Marston’s has been a Pasadena institution for many years, serving outstanding breakfasts and lunches to that city’s residents as well as to those who commute to the area.
But the owners of Marston’s, Jim and Kristin McCardy, live in the Santa Clarita Valley, and two years ago they quietly opened a second Marston’s at the far end of Bridgeport Marketplace, expanding their menu to offer dinner as well.
And while the original Pasadena location is fairly small, with an equally small parking lot (which no one complains about because the food is so good), the Valencia restaurant is larger, and it has a beautiful patio, which is great whether you are there for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And if the weather is a little chilly, well the patio boasts a fire pit to take care of that problem. No parking problems either, as the Bridgeport Marketplace’s lot is huge.
Marston’s Valencia has been slowly and steadily building up a very loyal clientele of locals who love the great egg dishes, French toast and other breakfast standards, the lunch sandwiches, salads, wraps and burgers, and the great dinner items – not to mention the specials and the happy hour menu.
And this loyal clientele was rewarded recently when Marston’s gave back to them by hosting a celebration for the Valencia location’s two-year anniversary. A complimentary buffet, and an open bar, were provided to those of us who were lucky enough to be there, and it provided a great chance to mingle with the staff and with the McCardys. Who does that? Really, who does that?
The wine list is not huge, but well thought out and fairly priced. There is something for everybody. And wine is ½ off on Tuesdays. Here is a tip for Eve Wine 101ers – Marston’s does not charge corkage. And while our readers may be tired of my comments on this subject, I feel compelled to editorialize —
BYOB is a privilege, not a right. And a restaurant that allows you to bring in your bottle at no charge, when they have wine of their own to sell, should be appreciated even more. So, bring in a bottle worthy of the occasion, order some of their great food, and don’t punish your server by undertipping just because you brought your own bottle – he or she has to do the same amount of work regardless.
And speaking of servers, we had a great opportunity to talk with head server Lucia at the Marston’s anniversary celebration. She confirmed what I have always felt – you shouldn’t get into the restaurant business if you don’t really love what you are doing. Restaurant staff should have the goal of providing a great experience for their guests, and if they don’t love what they are doing the guests will know. Clearly, at Marston’s, everyone loves what they are doing, and it shows.