Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quadrupel: The gastropub of my dreams, it's not

When I first heard about Old Town Pasadena's new Quadrupel, I was hoping for someplace with a good beer selection like Lucky Baldwin's, but with better food and fewer frat-boy type patrons. What I didn't expect was a full-fledged restaurant that skews towards the formal side, with only a few beer-friendly small plates. The wood-paneled restaurant is mostly tables with a small 8-seat bar tucked away in back. There are only four beers on tap and they're not listed anywhere, so the server has to recite them. Many more choices are available by the bottle, from a $6 De Koninck Flanders red ale to a $45 Deus Biere de champagne. But unless you're a real Belgian ale freak, the menu isn't very helpful -- no explanations of the different styles, no descriptions of the beers, no alcohol levels.
Quadrupel's Schreiner sausage plate ($11)

All we had were unremarkably bland fries and a sausage plate that seemed a bit skimpy for $11, so I can't really comment on the food, I just hope grilled orange-marinated quail with duck confit, warm grapes and blackberry lambic reduction is better than it sounds. But it's not Quadrupel's fault that it's not the relaxed gastropub I had hoped for -- it's just a different place than I imagined, more of a date night in Old Town kind of place.
43 East Union St.
You might want to study up with this article from Chow about Belgian beer styles before you order.

Quadrupel on Urbanspoon


ben wideman said...

Thanks for the beer list, I was wondering about this place. But wow - the prices are not cheap! Even for harder to find Belgian beers, this seems a little steep. You're right about it not being a hang out place, but more of a once in a long while kind of place.

DailyChef said...

Wow, I wasn't expecting this either. Thanks for letting us know what the place is like!

Phil said...

Belgian beer is in a class all its own, so it does tend to catch people off-guard if they're not familiar with it. Descriptions of the beers on their menu would probably be a good idea for those visiting who don't drink Belgian styles that often.

I do like that these places are popping up more and more. I'll check this place out the next time we're in Pasadena. If you're ever in Orange County, you may try Brussels Bistro in Laguna Beach. A far wider variety of food available, and a knowledgable staff that can steer you in the right direction when ordering food with your beer.

Colleen said...

I hope the proprietor reads your post and takes your advice. They should explain the beers more and have more on tap, and maybe make it more like a real pub. That neighborhood needs a good pub!

tokyoastrogirl said...

Honestly, the last thing Old Town needs is another mediocre restaurant that doesn't quite have it right, and this is what Quadrupel sounds like. I understand it's important to give a place some time to get things right, but after a disappointing visit to another Pasadena newbie, Dish, I'm hard pressed to go again because it seems like such a common experience in that part of town. Pasadena used to be much more than it is now...sad.

At least BLD is opening there That will be nice!

SinoSoul said...

Quadrupel needs to give me my $ back. Totally ripped off by the food. Just a disgrace. Mediocrity in Pas continues?

Anonymous said...

thanks for this! was gonna head there for a bar experience, but have to save this place for a difft nite..

as always, great posting pat!

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Chris said...

I walked in, checked out the small, poorly located and designed bar, had a look at the list and walked right back out. Too bad. I too was looking forward to this opening.

Exile Kiss said...

Hi Pat,

Aw darn, thanks for the report and warning. I, too, was thinking it might be like a nice, relaxed Gastropub or Father's Office maybe. Oh well.

mtbchick said...

I just happened upon this review of Quadrupel, and thought I might offer a slightly different take.

I am of the belief that Pasadena has enough "pubs". I despise going to Baldwin's as it smells, and so on. Yes, the beer selection is great, but not so great that I would ever go out of my way. I'd rather visit the local liquor store and sit at home with friends.

What I love about Quadrupel is that they do double fry the frites, their sauces and butters are amazing, and I find the food portions more than satisfactory. The scallops are incredible.

It's more of a Euro-style food and beverage experience with manageable portions and I find the beer selection just fine. Although be sure to understand what Size of bottle will be delivered to your table.

I understand everyone wants a cheap place to drink and munch- that's cool- check out Altadena Ale House which was opened by the original owners of Lucky B's.

So Quadrupel is not for everyone, but I happen to LOVE that place!