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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / For the Ladies and Gentlemen Who Brunch: Wistaria

For the Ladies and Gentlemen Who Brunch: Wistaria

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Mmmm, brunch - Photo by Ea Nicole Madrigal

Mmmm, brunch – Photo by Ea Nicole Madrigal

By Ea Nicole Madrigal

It’s just another beautiful, blue sky spring day in the San Gabriel Valley. The early afternoon serves as the perfect time to treat yourself to brunch at one of the Valley’s best hidden gems nestled into the foothills: Wistaria.

As my waiter informed me upon his arrival at my table, Wistaria is operated by the same people who own Mike and Anne’s Restaurant and Bar in South Pasadena, also considered quite the low-key hot spot for Valley locals.

Everything about Wistaria is simple but elegant — from its décor to its dishes. If you have visited Mike and Anne’s before, you likely already know much of Wistaria’s menu which sticks to the classics and traditions of its predecessor for its culinary successes. Both restaurants serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Why is Wistaria worth the visit for brunch, specifically? Let’s say you’re a single gal or guy looking for a quiet place to catch up on some reading, enjoy the breathtaking views of Mt. Wilson, or just hoping to people watch – and you have a dog that you don’t want to leave home – Wistaria provides outdoor seating on the bustling sidewalks of Sierra Madre Boulevard where your pooch can relax under your feet as you indulge in a brunch time treat!

But, it is not just a place to go solo. Take a friend, take a date, or take a group. And whether you choose to hang outside or go into their small but stylish dining room, you will be sure to feel comfortable and welcome by their friendly, prepared staff members.

During my visit, I was advised to try one of Wistaria’s signature dishes: the Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes. Interestingly, lemon ricotta pancakes have begun to pop up at different San Gabriel Valley cafes and restaurants as a promising brunch item. Yet, as I have learned in the past, unless prepared with care, the pancake can flop!

Wistaria’s version of this pancake, however, did not disappoint. The lemon flavor was so subtle that my two pancakes, combined with just a little maple syrup added on top, provided for an impeccable tasting. The dish also comes with a small serving of blueberry syrup on the side, but the maple more than sufficed for me. The result: two perfectly sweetened pancakes (with just a hint of lemon) that seem to melt in your mouth.

Even better, the waiter suggested that I substitute the two pancakes in Wistaria’s “2 x 2 x 2” meal with the lemon ricotta version, so I ended up with two pancakes, two plump, juicy pieces of bacon, and two sunny-side up eggs. Combined with an orange juice, this was my kind of brunch! And if your kind of brunch includes a little cocktail, no problem, because Wistaria has you covered there as well.

Wistaria is an unassuming restaurant, and it is the very last major business located on a small strip on Sierra Madre Boulevard in the quaint city of Sierra Madre. This hidden oasis provides the ideal location to spend a couple of hours away from the noise and hustle of the Valley streets. Instead, it will give you – and even your dog – some time to enjoy a gorgeous spring day in Southern California.

For more information on Wistaria, go to their website www.wistariarestaurant.com , call them at (626) 355-3155 or visit them at 44 North Baldwin Ave in Sierra Madre.

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