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Come for the food, stay for the entertainment. Despite Burger Continental’s less-than-specific name, the Pasadena hideaway is a local institution with an expansive and varied menu that goes way beyond burgers and fries and beyond, even, classic Middle Eastern specialties (including Armenian chicken, gyros, and shawarma pizzas). If you’d like to impress guests, treat them to the all-you-can-drink-and-eat breakfast, lunch and Sunday buffets – the latter, a brunch, is an eye-popping spread with various stations serving everything from omelets and waffles to seafood to even Mexican food. If you want to loosen them up, the always-hopping courtyard turns into an outdoor club with live Greek and Arabic music on certain nights, not to mention comely belly dancers hypnotizing you with their veils and the call of their finger cymbals. Gyro and gyrating hips go hand in hand.
Burger Continental. One of my favorite Pasadena haunts for decades. And I've never had a burger there. Falafel with cheese, yes. Combination shishkabob plate, yes. Yes to Chicken Breast Corinthian. The Monte Cristo sandwich is delightful. Some drinks come with free refills. Steaks for $20. Every plate comes with salad bar. Their baklava is to die for. If you ask for one, they'll just give you a tiny one. I'd rather pay and get the full order. Ask for Levon or Gary and tell him Jed from KROQ sent you. Seriously.
A word about atmosphere: If you want a quiet meal, it's going to be a rough go if there's entertainment, AND they are crowded. Just louder than ****. But if you're with a group drinking beer and wine, no biggie. Most seating is outside with 4-tops and semi-covered. They have a modest dining room with maybe ten deuce tables, which of course they shove around for you if need be. There is one larger dining room reserved for large groups. If none of that puts you off, then I think you will enjoy Burger Continental's atmosphere. You may have to spend a few minutes parking; they share a lot with Starbucks and Pavilion's. If you approach by Lake Avenue, keep your eyes peeled for street parking.
Oh, I hear their burgers are quite good.
Most people don't realize what's behind the doors of Burger Continental in Pasadena. Not only is the restaurant's name painfully generic, it hardly describes the vibe inside -- or the food, for that matter. This charming hideaway comes with a sprawling patio that looks a little like the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. Burger Continental specializes in pita sandwiches, kebabs, falafel, gyros, baklava and other forms of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. There are burgers, too,... More »
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