Great Maple – Pasadena, CA

Perfect for Morning, Afternoon and Evening

Great Maple – Pasadena, CA

Visited: 2017 & 2018 (Many times)

Great Maple PasadenaAn outing in November 2017 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).

Great Maple Pasadena Bar

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.


Speaking of cocktails, an Old Fashioned with Maple Bacon caught my attention ($11), and I had to have two to get more of that spicy bacon. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


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.


Next up…truffled parmesan fries; truffle oil and sea salt ($4).  These were “Wow” worthy, and a bargain at only $4 on the Happy Hour menu.


The mini brie grilled cheese; house-made cherry chutney, honey, rosemary, olive oil ($6) didn’t quite work as well for Tracy, but it, however, worked well enough for me to finish it quickly.


South Bay sliders; four house-smoked brisket sliders, BBQ demi, crispy onions and horseradish sour cream ($8) were very good.  Ask for extra sauce.


Definitely try the Steakhouse Burger; aged white cheddar, arugula, aioli served on a brioche bun ($8).  “Wow!”  The meat was excellent, and I couldn’t quite finish it (must have been all those other dishes).  The burger 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.

Tracy decided upon the Brick Chicken; half chicken, cauliflower, whole grain mustard chicken jus ($18), which earned a “Wow” from Tracy.


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.


We ordered wine off the Happy Hour menu seasonal red or white ($8).  On this evening the red was a delicious pinot noir from Chile, and the white was a decent Chardonnay.

Not feeling 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 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.

As is her breakfast norm, Tracy ordered the chilaquiles; Chorizo, scrambled eggs, tortilla chips, salsa verde, piquillo peppers, onions, queso fresco, avocado, cilantro crema.

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, yet another “Wow”)!

Once again, all the dishes were spot on.

                  

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 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 to split that French toast!

MaiTaiTom Rating…4.5 Mai Tais (out of five)

Great Maple
The Paseo
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
thegreatmaple.com/pasadena/

 

 

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