By guest Wine Chix Carmen Micheli
Carmen is a freelance wine, food and music writer living in Temecula Valley Wine Country. An amazing home chef, mother of two and wine aficionado she writes about those in-the-know and on-the-go. With a pulse on the latest in dining, entertainment, events and more, Carmen delivers the latest news and happenings around the city, showcasing the best that Temecula Wine Country and the SoCal area has to offer.
Melting Pot Food Tours has a delicious and unique way to explore the secrets behind the history, food and culture of Old Pasadena. The Old Pasadena Walking Food Tour is a spectacular way to discover the hidden treasures which lie in the nooks and crannies of the old city. There is something for everyone in this upbeat, educational and yummy tour of Old Pasadena’s blend of “old and new”.
The city of Pasadena is best known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl, and Tournament of Roses Parade. “Old Pasadena” is the original business district and spans 22 blocks in the downtown area. It is an environment rich with old world history and charm with a new age local twist. It has also become home to some beautiful local art galleries, shopping boutiques, eateries, outdoor cafes, and entertainment worthy of exploration.
Through an old brick alleyway where local urban-street art decorates adjacent walls a sign plainly reads “old town pub”, and locals rave this is the place for a drink and some awesome live entertainment, if you can find the secret alleyway location, that is.
Keep walking around the corner to find an authentic Mexican Café, serving up grilled Mexican-style sandwiches called “Tortas”. Tortas Mexico uses bread baked fresh daily, beans, lettuce, tomato, onions, avocado, jalapeno, and your choice of meat, eggs, or sausage for a satisfying taste of Mexico any meal of the day. The Chicken Torta with a light, refreshing agua fresca is an ultimate lunchtime treat.
Just down the street, past the Patagonia Store which occupies one of the most well preserved historic buildings circa 1887, is a very affordable and interesting place to grab a quick, healthy bite to eat. Father Nature’s Lavish Wraps is great for a light snack on the go, or a healthy meal crafted with fresh “straight from the garden” flavors. The “falafel”, or garbanzo bean patty, with tahini sauce is a house specialty and will keep you coming back for more.
There is an air of balance and elegance with a chic, sexy and artistic edge that lures you off the beaten path toward one of the hottest restaurants in Pasadena, Equator. This is not your typical Asian fusion restaurant. In addition to signature dishes such as Basil Mignon, Potato Wrapped Snapper and Spicy Coconut Chicken, there is a full service coffee bar, smoothie and shake menu. In fact, they have developed a following of regular locals who say the coffee here is better than most major coffee chains. Also offered are exotic Loose Leaf Teas such as Herbal Blood Orange, China Jasmine, and Equator’s exclusive blend, “Queen of the Damned” at just $3 per pot. Owner Teddy, yes “just Teddy”, is a big supporter of the local art scene. Pasadena local, Michael Hussar’s paintings are featured throughout the restaurant and can be described as an insanely mad collection from tales of a gothic wonderland. Most all of the art on display is for sale. Kat Von D, American the tattoo artist, just bought one of his pieces during a visit to Equator and since, they have been in very high demand.
If you are looking for a top notch, educational olive oil tasting, Beyond the Olive is the place to go. Written records of the cultivation of olive trees date back at least 5000 years. Olive oil has been used for many things in addition to cooking such as body oil and fuel for lamps. Beyond the Olive carries California’s highest quality Extra Virgin Olive Oils, gourmet vinegars, specialty food products and merchandise. You will learn the not only about the health benefits but also difference between Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plain Olive Oil, light Olive Oil, and other similar varieties.
At Bird Pick Tea and Herb, you’ll find a delightful selection of all kinds of tea. Most notable are the blossoming display teas. To make any tea time a special, visual treat: place 1 rosette in a clear teapot, add hot water, and watch the magic happen. The rosette opens within about 5 minutes to reveal a perfect tiny blossom.
Who doesn’t love gelato? You have not lived until you experience gelato perfected at Tutti Gelati. It is no surprise their award winning chocolate gelato has won 1st place against Italian Gelato craftsman. The chocolate and orange gelato mixed together in a cone are the perfect anytime indulgence or to just cool off in style on a hot day.
Melting Pot Tours knows the history you want to hear, the local food you want to eat, and the experiences you’ll relish in Old Pasadena. There are also similar walking food tours of the historic 3rd Street Los Angeles Farmers Market, known for its food and celebrities; and the East Los Angeles Latin Flavors tour where you will sample real handmade tamales and Mexican chocolate. They will even work with you to customize a private or group food walking tour starting at just $53 per adult, about half of what other comparable tours will cost.
Watch this cool video to get a great view of my tour.
Visit the website at http://www.meltingpottours.com/for more information or to book a walking food tour. Then, prepare yourself for a delicious day!