The best alternative available is Picasso's Cafe & Bakery, which is located in a business park off the 210 freeway. When you enter the cafe, you'll notice right away that it's pretty slick looking with their eye-catching black, white and red color scheme from floor to ceiling. On the walls are framed prints of paintings by you guessed it, Picasso. Open only during the week from 7 am to 2:30 pm, you'll rarely see a lull at this busy cafe, which also serves as a caterer for many of the local businesses.
As you line up to place your order at the counter, to the left is a small section where you can purchase wine and other gourmet food items and to the right, you'll always see examples of the three specials they switch it out every day: a pasta special, a sandwich special and a salad special.
Those three specials are basically the bulk of their lunch menu. There's a large sandwich section that includes everything from deli sandwiches to wraps to panini sandwiches, etc. Their pasta section is made up of dishes like homemade lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo and spaghetti with marinara sauce while the salad section lists such items as Chinese Chicken Salad, Caesar Salad and Antipasto Salad.
They also serve breakfast and with Picasso's also being a bakery, in the morning, you can choose from muffins, bagels, croissants and around lunch time, you'll see a variety of different desserts from cakes to pies to cupcakes on display.
Once you've placed and paid for your order at the counter, you get a little metal stand with a number that you take with you to your table and one of the wait staff will bring you your food when it's ready.
I've eaten at Picasso's a few times over the past 11 years and they've even catered lunches at the company I used to work for. I do have my favorites, which include their Mario's Chopped Salad, Chinese Chicken Salad, their Turkey and Provolone on Squaw Bread and their Southwestern Chicken Wrap.
What I like about the food is that the ingredients are always fresh and their portions are amazing. Most of the time, I end up eating only half of what I order and taking the other half for dinner or lunch the next day. You definitely get your money's worth. I also really like their baked goods. They just have a really good selection and there's something for everyone. When I've gone for their lunch, I usually try not to look in their cases because their desserts always look so good and it's hard to resist not getting one (or two).
Overall, Picasso's is a great lunch spot. For the most part, the service is quick. The food is pretty good and you have something to look forward other than the next burger.
To see pics, go to:
6070 N Irwindale Ave #A-D
Irwindale, CA 91706