Perfect for Morning, Afternoon and Evening
Visited: November & December 2017
An outing in November to the Pasadena Convention Center to see retired Los Angeles Dodger announcer Vin Scully speak resulted in our stumbling (and I hadn’t even had a cocktail yet) onto a new restaurant recently opened (October 2017) in the Paseo Colorado Mall, Great Maple. It turned out to be a home run as our new find quickly became a regular haunt that we visited four times in a two month period for brunch, Happy Hour and dinner.
Its website states, “Great Maple is a modern American eatery specializing in elevated comfort food with a twist.” There are also Great Maple locations in Newport Beach and La Jolla.
It was around 4:30 p.m. on that Saturday afternoon, and we were looking for a place to grab a quick bite before Scully’s presentation. The Great Maple had recently opened in Pasadena and, we were right on time to enjoy happy hour menu (3:30 to 6:30 p.m. daily).
There is a covered outdoor eating area so Susan, Tracy and I settled in to try their menu…and cocktail (or two). Hint: Although the inside is an attractive space, it can also be quite loud.
We must have been hungry (as usual) because we ordered almost everything from the happy hour menu. Truffled deviled eggs; Dijon mayo, truffle oil and parmesan lace crisps ($4) were very good, but Nick’s restaurants are still the gold standard when it comes deviled eggs.
The mini brie grilled cheese; house-made cherry chutney, honey, rosemary, olive oil ($6) didn’t quite work as well for us, however it worked well enough for us to eat quickly, so we might be too harsh.
Definitely try the Steakhouse Burger; aged white cheddar, arugula, aioli served on brioche bun ($8). “Wow!” The meat was excellent, and I couldn’t quite finish it (must have been all those other dishes). This had to be the largest happy hour hamburger I’ve ever eaten. The photo would have been great had I not forgotten and devoured half the burger before I thought about it.
We so enjoyed the happy hour that we returned the following weekend with friends, Valerie and Alex, to sample the dinner menu.
We ate outside on the patio once again as it was yet another beautiful evening. This time I opted for the prime rib dip; prime rib, horseradish sour cream, salt & pepper bun ($20), which comes with either French fries or a Field Greens Salad, but with my new “Expando” belt, and because we had walked the dogs earlier in the day, I felt confident I could go with the truffled parmesan fries ($3 extra) and not have my pants rip. That $10 belt got quite a workout late in the year. Every glutton should have one.
Valerie and Alex took advantage of it still being Happy Hour and both ordered Steakhouse burgers. Alex ordered a side of the Truffled fries while Valerie was saving room for the maple bacon donut for dessert; made to order with signature maple bacon glaze ($4).
For dessert, Alex ordered an individual apple pie a la mode; award winning apple pie, salted caramel, spiced pecans and Chantilly cream ($11), which might have been the best apple pie I have ever tasted. It was definitely large enough for sharing and garnered another “Wow” for the restaurant.
Not content sitting at home and attempting to shed a few pounds, a few weeks later we returned to try the brunch menu with my family. Once again the food was delicious. I ordered the French Toast Logs; Brioche, maple bacon syrup and blueberries, which really was large enough for the entire restaurant to share. At first glance, it looked like a log cabin on a plate. I’m surprised Abe Lincoln didn’t appear. Oh yeah, it was really good.
My niece Kari ordered the Two Egg Breakfast; 2 eggs any style, smashed fingerling potatoes, fresh fruit and rustic toast, while nephew Kevin went for the Brisket sweet potato hash; house-made brisket, maple chili bacon, bell peppers, poached eggs and tarragon hollandaise.
Kari’s boyfriend Paul enjoyed his Buttermilk pancakes; with butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup, whipped cream.
Although we left the corgis (Frankie and Remi) home on this trip, the server did tell us the outdoor patio is dog friendly. I needed them to assist me in finishing my French toast. Fortunately Paul helped out after eating his pancakes.
Had we had enough of Great Maple … hardly. Before Christmas we returned for dinner with friends Tyler and Sayda, their two kids and all the moms. Tyler ordered the crazy sounding (yet utterly fantastic) Fried Chicken and Donut; Buttermilk fried chicken, maple bacon doughnuts, maple syrup, which he shared with everyone. Man that donut was good (Yes, another “Wow”)!
I won’t sugar coat it, but those Great Maple Powdered Sugar Beignets were incredible, too.
As our numerous visits attest, Great Maple must be doing something right. We’ve tasted so many delicious donuts here, it only made sense to end the night with a cocktail at the Great Maple Bar (sorry, I had to do it).
We’ve had to take some time off recently from Great Maple in order for our waistlines to shrink back to semi-human size. Rest assured, we’ll be back, and if in the neighborhood, this is a fun, casual spot for meals anytime from morning to night. And don’t forget … split that French toast!
MaiTaiTom Rating…4.5 Mai Tais (out of five)
300 E. Colorado Blvd, Suite 114
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 714-7625 – Reservations
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday 11 am – 11 p.m./Saturday 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Parking: Paid (Parking validated for 1 ½ hours in Paseo Lot)
Great Maple also has locations in Newport Beach and La Jolla