While driving around during one gorgeous Southern California morning, J and I passed by the old Bistro K space attached to the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena and saw that “Fiore Market Cafe” had taken its place. Having spent many evenings savoring the creative and mouthwatering dishes of Chef Laurent Quenioux back in the Bistro K days (Chef is now cooking at Vertical Wine Bistro) we just had to stop in and investigate. I’m glad we did.
The tiny corner space is now laid out like a deli/cafe, featuring prepared salads (Spicy Udon Noodles, Fennel Slaw and Curried Cauliflower were a few of the items available today), and menu of made-to-order sandwiches and fresh salads and an array of gorgeous baked goods piled high on different cake platters. The lemon bars, red velvet cupcakes and large, flat chocolate chip cookies looked especially good.
Seating is right outside the market in a lusciously landscaped patio, decorated with clay pots of the fresh herbs used in many of the dishes. The romantic, spring-like feel of both the inside and outdoor spaces hasn’t changed since it was Bistro K and was one of the reasons why we always went back. The rustic, European-country style is so utterly charming and makes the patio a perfect place to enjoy lunch al fresco.
Unfortunately we’d just eaten so we didn’t have the appetite to try any of their savory dishes, but we couldn’t resist buying a beautiful oatmeal cookie from the case. It was slightly crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle and tasted of fresh butter, brown sugar and oats. Wow. I guess I’ll have to add that cookie to the list of things I’ll be craving again soon.
I’m excited to go back and have a proper lunch at Fiore but will have a hard time choosing between the Short Rib Sandwich on Homemade Bread, the Tempeh Bacon, Avocado and Lettuce Sandwich and the Roast Chicken and Maple Glazed Bacon Salad with Blue Cheese, Egg and Dill-Peppercorn Dressing. Hungry yet? They also sell salami, jams and other gourmet goodies in the market.
In addition to the Tempeh Bacon sandwich (made with Vegenaise) the cafe also offers Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes and a Lavash Wrap made with Soyrizo so carnivores and vegans can live happily ever after….or at least, eat happily together!Fiore Market Cafe 1000 Freemont Ave. South Pasadena, CA 91030 (626) 441-2280 Hours: Mon-Thu 11:00am-6:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-7:00pm Sun: CLOSED