Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 28, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 28, 2018 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills


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 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 
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 Paseo Pasadena.

 Join me this Sunday at Arcadia’s Best Mexican 
Joint, Paco’s , for our Monthly Mixer, drink specials 
and tasty food. Fun Starts at 5 PM 200 Foothill 

Serving: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, And Catering
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: