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Mendocino Farms Cafe: A Review

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Mendocino Farms Cafe: A Review

Caitlin Wang, Writer

This month, I got the chance to try a new cafe in Pasadena on Lake Avenue known as Mendocino Farms. At first sight, the menu did not seem very appetizing and barely had any variety. However, the actual food proved my first judgment to be wrong. Here is my take on Mendocino Farms.

To give a bit of background on the cafe, Mendocino Farms was started in 2003 and is still a family business today. Husband and wife Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen originally had the idea of starting up the sandwich market and remain as co-founders today. The first location was not opened until 2005, on Bunker Hill in Downtown LA. Since then, the business has grown into a chain, with many locations in Southern California.

My mom originally had the idea of going to Mendocino Farms, thinking it was a healthy option for lunch and in an area where we could walk around afterward. Right when we drove by the cafe to the parking lot in the back, there was a line going out the door. My entire family was hungry and did not want to wait in the line; therefore, we nearly decided to eat somewhere else. Thankfully, we gave the long line a try and ended up waiting in line to order for only about 5-10 minutes. As I was walking through Mendocino Farms, waiting for a table to open, I observed the decor and overall environment. The outdoor patio was beautiful and picturesque, with a grass wall to spice things up. The indoor seating was pleasant, with modern designs and different assortments of chairs. Even though I had not even tasted the food, I already loved the friendly vibe of Mendocino Farms.

Within 10 minutes of sitting down, our food was served. I ordered the Peruvian Steak Sandwich, and it turned out to be really delicious! The steak was mildly spicy, and the bread was perfectly toasted. The tomatoes and shredded Romaine within the sandwich were incredibly fresh and made the sandwich have a lighter feel in contrast to the steak. I ate one half of the sandwich, but it was too delicious not to eat the other half even though I was already full. My sister’s turkey sandwich on sourdough bread was also amazing, coming in a huge portion. The avocado and quinoa salad my mom ordered was tasty and filling, all in which salads usually aren’t. I kept having bites of my mom’s salad because I liked it so much. I highly recommend the food if you enjoy fancy salads and gourmet sandwiches.

Mendocino Farms is no extravagant steakhouse, but it still serves as a good option for a satisfying lunch meal. However, the biggest con for me about the cafe was how it was not much of a sit-down place. It was set up much like a deli, in which people come and go quickly. With that being said, it is not the best place to have long conversations while eating because everyone around seems to be on the go. This is not too bad considering you can just explore Lake Avenue afterward. As I mentioned earlier, the largest pro for me about the place is how uplifting the environment is, and as their motto states, “We sell happy.” I give Mendocino Farms 4 stars out of 5!

Graphic courtesy of MENDOCINOFARMS.COM

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Mendocino Farms Cafe: A Review