Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 15, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 15, 2012 


How many burger joints are there in Pasadena? Answer? 
Many… I found one that stands apart from the rest.

When you first meet partner Dennis Constanzo, I pictured 
a Motorcycle riding, Red White and Blue Bandana across 
his forehead, and maybe a few tattoos and a pierced ear. So 
much imagination I have. You might remember Dennis 
from the original Twin Palms Restaurant of the late 90’s and 

Daughter Lauren and I headed over last Thursday to the new Big Daddy’s in a shopping 
center in West Pasadena, no fan fare no spotlight of what they want us to order. The menu 
has many selections as the original location on Foothill Blvd. They added a chicken wing 
appetizer that are some of the best I have had in the San Gabriel Valley, marinated in a secret 
sauce and are fresh never frozen, plus Dawgs, grilled sandwiches, salads and of course the 
burger. Have you noticed the competition in the Hot Dog and burger arena in Pasadena 
has increased dramatically, although Bob’s Big Boy and Wolfe Burger bowed out it seems 
that Pasadena, well I digress, let’s say there are lot of burger joints. How can Big Daddy be a 
strong contender, can man that partnered with Kevin Costner make a burger? Answer is yes 
he can. The claim here is that each burger is 
freshly ground daily and hand formed. 

On my first visit I had no proof, but after the 
burger the “The Daddy Burger”($6.45) I wanted another burger, let me explain, it wasn’t that 
the burger didn’t fill me up, but it was that good. My mind was racing on how I would write 
a full story on just one burger, it occurred to me that the burger reminded me of a burger 
that you would have at a backyard BBQ, now I ask you…. where else would you indeed have 
another burger? Yep, Bingo!!! at a friends BBQ or tailgate. Daughter Lauren had the Lamb 
Burger 1/3 lb.($9.45) and promised to tell every college student about her find. 

Hold on Dennis, I explained to him that the burger reminded me of one that you’d have 
in the backyard, Now, this usually laid back man, acted as if I had just parted the Red Sea 
and that the sun came 
out on a cloudy day, 
he stood up and Said. 
How Did You Know? I 
acted as if I was in on 
it, and said of course 
I know. What do I 

He explained that 
the wife and friends 
weren’t sold on the 
burger idea, that they 
were urging him to do 
a Mexican Restaurant, 
so to prove to them, 
he brought his meat, 
grill and oakwood to 
his friends yard sale 
and made burgers for 
everyone, well they 
say the rest is history. 
I returned a few days later to take a picture for this story and Dennis insisted that I try 
his Filet of Salmon Sandwich, ($9.45) cooked on the same wood that burger is made, I 
ate the sandwich so fast that Dennis thought I hadn’t eaten in two days. Nope, just that 
good, I thought about ordering another. Prices are ridiculously competitive, with combos 
availableAll and all a burger to love. Many beers on tap, wine by the glass or bottle. Why Big 
daddy’s name? Every dad claims to make the best Backyard BBQ, Dennis might have the 
claim for the Burger. Another bonus the walls are well…. Wall to wall with nine huge flat 
screen TV’s, much like the original Big Daddy’s a great place for a burger and to hang out 
with friends and watch your favorite sporting event.

Big Daddy’s Fire Grill 147 W. California Blvd. Pasadena (626) 356-4900




3 large eggs 

1 cup sugar 

1 cup vegetable oil 

1/2 cup buttermilk 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

2 cups all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1 1/2 cups fig preserves 

1/2 cup applesauce 

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted 

Cream Cheese Frosting (Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting works best)

Garnishes: dried figs, fresh raspberries, fresh mint sprigs 


Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add buttermilk 
and vanilla; beat well.


Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; gradually add to buttermilk mixture, beating until 
blended. Fold in fig preserves, applesauce, and toasted pecans. (Batter will be thin.) Pour 
batter into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cakepans.


Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out 
clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire 


Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Store in 
refrigerator. Garnish, if desired.


Note: For testing purposes only, we used Braswell's Pure Fig Preserves. Coarsely chop 
figs, if necessary.

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills


SACRAMENTO - With seasonal rains promoting the growth of wild mushrooms, Dr. Ron Chapman, 
director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state public health officer, 
today warned consumers not to collect and eat wild mushrooms.

"It is very difficult to distinguish which mushrooms are dangerous and which are safe to eat. Consuming 
wild mushrooms can cause serious illness and even death,” Chapman said.

“Wild mushrooms” refer to the many varieties of fungi that grow wild and are not cultivated. They 
tend to grow in shady, moist and humid environments.

Wild mushroom poisoning continues to cause disease, hospitalization and death among California 
residents. According to the California Poison Control System (CPCS), 1,602 cases of mushroom 
ingestion were reported statewide from January 2011 through November 2012. Among those cases:

• Five individuals died (four in November 2012).

• Eighteen suffered a major health outcome, such as liver failure leading to coma and/or a liver transplant, 
or kidney failure requiring dialysis.

• 903 were children under six years of age. Usually the child ate a small amount of a mushroom growing 
in yards or neighborhood parks. 

• 848 were treated at a health care facility.

• 30 were admitted to an intensive care unit.

The most serious illnesses and deaths have been linked primarily to mushrooms known to cause liver 
damage, including Amanita ocreata, or “destroying angel,” and Amanita phalloides, also known as 
the “death cap.” These and other poisonous mushrooms grow in some parts of California year-round, 
but are most commonly found during fall, late winter or spring.

Eating poisonous mushrooms can cause abdominal pain, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, liver damage 
and death. Anyone who develops symptoms after eating wild mushrooms should seek immediate 
medical attention. Individuals with symptoms, or their treating health care providers, should 
immediately contact the CPCS at 1-800-222-1222.

Local mycological societies offer educational resources about mushroom identification, and may 
be able to help individuals identify whether mushrooms they have picked are safe or not. For more 
information about mycological societies in California, please visit the North American Mycological 
Association’s Website.


The Sierra Madre Farmer’s Market hours have changed to 3:00pm through 7:00pm every 
Wednesday in fall and winter. Vendors include Dry Dock which has fresh and wild caught 
fish, Rustic Loaf with artisan breads, Cutie Pie with fresh pies and much more!

For those interested in being a vendor contact Melissa Farwell with Raw Inspirations at 
818-591-8161 ext. 806.