Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 21, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:9



Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 21, 2017 


I have referred to Central Park Café in Pasadena’s 
as a rising star in the competitive Pasadena 
restaurant scene. Central Park specializes in 
mouthwatering steaks, fresh fish, handcrafted 
pastas and gourmet pizzas. I have dined here at 
least once a month since it’s opening over eight 
years ago;

Hence, it’s not the newest fire on the block but 
it remains one of Pasadena’s best kept secrets. 
When I go here, I find myself irresistible drawn 
to the same dishes over and over again, as I 
order the Ahi Sandwich with its exceptional 
partnering of a delicious side salad of Broccoli. 
If and when I get more adventurous, and break 
free from the spell that Central Park has placed 
me under, the eggplant sandwich on foccacia 
bread has all the makings of a new favorite When 
I am hungry and have a big appetite, usually at 
dinner, I dive into the braised short ribs 

 I love breakfast here. So, on those mornings 
when the sun beckons with an irrepressible 
invitation, I invite my friends, Kind Ken 
Fuller and buddy Madd Maxx to meet me for 
breakfast. I get a sly indicator that they, like me, 
know that something special is on its way. It is 
displayed in the little smile that forms as they 
sit at the table and survey the menu. 
Ken religiously orders the eggs 
benedict. Breakfast is notable here 
and it makes sense, since the owners 
also own Canoe House 

and the Diner on Main St. Both places 
are known for a good breakfast. Now, 
I wouldn’t call Central Park upscale; 
however it would be wrong to 
translate the experience visually and 
flavorfully of those two restaurants 
to Central Park.

To make your experience more 
enticing, Central Park add another 
allure to their award winning and 
hand selected wine list, they added a 
full Bar. It is quaint, more the appearance of a 
service bar than a full one, but if you are in the 
mood for a Martini, you can use your best James 
Bond to impress the ladies. It never works for 
me though! All the Desserts here are created in-
house, and are very affordable in the ($7) range. 
My recommendation is the Carrot Cake, an 
expressive ending to a great dining experience.


Central Park occupies the One Hundred year 
old flower warehouse. You might remember it 
as Soda Jerk’s at one point. It still has the same 
beautifully exposed brick walls, which tease the 
imagination into believing that you have entered 
a Fifties Chicago style Restaurant. If you are a 
Pop Culture buff, the walls yield in homage as a 
testament to that nostalgic era. There are black 
and white photos of celebrities from Joltin’ 
Joe DiMaggio to the cigar taping, comedian, 
Grouch Marx. With the exposed brick, and the 
high vaunted ceilings and elegant decor, Central 
Park will transport you back in time.

Central Park has their own off street parking, 
which gives you enough time to really enjoy 
breakfast, lunch or dinner, without worrying if 
there are enough coins in the meter. 

I place Central Park Café in a similar category 
with Parkway Grill, Houston’s and Smitty’s. The 
difference being that Central Park is a little less 
expensive than these other three. Check out 
their web page

hours and exact prices. Bargain Note: $6 
Martinis on Monday Nights

I am a fan of Central Park Café and I am sure 
with a single visit, you will be too.

Central Park Café 219 S. Fair Oaks Pasadena 
(626) 449-4499

Visit me on my website 
listen to Dining w/Dills on KLAA AM 830 at 5 
PM Sundays

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills



1 pound ground beef

1/2 onion, chopped

1 (32 ounce) can tomato juice

2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers

1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained (optional)

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

1 (1 pound) loaf processed cheese food (such as Velveeta®), cubed 


1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in the ground beef and onion. Cook 
and stir until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard 
any excess grease.

2. Stir the tomato juice, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, and green chiles into the skillet. Bring 
to a simmer, then stir in the processed cheese food until melted, about 5 minutes.

Julie’s Favorite Family Recipes



1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, divided

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

4 (10-oz.) bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 lb.)

3 large shallots, peeled and quartered

1/2 acorn squash, seeded and cut crosswise into slices

8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided


Place a large rimmed baking sheet in oven; preheat oven to 425°F (leave pan in oven as it preheats).

Combine sage, mustard, and syrup in a small bowl; brush evenly over chicken breasts. Carefully remove 
pan from oven. Add chicken to pan; bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Discard any 
juices from pan.

Add butternut squash, shallots, acorn squash, and Brussels sprouts to pan with chicken. Top vegetables 
with butter, oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper; toss. Spread in an even layer around chicken. 
Sprinkle chicken with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake at 425°F 
for 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove bones from chicken before serving; discard.Serves 
6 from Cooking LIght.

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