Urban Hike: Colorado Boulevard From Eagle Rock to Arcadia

— by Caroline on Crack

Peacock in Arcadia by Caroline on Crack

Peacock in Arcadia

I thought H.C. of LA/OC Foodventures was crazy. He had planned an urban hike from Glendale to Arcadia in the heat of July this past Sunday. It would be 14 miles of Colorado Boulevard. And as with most urban hikes, the stretch of road that Angelenos usually motor through to get from Point A to Point B with nary a glance at the scenery. There would be MANY boring parts, empty lots, strip malls galore and the occasional hidden gems.

Naturally, I didn’t want to do the whole 14 miles he mapped out. For his previous Robertson and Beach Boulevard ones I did 7 miles max. So for this one I opted to instead meet up with him at the “4 or 5 more miles to go” point which he had said would be at Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock. It wasn’t until we were at La Grande Orange in Old Town Pasadena (4.5 miles into it) that I realized we still had over 6 miles to go til we reached the end point of Santa Anita Racetrack. D’oh!

Fortunately, HC was game for cheating a bit and hopping on the Metro at the Del Mar station and taking it to the end of the line at Sierra Madre, about 3 miles from the final destination.

In any case, even though I grumbled a bit, OK a lot, in the beginning while the sun beat down on my back and the straps of my freebie backpack cut into my shoulders, I grew to enjoy the walk and the fact that there was a lot to see, stuff you wouldn’t notice while speeding by in your car.

  • At Four Cafe in Eagle Rock, they have a brown butter lavender cookie that is actually chalky in texture but in a good way. The stuff crumbles and then melts in your mouth.
  • We didn’t get to stop in Larkin’s in Eagle Rock since we had just eaten but it’s good to know that there’s soul food in Eagle Rock and served in a quaint Craftsman house. Plus on Saturdays and Sundays they have brunch. The brunch dish called “Maggie’s Mess” with bacon, hot links and chicken smothered in gravy sounds intriguing.
  • Little Flower Candy Company in Pasadena doesn’t carry any candy that won’t melt on a long walk in 80-plus-degree weather, nor do they carry homemade iced drinks. But they do carry a nice selection of artisanal sodas and mm, Bundaberg Ginger beer. And you can purchase seed bombs from the little coin-operated candy machine in front of the store. HC and I bought a couple to plant along our walk. We ended up planting them in front of the Eagle Rock Brewery later.
  • Splitting a pitcher of white sangria at La Grande Orange with another person is a really good deal. Basically each person gets four glasses of refreshing drink for $10!
  • In Arcadia neighborhoods near the Arboretum, peacocks and peahens run rampant. We saw six peacocks and two peahens sitting on someone’s front lawns. There are signs all over that area warning people to not feed them. BTW, scaring them won’t get the peacocks to show off their plumes.
  • Phoenix Boutique Bakery in Arcadia has the tastiest red bean mochi. I bought them to take home but instead ate them on the drive back. So delicate and divine.
  • OK, Eagle Rock Brewery wasn’t on the original walk route but being in the vicinity of it, we had to go. It closes at 6pm on Sundays but they were kind enough to stay open a little longer for us to enjoy our beer and a bag of peanuts and a dish of pretzels. I bought a growler of Solidarity for $32 ($20 for the growler and $12 to fill up).
  • Despite the name, Colorado Wine Company sells a great selection of beer like Allagash Curieux. John Nugent, the owner, said that they’ll be opening up a craft beer shop in Echo Park soon. His beer consultant is none other than our mutual friend and former beer blogger, Jonny Lieberman. Small world! By the way, there are “Lazy Sunday” wine tastings at CoWineCo from 1 to 4pm ($12 a person). Since we arrived after 6:30, it was long over but we still nibbled like scavengers on the cheese plate remnants.

This walk has really made me consider moving to the Eastside. Love the transportation system, the restaurants, the stores and above all the transportation system. Yeah, I said it twice. But it’s really cool to be able to walk, bike and Metro everywhere. Anyhoo, can’t wait to see what HC plans for the next Urban Hike. He’s toying with another beachy one…in October. Oh, HC.