when i moved to south pasadena in december of 2017, i remember being excited to explore the surrounding neighhborhood. from driving down some of my favorite tree lined streets to exploring new bars in highland park (one of my neighboring cities) to trying new restaurants in pasadena (that were not there before i moved to the bay back in 2007) – there was so much to unearth.
my mom and i have a standing weekly dinner date on tuesdays – sometimes we cook and other times we dine out, but fall through spring, it always ends with wheel or fortune and this is us. on a week where it was her turn to handle dinner, she asked if i had made it over to great maple yet and i had never heard of the restaurant.
the one closest to me is the pasadena location but there are four total, spread out across southern california. perhaps it is because there aren’t a trillion locations but i feel completely taken care of during every dining experience. whether it is for brunch, dinner or happy hour, i absolutely love my time spent there.
my friend roni has been in town from philly for the since the beginning of the month to enjoy la while working remotely before coachella. because my mom and roni wanted to spend some time together, great maple seemed like the perfect fit since it is not something she could access in her hometown.
last tuesday, we went for dinner and it did not disappoint. we started with cocktails because clearly, priorities.
the drink above is called rosé all day but since we ordered it by the pitcher (a couple of times), it is called the rosé parade. it is melon vodka based with rose, aperol and watermelon juice. they top it with a sour belt which is both adorable and delicious. the pitcher serves four full servings so naturally, two were needed.
while we were deciding what to order for our main meal, we split the baked bacon mac and cheese. it arrived piping hot, gooey and every single bite was decadent.
for my main course, i had the signature prime rib dip with both truffle fries and a side caesar with avocado (to start). the caesar salad is unique because it has shaved brussel sprouts which really gives the salad great dimension and changes up the texture. the dressing is light and does not overpower the salad. it was divine. the prime rib dip sandwich was tender, juicy and flavor packed. the horseradish aioli and crispy fried onion strings really set the sandwich off. as for the fries, potatoes are my favorite carb and anything that involves truffle and parmesan was pretty much made for me.
now, because i knew that we had to order dessert (and i say had to because when you see what we ordered, you will understand that this was not negotiable), i took half of the sandwich home and had it for lunch the following day. i had to save a little room for the grand finale…
these famous maple bacon doughnuts that are lightly coated in powdered sugar are made fresh to order and are that perfect combination of sweet and salty. one order comes with three doughnuts which was perfect for my mom, roni and i. i typically eat red meat one to two days per week but no matter what i have had earlier in the week, i feel it would be sacrilegious to go to great maple without having one of these maple bacon doughnuts. once you have one, you will feel the same.
because i love a place where i can make a reservation, great maple has become one of my go to spots. lock in your reservation (and collect those points) through opentable.
if you have been, tell me what you have ordered! if you have any questions, just ask – i have been here enough times where i have covered most of the menu.