At The Novel Cafe Pasadena, chefs specialize in quintessential American comfort food with a gourmet twist. The menu includes tuna nicoise salads, eggplant parmesan sandwiches, and other lighter dishes. You’ll also find heartier fare, including barbecue back ribs and clams with linguine, as well as dishes rife with locally grown produce. The on-site coffee shop stocks more than 15 varieties of organic teas, in addition to organic coffee beans and espresso. The baristas also serve freshly squeezed juices and extra-squeeze hugs. The café also hosts regular performances from local singer-songwriters and jazz musicians, which you can enjoy while sipping on a glass of wine.
This cafe not only serves 10 rotating flavors of frozen yogurt, but also pours cups of Illy coffee and Mighty Leaf tea. This makes the shop a destination for both chilly autumn days or hot summer nights when clients take to the the patio. Flavors change daily, but come in varieties such as low-fat, non-fat, non-dairy and no-sugar added. These can be blended into more complex treats with the shop's over 60 toppings options, including fresh fruit, candy, nuts, and chunks of brownies.
The name Bird Pick Tea & Herb comes from a legend told by the grandfather of one of the shop’s founders: long ago, tea cultivators would follow birds known to choose the best leaves for themselves. Although the staff doesn’t actually employ birds to select each leaf, the spirit of the legend lives on in Bird Pick’s careful selection of teas, which come from misty estates in the mountains of China. Seasonal varieties of black, white, and green teas release earthy aromas from bins of loose leaves and tea bags, and oolong teas display the smoky colors left by a harvesting process that involves crushing and fermenting the buds. An inventory of elegant accessories includes receptacles for storing tea, glass infusers for brewing, bowls for whisking matcha tea, and air horns for letting guests know a tea party is over. Bird Pick even sells straw-hued honeys from New Zealand to accent complex brews served in pots decorated with sprays of blue flowers and Chinese characters.
In mid-20th century America, a place that called itself a "coffee shop" was probably a small, casual restaurant serving hearty meals and industrial-grade coffee. In some ways, Bean Town Coffee House & Bakery hearkens back to that model, although the coffee?a private-label blend from The Sierra Madre Roasting Company?is surely a lot better. Gourmet burgers start sizzling on the grill around noon, drawing hungry lunchers on break from work or burger-making school. Patties come in three varieties: standard beef, turkey, or black bean, any one of which slides easily into creations such as the Bean Town burger, topped with black bean and corn spread, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayo.
Being a bakery, Bean Town has dessert covered, too. Guests can opt for sweet stuff such as a scoop of the Fosselman's ice cream, fresh-baked pastries, or a complimentary slice of warm Wi-Fi.
There are no mystery ingredients in the smoothies and juices at The Smoothie Stop. Instead, customers can watch as the staff pops only the fruits, vegetables, and yogurts they desire into blenders to create a range of healthy drinks. For those looking for a nutrient-rich treat, the staff can squeeze the juices from complementary fruits and veggies, such as apples, celery, and carrots. But for those who desire a bit more indulgence in their drinks without having to use three straws, the staff can whir together creamier options. These include drinks such as pi?a-colada smoothies and honey-milk tea or green tea served with a layer of chewy tapioca pearls. The staff also creates bowls of snow fluff ice, which can be customized with a range of fresh fruit and candy morsels at the toppings bar.