Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 26, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 10



Mountain Views News Saturday, February 26, 2011 


I know from experience that it is much easier to write about restaurants than it is to run one. A 
restaurant may offer the finest in food, the best location, and seat people that love their product, but 
if they don’t control costs, they are on the street. Just like having a baby, a young restaurant guarantees 
little rest for the people that must nurture it. The word that comes to my mind when thinking about 
the “crazy” individuals that own restaurants, Dedication.

Just this past week I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the most determined and 
dedicated restaurant owners that we have in Pasadena area, Blair Salisbury owner of the El Cholo 
Café. Though, his restaurant is well known, Blair still looks after his baby with the greatest of care.
Self described as “nuts and crazy,” Blair’s lineage is that of a restaurateur. The Borquez family launched 
the Sonora Cafe in 1923 in a small storefront on Broadway and Santa Barbara Ave. After a patron 
doodled a picture of a man and called him El Cholo (the name commonly known for a field hand 
at the time), Alejandro Borquez loved the picture of the man so much that he changed the name of 
Senora Café to El Cholo in 1925. The following year, George Salisbury meets Aurelia Borquez and 
they fall in love and decide to open their own El Cholo. Racing ahead to the year 2000, Blair, the 
grandson of George opens El Cholo Cafe in Pasadena, on Fair Oaks. For those of you old enough to 
remember, it was once the John Bull English Pub. I found out that Blair was determined to open in 
Pasadena, he was a moment away from Old Town Pasadena, but the Cheesecake Factory beat him to 
Colorado and Fair Oaks location. 

Blair still desired to move into the heart of Old Town and his hopes were realized with the opening of 
the restaurant at the Paseo. Blair said, “It feels as though it has been here all along. It just felt like the 
staff and surroundings didn’t miss a beat.” Truly Pasadena feels like home to El Cholo Café, and Blair 
wouldn’t have it any other way!!! 

The restaurant is expansive, with a patio that overlooks Colorado Blvd. and the snow capped San Gabriel 
Mountains. They offer two different bars, one as you walk in, akin to a service bar, and a great place 
to wait for a table and enjoy a “Killer” Margarita, 
and a back bar just next to the Patio. Offering large 
screen TV’s 
and perfect for slumbering and enjoying the 
show as they make your Guacamole tableside. 
The menu is full of different combinations, Blair believes 
that the more selections there are…. the better, and he tries 
to give a little bit of selection for everyone. I descended 
upon the PLATO DE CARNITAS, roasted pork, served with 
fresh avocado relish, Pico de Gallo, Nopales, rice and beans 
($12.75). When I go to a Mexican Restaurant I always try 
the pork. It was stunningly tender and fresh, and may be the 
best that I have ever tasted. My dinner companion gave two 
thumbs up to the Shrimp Sizzling Fajitas ($14.75). I was just 
about stuffed when Blair brought out the Blue Corn Chicken 
Enchilada for us to try. It is item that made El Cholo famous. 
A must try for anyone eating at the restaurant. Of course I 
had a Margarita. A Single Margarita that seemed to have the 
power to bust a piñata. If you love Mexican Food like I do, or 
just want to spend a sleepy Sunday at the bar with guacamole 
and chips. Save a seat for me.

El Cholo Café 260 East Colorado Blvd., Suite 203, Pasadena, (626) 
795-5800 Check out their website for additional information 
including hours and catering menu. for 
additional info. 

Please tune into my TV show on Charter Cable on Saturdays at 7 PM, Channel 101

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills


Calling All Chocoholics

 The Sierra Madre Woman’s Club invites you to clear your 
schedule and come learn about (and personally experience) 
Chocolate by one of the Los Angeles International Chocolate 
Salon’s 2010 Master Award winners, Mignon Chocolate, 
with shops in Glendale, Pasadena and Tehran. Founded 76 
years ago (1935), the chocolates offered by Mignon are (as 
my unfortunately increased girth since discovering them 
can personally attest) absolutely amazing. 

 Wednesday, March 9 the free Chocolate Lover’s Program 
begins at 1 pm. For the true chocolate lovers interested in sampling real chocolates, post-
program chocolate tasting requires $5.00 and advance reservations by Sunday, 3/6 to 355-

 If you’d love to meet our members before-hand, you are also invited to join us at our 
12:00 luncheon – advance ($10 prepaid) reservations required by Friday, March 4 – also to