Sunday Morning Thoughts from de EuroPane Cafe, et a!

Just a few cafe observations from two Sunday’s past while eating away. That weekend morning I was in no mood to meet with anyone beyond my most trusty & best foodie companion, ET. But, observing from the Cafe? Yeah.


So, this Sunday morning we’re out at my fav hangout, Euro Pane Bakery Cafe – WiFi or not (Sorry, Eye Level Pasa Jill). However, they DON’T play music for you of sensitive hearing! Friendly people come here to eat, read, & speak with each other. It’s a local Pasadena community hangout, besides having some of the very best french sweets outside of France. Well, ok, the loco’s regularly include foreign speakers & out of towners. Then there’s me, your humble K9 correspondent. Hey, this cafe has doggy bones, so you know, it’s dog friendly!

When we arrived, holy homo sapien!, Euro Pane was packed – really packed – at both table and in line. Old news there. With my PSN paper, I promptly claim the only free table, while ET is better than me with line ups.

So I did de reading & observing, while she did the waiting & ordering. I see some of the usual suspects deep in conversations. Next, new clients, a couple of regulars, sleep walk in. Hmmm, a little later than usual for them.

Then, I spotted the boss of this friendly bakery: Sumi, de Paris trained (at famous patisserie, Lenotre) pastry chef/owner. She instantly found ET! Right off I can tell she’s asking ET, “Hey, where’s the German Shepherd & what do you guys want?” Heck, maybe if I lower my head. Too late. She zeros in on me.

Well, the owner is a lovely, delightful, lady! I really can’t say enuf goods things about her: like she loves to talk about & go on food eating explorations as do ET & me, or how fashionably dressed she always is. Sumi tells me, “bark,” and I bark; “jump!”, and I bark, “how high?” She instantly gathers our order so ET can join me at the reading/eating table.

Suddenly I find a landscape architect friend has walked in to “interview” me about his business finances even though I again remind him he has an accountant. Nevertheless, we’ve had this conversation before over the years.

We leave Euro Pane to walk back to my place with the hope of getting some productive work done on this day of rest. And one of the first things ET does is tell me how hungry she’s getting, what she feels like eating, and when are we gonna eat lunch! Hey! – we just had breakfast. So, none of the above for me.

Before we know it, the work is behind us, but for one item: where we gonna lunch. We’re out the door: walking, talking, out on the block toward Lake Avenue. That’s always our challenge before we go out. We stubbornly give up by agreeing to go to another fav: Souplantation on South Lake. Nothing new except good all-around, all you can eat value.

Yet, we haven’t been to Souplantation much lately, even less on a weekend. As soon as we walk in, take our tray, the view is double long rows of people from entrance to cashier! This is not gonna be as quik as voting. Here too the open tables are in short supply. “Please wait to be seated” has been the mantra today. Last time I recall Souplantation this busy was during the Christmas Holiday about 5 years past.

Two Pasadena restaurants booked with eaters! During the times of an economic repression. What gives? Who’s been spreading rumors about a, “crisis?”


Another thing I read – some horse owners, and even rescue centers, are turning away horses. Horses are having a harder time finding new owners than even cars. With the economic crisis trickling down to horse owners, many are finding they can’t own, or at least feed, an animal with a horses appetite. Some owners just wanna find an owner who will take their horse – for FREE.

I don’t have to tell you about the overpopulated dog/cat shelters; the foreclosed pets left behind. Owning something like a horse is a big luxury that was affordable in a now bygone American generation & economic era. It seems we are living off the fumes of that past.

I heard an economist describing the future American economy. No more 3-4 cars per family, or multiples of anything – just 1 or 2. We’ll be hanging on to our “things” longer, not robotically getting something just because it’s new. Cheaper eating, too, like more brown bagging it.

Probably all the above with this caveat: some biznesses, restaurants in this instance, will survive & thrive with little negativity from an economic fallout. My guess places such as Euro Pane & Souplantation continue to do very well with their customers due partially to the fact they have the following on their side:

  1. Good location. Lake & Colorado Blvd’s.
  2. Established for a period of time in the community.
  3. Good, Loyal Customer Base.
  4. Quality. I’ve said EP has some of the best french pastries outside of France. You can read online what others have said over the years. And, like Souplantation, always fresh that day.
  5. Good Value.
  6. Good Customer Service. Yes, that’s right: it means Euro Pane has made significant improvement in their front counter service during the last couple of years.

