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Fiore: A Jolly Good Choice for Lunch

 Fiore: A Jolly Good Choice for Lunch South Pasadena restaurants restaurants local theater Fremont Centre Theatre fiore market cafe fiore cafe fiore disselhorst cafes bill disselhorst anne disselhorst  photo

Photo by Micah Schweitzer/Foodspotting.com

My daughter raved, so when friends came into town from Palm Springs and we were going to catch up over a Saturday lunch, we walked a few blocks to Fiore Market Café.

My girl didn’t even have to look at the menu, ordering her new favorite: the roast chicken on homemade bread with basil, walnut pesto and burrata cheese ($8.75). My friend and I were torn, so we opted to share a roast chicken sandwich, as well as  a salad: roast chicken and maple glazed bacon with mixed greens, romaine, hard boiled egg, blue cheese, and oil cured olives with a creamy dill-peppercorn dressing ($10.25).

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My daughter’s friend chose the Asian chicken salad with chicken, mixed greens, asian slaw, sesame seeds and ginger dressing ($8.95). The last in our party selected the cold rare roast beef sandwich with balsamic red onions, roasted red peppers, arugula, and horseradish créme frâiche.

Fiore Cafe Photo by Eric Tsai 300x300 Fiore: A Jolly Good Choice for Lunch South Pasadena restaurants restaurants local theater Fremont Centre Theatre fiore market cafe fiore cafe fiore disselhorst cafes bill disselhorst anne disselhorst  photo

Photo by Eric Tsai/Foodspotting.com

Table conversation for the first ten minutes was confined to “Wow,” “This is amazing,” “Oh, my god,” followed by “This isn’t what I was expecting.” That came as a result of the Asian chicken salad, that got picked at while the rest of us savored and reveled.

The roast chicken sandwich was on the most incredibly soft bread; sinking my teeth into perfection. The chicken was tender and the combo of basil and walnut pesto with the burrata cheese was superb. It was difficult to concede the second half of the sandwich to honor my agreement to share, but I found I was quite happy after my first fork full of the roast chicken salad. I’m prone to gushing when anything has blue cheese as an ingredient and this did not disappoint, though I think with the strength of the cheese and the sour blast of the delicious olives banished the dill dressing to the background.

My friend was too busy inhaling the roast beef sandwich to comment until after the last swallow. Finally, he was able to remark that the meat was indeed rare, but sliced so thin that it seemed to melt on his tongue, while the accompanying arugula and horseradish créme frâiche the consummate perfect team.

I then asked our unsatisfied teen if I could sample her Asian chicken salad. I’m not much of a fan of these salads as they tend to be too sweet for me, but this version was packing a punch and wonderfully tangy. It was mere minutes before the other adults were taste testing, whereupon I commandeered her plate and split the bounty between us.

Half of the Disselhorst duo, Bill (of Bill and Anne), was to be found taking orders. He knows so many people and is so amiable, that order taking will take a minute or two, but his personal attention and interest in your order makes it worth the wait. We were going to take our food to go as all the tables on the patio were full, but he confidently said that one would open up by the time our food was ready. I was doubtful, but we demured and stood outside chatting.

Within minutes, Bill personally came to seat us at one of the long communal tables. We nestled in after bringing over a pitcher of ice water from a side table (available to anyone who wants one). Our drinks came quickly, soon followed by our meals. The waitress was friendly, and not overly rushed or curt, even though it was quite busy. Bill came over and inquired about our choices, as he did to all the tables. The whole meal was a delight. The only unsatisfying aspect was that we didn’t opt to try any of their desserts—lemon bars; double chocolate brownies; vegan chocolate, vanilla coconut, and red velvet cupcakes.

Next time.

Fiore Market Café
1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena 91030
(Shares a wall with the Fremont Centre Theatre)
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
FioreMarketCafe.com, 626.441.2280

We highly recommend that you check out Fiore’s website as the front page is a blog—the pictures alone are worth the visit.

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Photo courtesy of Fiore Market Café




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