The Raymond – Pasadena
The Raymond Restaurant is housed in a small cottage on the border of South Pasadena and Pasadena. It has always piqued my curiosity, and its history has been documented on its website in words that cannot be rivaled:
In 1886, Walter Raymond, a Boston native, came to Pasadena and built The Raymond Hotel – a fabulous sunny destination for Easterners looking to escape harsh winter weather. On Easter Sunday in 1895, sparks from a chimney ignited the roof and the entire hotel burned to the ground in only 40 minutes.
Undaunted, Mr. Raymond built an even grander hotel with 300 rooms, along with a charming caretaker’s cottage. In the early years, Walter and his wife often stayed in the cottage when it wasn’t occupied by special guests. Gracious hosts, the Raymonds entertained celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Tom Mix, and Buster Keaton, who visited and filmed in Pasadena in the roaring 1920s.
Sadly, in 1931, the Raymond Hotel was toppled by the Great Depression and the party was over. The hotel was razed to make room for residential development, and Walter and his wife moved into the cottage, where they lived until 1934.
The caretaker’s cottage is now The Raymond Restaurant, and the timeless charm and spirit of this lovely space can be enjoyed by all.
Between the old Hollywood lore, the architecture and the good food, Raymond Restaurant is right in my wheelhouse. One sunny Sunday in late summer, my mom and I finally gave in to our curiosity and decided to go for brunch.
Mom can’t go brunch without a good cup of Joe. As I am caffeine avoidance, I cannot speak one way or the other about it. She seemed smitten enough.
To be perfectly honest, I have no recollection about who ordered what because we both wanted the same thing. I’ve a sneaky suspicion that me, the Eggs Benedict fiend of the San Gabriel Valley, ordered this. It is compulsory for me to order Eggs Benedict when I dine out at a new establishment. I recall the double-layer of ham being unnecessary, though the eggs were perfectly runny in the center and the sauce perfectly executed.
A seasonal special, this blueberry pain perdu was not unlike a deep-dish bread pudding. Custard like in texture, its gooey, berry-laden interior hit the sweet tooth just right. The grilled English bangers were heavily seasoned with herbs and spices yet mild in taste. A perfect accompaniment to such a sweet main, allowing the perfect balance between sweet and savory. Mom was hesitant to share.
I’d recommend Raymond Restaurant for a leisure brunch, especially if their seasonal specials tickle your fancy and weather is good enough to sit outside as we did (and let’s be real; chances are the weather will be superb). Now I just need to save my pennies for dinner and a visit to 1886 bar!
1250 South Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
Reservations: (626) 441-3136
Saturday & Sunday 9:00am – 2:30pm