Monday, April 27, 2009

The Altadena Breakfast Club: The Frugal Diner Discovers There's No Place Like Home



Why is it that out-of-town guests
like to venture to Beverly Hills?


Is it the celebrity spotting? The opportunity to see how the pampered people live? Or the lure of breakfast in a beautiful setting?

I discovered last weekend that I don't need to leave Altadena to experience all three.

My first celebrity siting was at the local Altadena Library. Everyman actor John C. Reilly was checking out baseball books for his sons. It seems like we're always waiting in lines together - buying batteries at the local Rite Aid, grabbing a caffeine fix at The Coffee Gallery or indulging in gelato at Bulgurini.

Later that day, I looked up and saw "Spencer Loves Heidi" written in the sky. It turns out that Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag are the reality stars of MTV's The Hills. They exchanged vows at Westminster Presbyterian Church, a Gothic gem near Altadena's edge. I even caught a glimpse of the bride and groom as they ran into the limo, while cameras rolled and paparazzi snapped.

Saturday's LA Times Home & Garden Section featured 14 online photos of a magical garden. Turns out that garden, part of the Garden Conservancy's annual tour, is just three blocks away from me, so I took a stroll there on Sunday morning.








Of course, my own back yard looks humble by comparison, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying an al fresco breakfast.



My David Austin roses are in full bloom.


Just-squeezed orange juice served on a copper tray purchased that morning from another Altadena treasure, Hughes Estates 50% off sale.


What did I learn last week from my breakfast in Beverly Hills? That sauteed spinach makes a great morning meal side dish with ham and cheese eggs. West Coast Grrlie Blather bought one of the $1.99 "pillows" of spinach from Super King and shared with me.

Celebrities? Check.
Stately homes and gardens? Check.
Breakfast in a beautiful setting? Check.

It's all here in Altadena, along with a whole lot more.

23 comments:

Cafe Pasadena said...

It's good to see you get your canine fix at your loco Coffee Gallery. This looks much more appetizing to me than Bev Hills.

Jean Spitzer said...

I love this all; I'm especially taken with the copper tray. Another way that spinach is great is in the eggs (like a Spanish tortilla or Italian frittata ) with leftover cooked potatoes, onions you've softened or caramelized (depending on your patience) and whatever seasonings and herbs you like.

altadenahiker said...

Betty in her pink creation? Check.

Charming. I'm so in love with my city.

Susan C said...

CP, Yea, we got it all in the 'Dena.

Jean, You're so right about the spinach going well with left over potatoes and caramelized onions. Dang, that sounds wonderful!

AH, Betty in a dress and Tiger on my lap. Doesn't get much better.

Linda Dove said...

I, too, love that copper tray! Goes well with the pink David Austins....

The Food Librarian said...

No one famous comes in my library. What a great famous place you live in! :)

Bec said...

I grew up in Altadena and now live in Pasadena (above the 210!) and love it. Just found your blog and I'm really enjoying it!

Margaret said...

Hey! I saw John Reilly at the Coffee Gallery too, but I refused to believe it was him because I never see movie/tv people. Turns out I do.

Barry said...

I saw John C Reilly at Robin's over the weekend. Should we assume he lives in Altadena?

Monica said...

Loving this. Just purely loving all of it!

pasadenapio said...

Hey, I've been in your garden and it's a lush and gorgeous spot.

Funny what's right under our noses, eh?

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

I'm going to have some of my spinach for breakfast tomorrow! And I'm a fan of John C. Reilly--a song and dance man...and a comedian.

AmyR said...

And you don't have to deal with all the nutty traffic and well-meaning tourists in Beverly Hills. Win, win. :D

Desiree said...

Yay Altadena~!

Susan C said...

Thanks, Linda. The tray was a steal.

FL, I wonder how many of the many "celebrities" in our So. Cal. midst are library users.

Bec, Thanks for reading. I enjoyed eploring your musings too.

Margaret and Barry, Yea, John C. gets around Altadena and Pasadena. Yes, he lives in our 'hood here in Altadena.

Monica, you're so sweet!

PIO, I've been going on a lot of garden tours this month and now have a serious case of gardening green envy. Oh, my, the gardens in our area are amazing!

WCGB,Yea, that John C. is a genuine talent. And I adored him in The Hours, which is one of my favorite movies.

Amy, You got that right. I especially hate the dense traffic and "entitled" drivers in BH.

Carolyn Jung said...

I once saw Morgan Fairchild shopping in Beverly Hills. She had perfect makeup on and is much more petite looking in person. Yes, I admit I was there to gawk at possible celebrities, too. That's why we all want to go there. Well, that and the shopping. ;)

Laurie said...

I'm drooling over your garden as much as your breakfast!

Mermaid Sweets said...

Wow, I grew up in Altadena, small world, on Mar Vista. Loved it. Never knew about this garden, but as a hs kid, not sure it would have interested me like it would now.

Susan C said...

Carolyn, That's very cool that you spotted Morgan Fairchild. I think I've seen her in public too and she was very made up and very petite.

Laurie, Since you missed the tea, you'll have to come over for breakfast one morning.

MS, I can't believe you grew up in Altadena. Mar Vista is just a couple blocks away from our main street. I hope to follow in your footsteps and move to SF . . . one day.

wisata internet said...

it's good , i like your food, can you teach me how make a burger?bread,etc?

JGregg said...

Just found your blog. Very cool! Congrats on the Blog of Note also!

Jg.

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