seemed like we didn't pay our taxes to pay for their miserable lives.
We left them 15 cents for tip which was too generous in my opinion.
Big food, big prices – I have a love-hate relationship with this restaurant. The simple burgers are great. The fresh peach pie is AMAZING! But paying $6.50 for a burger and $4.50 for a slice of pie is hard on the wallet. For a great experience, go there, but it's a bit hard on the wallet for what you get.
Good burger, High Prices – Parking is limited, but this greasy-spoon diner is a fun throwback to yesteryear. The waitresses all seem genuine and pleasant, and the food is above average for a diner. Burgers were very tasty, but a little pricey for what you get. If it wasn't for the price, I'd rate this place even higher. $20 for a coke, 2 cheeseburgers and an order of fries is a little much. Overall, definitely worth a try.
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