Dot Com Dining Restaurant Reviews Click on photos to see them full-size
DOT COM DINING A Look At San Gabriel Valley Restaurants by SanGabrielValleyMenus.com
Barney’s, Ltd. in Old Town Pasadena Celebrating 25 Years!!
By Bill Coburn
Twenty-five years ago in Pasadena, there was a lot of activity down in the area of Colorado and DeLacey, Los Robles, etc. Old Town Pasadena was being born, and there were lots of new stores and restaurants on the way. One of the first of the new restaurants was Barney’s, Ltd., at 93 W. Colorado, just a couple doors west of DeLacey St.. Many more restaurants opened, but of those first original Old Town restaurants, the only one that remains is Barney’s.
Owners Michael and Bill Kefalas, who’ve owned it for about six years now, run a nice place. Quality, quantity, service, and cleanliness all seem to be priorities. As we walked up, an employee was washing the windows and the glass on the picture frames (filled with photos of Old Pasadena, and lots of old Rose Parade and Doodah parade photos). We were greeted as we walked in the door, not several minutes later. Our server was at our table almost as soon as we were seated. We were served good food and plenty of it. And everything was done quickly, courteously, and professionally.
Barney’s has about 23 tables inside and four tables outside. There’s another 12-15 seats at the counter/bar. The tables aren’t crowded on top of each other, there’s a cozy quality to it. Many of the people who came in while we ate were greeted by name, kind of “Cheers”-y in a way. There were people from all walks there, from construction workers with their tell-tale tape measures on their belts, to business casual to suits. What was especially heartening was that there were several people sitting at the counter/bar when we walked in that were wearing the chef’s uniform of a nearby cooking school. If the chefs eat there, you can probably expect a good meal.
And a good meal was what we got. We both walked out of there full, having had good-sized portions on our meals. I ordered the Chicken Hoagie and a cup of chili, Katie had the Fish-Chicken and Chips. The chili was very good, with lots of ground beef, kidney beans, onions, tomatoes and chilis. The Chicken Hoagie, which is served with your choice of steak fries, potato salad, fresh fruit or cole slaw, was served on a lightly grilled French roll. It had plenty of grilled chicken, some mayonnaise, melted Jack cheese, and sautéed onions (it comes with sautéed onions and peppers, but I asked for no peppers). They also have a Hoagie, which comes the same, but with Provolone cheese instead of Jack, and your choice of Barney’s home cooked roast beef or turkey breast. The Chicken Hoagie was delicious, and the steak fries were cooked just right.
Barney’s offers Fish and Chips (Atlantic Cod), or Chicken and Chips, or what Katie ordered, which is a combination of both. Katie also ordered some Buffalo sauce on the side. This gave her a chance to try out one of the day’s specials, which our server had told us about within seconds of our arrival: Buffalo Chicken (breaded and fried chicken strips with their Buffalo sauce). The other special was a stir-fried chicken dish. Katie ordered coleslaw, her meal came with the steak fries automatically. I tried the chicken and the fish, and enjoyed them both. The chicken was lightly breaded, not overdone. The tartar sauce complimented the piping hot fish well, and I enjoyed the coleslaw. Katie said that the Buffalo sauce was mild, not overly spicy, so if you like a real hot wing sauce, you might want to ask for the Cholulla or Tabasco sauce with it.
One thing about Barney’s, you’re going to find something that sounds good. They have a very broad menu, 15 pages worth, starting with more than a dozen appetizers, including crab cakes, potato skins, calamari, nachos and more. They offer a dozen different entrée salads, hot sandwiches such as a Rib-eye, Pastrami, the Doodah (hot home-style albacore tuna with melted Cheddar and lettuce on grilled sourdough) and the Maui Chicken (charbroiled chicken breast with teriyaki sauce, pineapple, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, Swiss and mayo, also on grilled sourdough), even a Gyro and a Chicken Gyro sandwich; and cold sandwiches, including subs, clubs and wraps. There are ten different burgers, hot dogs, chili dogs, Polish dogs and knockwurst. There’s an Italian page offering ten pasta dishes. They have fish tacos, halibut fish and chips, a halibut/shrimp and chips combo, and a light menu, with veggie dishes, chicken and a great big baked potato, with your choice of nearly twenty toppings (I think it’s so smart that butter sour cream and chives are counted as one topping toward the two that you get with the baker).
If you’re looking for a full dinner, their entrée page features ribs, steaks, scampi, pork chops, chicken marsala, salmon and more. I have no doubt that you will find something that sounds good, when you have this many items to choose from. You can check out Barney’s menu at www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com/barneys.htm
Barney’s has several special night offerings. Monday nights, happy hour (reduced prices on beers and some appetizers) is on till closing, starting at 3pm. Tuesday nights, kids 12 and under eat free with purchase of an adult meal. Thursday night is Belgian Beer night. All Belgian beer is just $3. By the way, Barney’s has about ninety beers, 18 of which are on draft. More on the beer in a minute. Friday and Saturday night, there’s a twilight happy hour, with happy hour prices from 11pm to 1am.
Now back to this beer thing. There’s a big section of one wall, where there are a bunch of name plaques, it’s called “The Bonafide Beer Bragger Board.” Tell your server that you want to qualify for the Board, and they’ll give you a card with the names of all the beers that Barney’s carries on it. Each time you come in and order a different one, it gets checked off the card, and when you’ve done them all, you get your name on “The Board.” And you get a free t-shirt signifying your accomplishment, as well.
Barney’s is open at 11am, seven days a week. And if all I’ve told you above isn’t enough, how’s this for a perk? Barney’s is conveniently close to the DeLacey St. parking garage, which offers you your first 90 minutes of parking free of charge. So stop by and say hi to Mike and Bill. They’ve got a nice place; it’s 25 this year, and I think its aged very well.
Bill Coburn is owner of SanGabrielValleyMenus.com, a restaurant website featuring dozens of restaurant’s menus, as well as downloadable coupons. He has nearly 20 years experience in the restaurant business, and has been eating for much longer than that.
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