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:
- Good location. Lake & Colorado Blvd’s.
- Established for a period of time in the community.
- Good, Loyal Customer Base.
- 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.
- Good Value.
- 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??