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DOT COM DINING A Look At San Gabriel Valley Restaurants by SanGabrielValleyMenus.com
Jake’s Roadhouse in Monrovia Serves Up Some Delicious Street Faire
by Bill Coburn
Jake’s Roadhouse in Monrovia, 622 S. Myrtle Ave., (626) 599-9453, is the kind of place that could cruise on its atmosphere, but does a great job on the food, too. I love a place that has a big pail of peanuts sitting on the table, and expects you to throw the shells on the floor. But one of the things I like most about the atmosphere at Jake’s is the humorous stuff hanging on the walls, and even on the menu. Burma Shave abounds, yes, you young kids, Burma Shave. Look it up on the internet. “Listen birds, These signs cost money, You can rest awhile, But don't get Funny - Burma Shave.” I also enjoyed a sign on the wall from the Miracle Sign Painting Company -- “If it’s a good sign, it’s a mirackle.” Sign painted by a member of the SPDU – The Dyslexic Sign Painter’s Union.” I’m sorry, I think that’s funny….
But the thing you don’t want to do at Jake’s is to have your tongue planted firmly in your cheek, because the food is just too delicious. I could probably spend the whole time between ordering and delivery of the meal just checking out the various signs, pictures, license plates, etc., on the wall. Of course, if I did that, I’d have to deal with an angry wife, so I’m going to go in for lunch some day as a solo to do that. And another enjoyable part of the atmosphere is the rhythm and blues music, much of it from the sixties and early seventies, that plays in the background while you enjoy your meal.
But don’t let the atmosphere distract you, because the food is good stuff. I’ve enjoyed the baby back ribs, the tri-tip, the spare ribs, the beef ribs, and all were delicious. I have a tendency to stay away from barbecued food when I eat out, because I often feel that at most places, it’s too smoky for my taste. But this isn’t a problem at Jake’s. The food was just enough smoky, and there was a sweetness to it that made it just delicious. The baby back ribs were tender, meaty and tasty. Spare ribs and beef ribs are obviously not going to be as lean as the baby backs, but I found that the ones I had were covered with plenty of meat. I also enjoyed the tri-tip, which was cooked nice and tender.
I also have eaten the 8oz. New York Steak, which was cooked medium rare as requested. I had planned to write in this article that even though it was a small cut, it wasn’t one of those New Yorks that you often find for a good price as a breakfast item in a NY steak and eggs combo, but then I noticed that their breakfast menu includes an 8oz. New York Steak and eggs combo. So maybe it is, but it sure didn’t taste like the so-so ones I’ve had at other places with my breakfast in the past. This was juicy, tender and quite enjoyable. Dinners come with two sides and some cornbread; I had the corn on the cob (a whole ear, not just a cobbette), and the potato salad. I also dug into my wife’s coleslaw, which I thought was good, (she said it had “just the right amount of mustard seed.” Of course, I didn’t realize there was mustard seed in it. Maybe she should be the reviewer…). Anyway, I digress. The potato salad, the beans and the cornbread are all delicious too. The breakfast 8oz. New York with eggs and toast, with choice of potatoes, fruit or cottage cheese is about $3.00 less than the dinner New York, so if they’re using the same steak for both, breakfast is an especially sweet deal. And all Jake’s omelettes are 3 eggs, plus they offer lots of special breakfast items ranging from pancakes to sausage (pork or Italian, Texas or Polish with eggs, and lots more.
Owners Dave Gayman and Tony Banuelos opened Jakes about 4 years ago, after working together for some time serving up ribs at Monrovia’s Family Festivals on Friday nights. They still have one of the busiest food booths on the avenue during the Friday night events. Dave tells me that one of the things they pride themselves on is their ability to not only serve delicious food in restaurant conditions, but their ability to replicate that restaurant cuisine in a “temporary” set-up as well. He told me that they are able to serve more ribs during street fairs (in Monrovia year round and in Whittier starting again in April) in four hours on two nights than they serve in a week in the restaurant. And they also have the ability to come to your location and serve up ribs, tri-tips, or even breakfast items, with their temporary food-service equipment, if you want them to. He noted that they can have up to 30 people serving your event with as little as 24-30 hours notice, and that they can, with enough notice, cater events from 50 to 5, 000.
Jake’s has outdoor street-front dining, and recently played host to a visit from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was in town. They have a large patio area behind the restaurant as well. If you’re having trouble finding a place to park, check behind the restaurant, there is lots of public parking back there, too. And Jake’s has a kid’s menu, and offers beer and wine for the parents, to wash it all down.
You can find the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus for Jake’s Roadhouse at www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com/jakesroadhouse.htm.
And here’s a little update on the San Gabriel Valley Menus.com website. With the recent signing of the Claimjumper Restaurant in Monrovia, which should be posted soon, we now have 99 restaurants signed up from 18 cities. And for those of you who aren’t real big on the whole typing thing, sangabrielvalleymenus.com can now be reached a little easier by typing just www.sgvmenus.com.
Bill Coburn is owner of SanGabrielValleyMenus.com, a restaurant website featuring dozens of restaurant’s menus, as well as downloadable coupons. He has nearly 20 years experience in the restaurant business, and has been eating for much longer than that.
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