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Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Trails Catering

Maybe you think Happy Trails Catering is a caterer. Which they are, but you also need to know they're open for lunch from 11-2:30 on weekdays and, theirs is the most magical setting in which to dine since Alice sat down with the Mad Hatter and his cohorts in insanity.

You and your own cartel of kooks may start by entering the storefront of the old brick building at 207 S. Fair Oaks. Order your sandwich or salad there. Then slip down the rabbit hole walkway to the back and you're in Wonderland, enchanted by green grass, white tablecloths and an oak* so ancient and benevolent it deigns to shade the whole place.

When your food arrives, the magic is complete. Look, I'm just warning you--don't expect a normal, drab burger or BLT. The idea is to entice you to hire their catering services, so they're going to wow you with the food.

It's safe to eat it; my analogy is Wonderland, not Faerie. Once you and your mad tea party have finished, you'll be allowed to leave. But you'll be loathe to do so.


*My more knowledgeable commenters have set me straight. It's a camphor!

25 comments:

jb said...

OK, so it's a toss-up between the icecream paloUr and this in March.
Or both.....

dive said...

That oak is gorgeous! What a spectacular setting for a restaurant, Petrea.

Exchange 2007 said...

Beautiful!

Shell Sherree said...

It does look pretty magical, Petrea. Such a cheerful name, too! {Always with animals on my brain, I thought it was Happy Tails Catering at first glance...}

Book Dragon said...

sounds like it would be worth the drive for me....wonder how long how I could hide out with a book? ;-)

Steven said...

Looks like a very beautiful place for lunch. I'm ordering the BLT with potato salad on the side. That tree is huge. I'm not sure it is an oak tree though.

Petrea Burchard said...

JB, it's the Dena. They're in separate towns on the same tiny island, not far apart.

Dive, I was so charmed when I first entered this yard last winter I couldn't wait for a warm day to have lunch there.

Exchange, I agree.

Now that you mention it, Shell, our local laws would likely allow a pooch to sit outside with you. We can't take them inside restaurants but they're allowed on restaurant patios.

Book Dragon, you have exactly 3 and a half hours, from 11-2:30.

Good luck, Steven! I'm not saying that's not on the menu (which changes weekly). I'm saying it'll be done Happy Trails style. Next time I go I'll take a closer look at the tree. We have a lot of camphors around here, too, but they don't usually twist like that, do they?

Steve Scauzillo said...

Gorgeous setting.

Laura said...

I've been there and can't recall if it's an oak or not, but from the photo looks more like a camphor.

And I can guarantee the food won't make you suddenly grow bigger or smaller, just contenteder!

Oh, and just a note..."The Dena" refers to Altadena, no? At least up here we use it that way...but if it refers to both Alta & Pasa, then wouldn't it also refer to South Pas, which has the ice cream parlor?

Or maybe JB means the old Soda Jerks, which was in the same block, I think.

I'm confusing myself now, I'd better quit.

Diana said...

Such a wonderful place for lunch and, sadly, we have so many of those in Pasadena (sadly?) that we tend to forget this beautiful (and tasty) place. Thanks for the reminder, Petrea!

Petrea Burchard said...

Steve, try it if you haven't. You'll love it.

Laura, I've only heard "the Dena" used to refer to Alta, Pasa and South Pas as a group and never known it to refer to only one. Though all are unique, the three share too much to be entirely separate from each other. All the same, I think JB is referring to Bulgarini.

Diana, I know what you mean. It's terrible how we suffer.

Bellis said...

This photo's outstanding. You were so lucky (o maybe just skilled) to capture the beautiful lighting. I've only stumbled upon that lovely back garden fairly recently - there's no hint of it from the front. For some reason, I didn't think the general public could turn up and eat there. But I will, soon. With or without dormice. Thanks for the tip.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, Bellis. Everyone's monitors are so different, you never know.

Susan Campisi said...

It is a magical spot. I had lunch there a couple of years ago. Time for a return visit, with Tommy - and Louise?

Hmmm... wonder how that will go.

Sandra McLeod Humphrey said...

What an incredibly gorgeous setting--somehow you just know the food has to match the setting!

Katie said...

Can I live here? Such an enticing location. I'd love to eat lunch here, and maybe take a cooking class too!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

This place is indeed enchanted and I believe that the food is just an added enhancement to this delightful scene. Oh, I do not think I would ever want to leave and could spend hours here under the enormous trees sipping some cool wine.

Bises,
Genie

Petrea Burchard said...

I wonder what their rule is about dogs. Ours would certainly have to be on their best behavior, Susan, and tuck their napkins onto their laps.

Welcome, Sandra! They have a lot to live up to, don't they? But they manage to do it.

Get in line, Katie. I'm wondering, actually, if the building on the left has a residence upstairs. Seems perfect for that or an office.

Genie, our happy bunch will while away the time until they (gently) nudge us off the premises.

nicknpas said...

I've eaten there a few times, it is a camphor tree, and unless they're removed it, there's a steel clothes line post that's embedded in the trunk.

Lucka said...

Very enviting place!

Petrea Burchard said...

I'll have to take a closer look, Nick. There are also some pretty iron stars hanging from the branches.

I've decided not to change my post to say "camphor" because it will make some comments look odd. So I'm leaving my mistake in.

Hi Lucka, it sure is!

Margaret said...

Going there Thursday to see an old friend from graduate school. Looking forward to it.

Desiree said...

gorgeous!~

Petrea Burchard said...

Isn't it, though, Des?

See, now, Margaret, everyone's going to want to go Thursday because you'll be there.

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