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July 22nd, 2010 by Terry Miller
Right off the bat, I have been reminded more then once that the correct pronunciation is me-har-eez, Mijares Mexican Restaurant. What do The Chronicle, JJ’s Steak House and Wood and Eddy’s all have in common? At one time they were all very popular restaurants here in the Pasadena area. For one reason or another, they are all out of business. So how does one freestanding restaurant pass the test of time? And approach the century mark, which is more then the combined years that the aforementioned restaurants were in business. I think I have the answer. On a recent visit I carefully watched Tommy Recendez, part owner and full time employee; tirelessly work the front of the restaurant with an attitude of roll up your sleeves and get dirty. The one major difference is that Tom is wearing a Tommy Bahama Shirt. He is closest thing we have to a game show host as he manages to kiss each lady on the cheek, or shake the hand of each guest as they walk in. It is a Norman Rockwell picture of a family from the fifties, and that is the reason that others have fallen as Mijares has remained a monument and destination for many from Pasadena. When Tom is not around kissing and shaking the hands of the guests, you will find the same type of warm invitation from his sisters R-Lene and Tina. But let’s not forget Alice, their Mother, who guarantees that the youngsters are carrying on the tradition of catering to the customers. You may see her roaming the dining hall and making sure the customers are satisfied with their enchiladas or Corky’s famous Garbage Burrito.
If you have been to Mijare’s you’ll sense the classic “Cheers” approach to the feel of the restaurant. You have to walk straight through the bar to get to the dining room. Many times I have given in to temptation and stopped in my tracks and enjoyed one of George’s famous and award winning Margarita’s… Their motto is “mi casa es su casa!” If I took them up on that offer more often, I would never get any work done, but the risk almost seems worth it.
Recently, I filmed Mijares Sunday Brunch for my TV show, “Dining with Dills,” again the friendly service abounded. For ($18.95) you can immerse yourself in pretty much all the menu items. Sparkling wine is also included in the price. The Musicians wander through the restaurant with their powerful ballads that sweep the afternoon away. I see many people having a great time, so, be responsible and please bring a designated driver!!!
Items included are different fruits, a salad bar, many desserts; house made tortillas, soups, enchiladas, fajitas and an omelet station. Kids eat for ($8.95), no mimosas for the kids. Make sure you say, hello to Alice, knowing her, she’s probably the one setting up the brunch.
Plenty of free parking, full bar, outside dining a true Pasadena Institution that should be visited often. Sunday Brunch Hours are 9:30 AM to 2 PM. Check out their website for exact hours, prices and menu items. www.mijaresrestaurant.com 145 Palmetto Dr. Pasadena (626) 792-2763 Listen to me every Sunday afternoon at 5 PM. On KABC Talk Radio 790