Behold the rhubarb pie of Pie 'n Burger
I hadn't stopped by Pie 'n Burger in quite a while and it's actually open until 10 at night, which is pretty late by Pasadena standards. So three of us stopped by for, what else, burgers and pie the other night to see if it's still up to snuff. Pie 'n Burger in the evening is a bit dreary, with hardly anyone at the counter and just a few tables of earnest looking folk looking like they might have just come from the Sierra Club meeting. As with all great, old classic places there's a few quirks to get used to: it's cash only and oddly, they don't serve cole slaw, which I generally use to meet my vegetable quota in diners. And the fries are deceptively good-looking --they're crisped to a delicious-looking golden hue, but they don't have a lot of taste.
But you're there for the burger, and although it's over $6 by now, it's definitely worth it. With a healthy swatch of lettuce, some secret sauce, grilled onions and cheese, the toppings achieve a perfect interplay with the flat, charbroiled patty. The Apple Pan's patty has more flavor, but the edge goes to Pie 'n Burger for the overall burger satisfaction quotient. It's what you want when you want a hamburger, and not every place can claim that. Sam ordered the rhubarb pie, which was topped with way too much vanilla ice cream. I'm sure the rhubarb wasn't fresh, but for someone who lusts after fruit pies like my son, it hit the spot. I like the breakfasts there too, and it's a good deal cheerier when it's a bit more crowded. At this point, it's worth it just to go somewhere that's stayed much the same for 45 years.