Dot Com Dining Restaurant Reviews Click on photos (except logo) to see them full-size
DOT COM DINING A Look At San Gabriel Valley Restaurants by SanGabrielValleyMenus.com
Scardinoís Food To Go Worth Finding a Place to Eat It!
by Bill Coburn
As publisher of a menu website, I spend a lot of time going to restaurants, with the intent of introducing them to my site if they havenít heard of it, and trying to sign them up to be on the site. I sometimes visit as many as 60 restaurants in a week. One of the things Iíve learned, is that 2:30 to 4:30pm is down time in restaurants, with about a half hour fringe in each direction that might be slow, but might be busy. One thing for sure, by 2:30, you can be pretty confident that the lunch hour is over, and itís a good time to stop by for a sales call.
So when Guiseppi Occhino of Scardinoís Pizza in La Puente told me he was going to sign up, and I should stop by, 2:30 seemed like a good time to stop by. I got there, and the phone was ringing. The phone continued to ring, and people continued to come in. Finally, at 3:10, we were able to spend a few minutes discussing the details, but the phone and walk-ins continued to interrupt our meeting. I was blown away that this little pizza place just down the way from the 99 Cent store at Hacienda and Francisquito in La Puente, was doing this kind of business at this time of day, and what made it even more surprising was that it was doing it without a single seat. All food is to be picked up. No dining in, no delivery. Yet they always had something cooking. I decided I was going to have to try this place, soon.
Well, while I was sitting there, I had a chance to see how the place operates. I watched as Guiseppi took the orders (at the counter and on the phone) and manned the sandwich area while his brother Luigi made each of the pizzas by hand, to order. A thin, pliable piece of dough, laid on the counter, formed by hand to be just so, tomato sauce ladled onto the dough, lots of grated cheese spread evenly on the sauce, and then the toppings covering the cheese. I watched him make an extra large (16Ē) pizza with pepperoni, sausage, and meatballs, and thought, now thatís my kind of pizza. There was so much meat on this thing, I couldnít believe it was only $11.80. Thatís about what the big chains charge for the small pizza, with two toppings. But what really blew me away was when, a few minutes later, Luigi opened up the oven, and I saw how the pizza had grown. This thin crust that I had seen on the counter, was now a thick crust, and the meat had browned, and the cheese had melted, and what I saw was a delicious looking pizza.
Then I saw a family sandwich being made. This is a 19" roll with roast beef, turkey, ham, Swiss cheese, and avocado. Thatís right, 19Ē. Grab a ruler and see how big that is. This sandwich was huge, and I suspect could easily feed four. And the price was just $11.95. But that makes sense, because when you look at their other sandwich prices, it fits right in. Most of their small sandwiches are in the $2.90 to $3.50 range, with large sandwiches ranging from $3.90 to $4.75. Scardinoís menu has 100 items on it, 60 of them are sandwich variations. Twenty hot and 40 cold sandwiches. All served on a roll. They also have spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna and manicotti.
Now the thing that struck me next was, I want to try this place, but thereís no place to sit down and eat. I donít want to sit in my car in the parking lot of the 99 Cent Store and eat. By the time I could get it all the way back to Sierra Madre, it would be less than hot, if not cold. But I had to try it. Hereís the good news for those of you reading this in the Temple City area. Just a couple blocks away from Scardinoís are some nice parks, with picnic tables, shade trees, basketball courts, and lawns big enough to accommodate football and Frisbee games at the same time. My family and I went and had a picnic at Orangewood Park. It was a beautiful, calm setting, with birds chirping, and we were about the only people in the park, at least in the back section where we went.
Coming from TC, you just get off the 10 freeway at Francisquito, go east on Francisquito. Follow Francisquito to Hacienda, and Scardinoís is in the shopping center on your left. MapQuest says itís 10.6 miles or 18 minutes from Rosemead and Las Tunas to Scardinoís. After we got our food, we drove up Hacienda a few blocks to Merced, went left on Merced a few blocks to Orangewood Park, and followed the driveway back past the hockey rink to the picnic area. Thereís also a park a few blocks down if you turn east on Merced, Walmerado Park. Or follow Hacienda south to La Puente Park, a 22-acre recreational facility with lighted softball field, lighted Little League field, lighted multi-purpose turf area, picnic areas, barbecue grills, childrenís play area, lighted tennis courts, lighted basketball courts, handball courts and parking for 150 vehicles, all just minutes from Scardinoís.
And folks, itís well worth it, in fact, Scardinoís is an excellent excuse to take the family on a picnic. I had the small meatball sausage sandwich (just $2.90), my son had two slices of pepperoni pizza (ďDad, this is great pizza!Ē), and my wife had the small Torpedo (salami, ham, mortadella, cheese, just $3.50), we split some garlic bread and a salad. The salad ($1.95) was big enough that all three of us split it, the garlic bread was an 11Ē roll ($1.55), and my meatball sausage sandwich was delicious. And they didnít overdo the sauce, I was able to eat it without making a mess. The rolls are soft and light on the inside, not too crispy on the crust. I tried the pizza, too, and he was right it is delicious. The crust is thick but, oh so light. Really good pizza.
One of the truly charming things about Scardinoís is the people who work there. Guiseppi and Luigi are actually authentic Italians that run an Italian pizza place, not franchise owners who saw a good investment. They bought the place three years ago from their brother Dominicís in-laws, I was told by Evana Occhino, who was working with Dominic and Luigi when we came in to get our dinner. Her parents had owned it since 1979, and she thinks itís been there since about 1964. Well if the food has been this good, and the prices this reasonable, I can see how itís lasted forty years. I know my family and I will be going on another picnic, very soon. You can see Scardinoís menu at www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com/scardinospizza.htm.
Bill Coburn is owner of SanGabrielValleyMenus.com, a restaurant website featuring dozens of restaurantís 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.
All menus (and prices) are subject to change without notice, menu items are subject to availability. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
When visiting these restaurants, be sure to mention that you saw them on San Gabriel Valley Menus.com, so that our clients know their advertising dollars are well spent!! Thanks.
Copyright 2003 - 2010 The Coburn Group
Contact Webmaster: Bill@SanGabrielValleyMenus.com