Saturday Night! Mexican food, Blues music and BBQ in Pasadena, California

Saturday Night! Mexican food, Blues music and BBQ in Pasadena, California

So you’re probably wondering about the title….here’s the story:

We got invited to see and hear a blues band play in Pasadena on Saturday night at a place called Big Mama’s Rib Shack. I was not responsible for the planning or execution, once again I was a passenger along for the ride.

Someone may have told someone that the Rib Shack’s food wasn’t good, so the plan was to eat before the show and the decision was to go for Mexican food.

Two Tacos at La Fiesta Grande Mexican Restaurant

Take the 101 freeway south to the 134 east past Glendale and into Pasadena. I wanted to take more pictures along the way, but “stupid” traffic had us running late to dinner. We finally arrived (only ten minutes late) at the restaurant and found a good parking spot on the street right out front.

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La Fiesta Grande Mexican Restaurant in South Pasadena

The restaurant is a relatively small place, with simple Mexican decor, and it quickly filled up with people once we were seated. We ordered drinks and then perused the menu.

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La Fiesta Grande Mexican Restaurant in South Pasadena

 

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La Fiesta Grande Mexican Restaurant in South Pasadena

 

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La Fiesta Grande Mexican Restaurant in South Pasadena

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It’s a standard Mexican restaurant menu with tacos, burritos, enchiladas and the usual appetizers and entrees. EXCEPT THE FOOD IS GREAT! IT’S REAL MEXICAN FOOD! 

On the Menu: 2 crispy tacos, one shredded beef and one chicken, two chicken enchiladas in mole sauce with rice & beans, chips & salsa and a margarita pre show!

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Margarita – with a lot of tequila!

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Two Crispy Tacos – One Chicken & One Beef with Chips & Salsa

Really good crispy tacos! Excellent Mole sauce! Gringo style Mexican food done right!

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Two Chicken Enchiladas with Mole Sauce and Rice & Beans

I was told that we would be eating at the show later, so I didn’t try a burrito, a combo or the Fiesta platter of appetizers…and I would happily go back. They also have an “All you can eat” Taco special that I would like to try.

We finished eating and then motored across Pasadena to Big Mama’s Rib Shack.

Blues & BBQ at Big Mama’s Rib Shack in Pasadena, California

Go north up Lake Avenue, past The Hat (really good pastrami sandwiches) and Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, and you’ll come to Big Mama’s BBQ Southern Country Rib Shack.

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Big Mama’s Rib Shack in Pasadena

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Big Mama’s Rib Shack in Pasadena – Southern Country BBQ

The building’s not much to look at and the interior design is “whacked”. There are white vinyl booths on one side, tables in the middle with both plastic and wood chairs, and a beer & wine bar in the corner of the dining room. there was an area cleared as a stage (but no stage) next to the bar and a small area for the band’s merchandise as well. They have Saturday night performances, but it’s not real design as a performance space at all.

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Big Mama’s Rib Shack in Pasadena

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Big Mama’s Rib Shack in Pasadena

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Heineken

Here’s the menu: pork, chicken, seafood or beef, beer, wine and soft drinks and a full list of classic BBQ sides. Tickets were $20 for the show and dinner was also required, so we ordered food, with the plan to take home a good portion for lunch on Sunday.

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What’s on the Menu at Big Mama’s Rib Shack?

On the Menu: BBQ Baby Back Ribs, mac’n’cheese, hush puppies, cornbread muffins, collared greens, yams & Heineken beer

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RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LARGER PIC

BBq dinner

There were only two servers and a bartender covering the crowd, so we ordered before the first set and the food came during the performance before the intermission. And contrary to what we had been told, the food was good (not great, but good) country BBQ.

8:00pm – SHOWTIME!  John Németh and his blues band from Memphis, Tennessee

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John Németh from Memphis, Tennessee

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He Brought His Many Harps! (Blues Harmonicas)

I checked out the merchandise and the band’s setup before the show. I had never seen or heard the band before, but when I saw the collection of harps I knew it was going to be a good show. And I was not disappointed, the music was great!

John Németh and his blues band played two rockin’ sets of Chicago and Texas inspired music. He really is a master of the harp (blues harmonica) and his backing band was tight! The guitar, bass and drums were well rehearsed from playing gigs all over the country. At one point in the second set a guest bassist ( a former band member) stepped in for a few songs. I periscoped three of the songs and links to the live performance videos are located below.

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RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINK AND VIDEOS>

Rockin’ Blues on Periscope> view on YouTube

More Rockin’ Blues on Periscope> view on YouTube

Even more Rockin’ Blues on Periscope> view on YouTube

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

The John Németh website> www.johnnemeth.com

John Németh’s Upcoming Gigs! Check them out if you can!

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La Fiesta Grande1107 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030 (I’m told the Colorado Blvd location is closed)

Big Mama’s Rib Shack1453 N. Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104 http://www.bigmamaspasadena.com

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Delicious Fried Chicken for Lunch at Sadie Kitchen in Hollywood!

I met Megan at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer and was invited to come for Lunch at Sadie Kitchen in Hollywood!  It’s a relatively new restaurant and they just started lunch service.  They are open Sunday-Wednesday until 10pm and Thursday-Saturday until 11pm.  They also do private and event catering.  After dining there today, I would definitely recommend this restaurant!

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

They are on Las Palmas in the heart of Hollywood.  Walking distance from Hollywood and Highland, the Arclight, Amoeba and other point of interest.  It’s a beautiful space.  The bar is warm and dark but very large and comfortable.  Giovanni is a master mixologist and the bar menu compliments the specialty drinks and spirits.  I did not have a cocktail at lunch, but the list of drinks was intriguing…check their website.

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Happy Hour is Tuesday-Friday 6-8pm with special food and drink pricing.  They also have a great selection of wine, and on Tuesdays they have a 50% off select bottle and wine by the glass special.

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

They have a huge covered dining patio with retractable roof that is also available for public and private events.

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

And they have a separate “Speakeasy” Parlor Room Bar with a separate entrance that hosts guest DJs, bartenders and private events.  The property is also available for rent as a location for filming.

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The food was great and the menu had a terrific selection of appealing items.  We skipped the appetizers and I had the fried chicken (substituted the amazing fennel salted fries for the whipped potatoes and grilled vegetables for the kale).

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Megan had the Caesar salad with shrimp (and picked out the anchovies):

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

We shared a huge side of real cheesy mac & cheese (there was more than half left over, so I took it home with me):

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

FREE PARKING FOR LUNCH!  Metered street parking on Las Palmas for $2 per hour when available or lot parking for $10 all day.

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

NOTE: Patrick Dougherty, the General Manager, was with the Hotel BelAir for many years and definitely knows how to deliver a great dining experience.  Next time you’re in Hollywood, it’s worth stopping in for a drink, lunch or dinner!  Tell them I sent you.

Sadie Kitchen in Hollywood – 1638 N. Las Palmas Ave, LA, CA, 90028 (just north of Hollywood Blvd, 2 blocks east of Highland)  www.sadiela.com

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The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
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