Another thing: these two are certainly not red carpet fancy & do little or no advertising.

Well, just a few random thoughts before I gotta go, gotta run to my next meal. What are yours??



19 responses to “Sunday Morning Thoughts from de EuroPane Cafe, et a!

  1. Finally made it this morning – great cappuccino and cinnamon roll and my daughter liked the friendly people and her croissant. I’m glad to have a new spot to walk to in the mornings!

    • Glad you & daughter loved it, Becca. Good you came in the morning when pastries are freshest & best selection! The cinnamon roll & croissants have been positively written up in reviews. The physical surrounding is nondescript, unpretentious…but the eats is the reason for going! Next, you gotta try the weekend mornings when French Toast & extra selections appear – it can also get busier too. Luckily, it’s w/i walking distance for you & many of us!

  2. Just checking out your blog and I love the local restaurant reviews . . . I live about a half mile from here and have been to Lovebirds but never to Euro Pane Cafe. I’m going to check it out soon. And, Jones coffee is a recent fav of mine. Wish that their coffee shop location had better parking and was a little closer.

    • Bec, take your cutie girl to EuroPane for the sweets! Child/K9 friendly. Compared to LB, IMHO EP is more of a bakery, smaller, nondescript, & has less selection, but the quality at EP is better & fresh each day. Go in the morning for best selection. Parking is street & upper level behind the cafe. Sumi the owner, she’s a Pasadenan. EP gets their coffee from Jones Roasters! Try it a couple of times, let me know what you think.

  3. Finally made it to Euro Pane this past weekend. I can’t believe this place has been 2 blocks from where I live all along. It was great! Great coffee and awesome bread! I’m sure my wife and I will be visiting this place a lot from now on.

    • Only 2 blocks/around the corner! Well, Omar, you guys are still relative newbies to Pasadena so give yourselves time to learn all the quiet gems around town. You can make it your little cafe like many locals.
      Next time you ck into the place wear a sign so I can introduce myself!

      • This place is hidden in plain sight. It’s so nondescript. My wife and I actually drove past it twice as even the sign is so small. Great place. Bread and pastries are so much better than The Corner Bakery. Hey, you should review Big Mama’s Rib Shack. Sorry for the threadjack! I hope we can meet you one of these days!

  4. This place has been big disappointnent for me. Their coffee is awful–a distinct burnt taste worse than even those over roasting mavens Peets & Starbucks. I used to live across the street… I do a nice sit-down drink+read at least once a week–somewhere else–I haven’t been there more a few times in the past several years.

    • I didn’t know there was residential housing across from here on Colorado Bl. I understand your opinion. Even highly rated places don’t please everyone. I can be the same way as you. For me, I have the reverse opinion, prefering this over Peets & Starbigbucks. I believe EP they get their coffee from Jones Roasters, which is also highly regarded. But, like I tell everyone: food & drink is highly personal. One person will say, “What’s the big deal??”, while another will say, “WOW!!”

  5. nT: you’re one of those who just looks at the pictures!
    MotherScribe Jen: you weren’t late Saturday.
    JP: I’ll put up your Oreo’s Sunday.
    Thanks, y’A!!

  6. Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA has a page on their site titled Emergency Economic Program:

    I haven’t been to Souplantation in years, but last time I was there it was a madhouse.

    I still miss the Pasadena Cafeteria that was on Colorado near Garfield! That place was old and funky but really great, and a lot of movers and shakers had luncheon meetings there. It went away so Charlie Munger’s Montana condo complex could be built.

    • Mover & Shaker Ann, is that like Warren Buffet’s, Charlie Munger? And, Ann, is that the new complex with the vacant storefronts on the street level?
      I miss the cafeteria’s too. Pasa Cafa died in the early 90’s, didn’t it? Beadles on Green/Lake rested in peace a few years ago. Although I loved that these places made me feel so young, one reason for the demise of these kind of eateries, IMHO, is that they were not cheap.