Dinner Out At Jake's Roadhouse In Monrovia

Look, we call this Fox 11 series "Dinner Out" but confession here. When I go back to Jake's Roadhouse in Monrovia, I'm going back for breakfast. I loved, no, adored the Lemon Raspberry Pancakes. They shouldn't have been served to us when we went to shoot Dinner Out, but I asked Chef Tony Banuelos, if he wouldn't mind whipping up a batch, since so many people mentioned them on our Facebook page.

Amazing! So simple. I watched as he cracked eggs, one handed into the mixing bowl. He then poured buttermilk, sugar, flour, baking powder and then the not so secret ingredient, the zest of one fresh lemon. He then ladled out large circles of batter onto the griddle. He flipped them and finished them on a large plate with raspberry butter, fresh berries and two (!) small pitchers of boysenberry syrup. The lemon in the fluffy pancakes makes them delicious by themselves, but then you add succulent berries, the raspberry butter... UMAI! (the japanese word for delicious) So good, I forgot about the boysenberry syrup.

Okay, back to the hearty fare Chef Tony offers for Dinner Out. His bbq is all about low and slow. He showed off his smoker with racks of baby back ribs. The meat stays in there for hours and that's after being dry marinated for up to two days. What comes out is then slathered with his house made bbq sauce, either sweet or spicy. (spicy for me, please!) The ribs are then grilled until the molasses in the sauce caramelizes and even burns a little bit for extra flavor. His tri-tip is slow cooked in an oven for five hours at 170 degree; that's what makes the beef so surprisingly tender and juicy!

Chef Tony likes his plates big and the food on them plentiful. He offers up a black Angus NY steak with garlic mushrooms that rivals the offerings from a premier steakhouse.

There's also the Spicy Texas smoked sausage. It's his recipe but made off site. I asked why the name Spicy Texas. "I don't know, he replied, it's kinda catchy?" True that and also a firm bite, all beef sausage with both smoke and heat. Have it on a bun or grilled with a liltte bbq sauce.

His burgers are gargantuan; a half pound of ground chuck. The buns are as big as saucers. You could have the classic, but why, when there's Tony's Thermal-Nuclear Mexican Burger. The patty is topped with pepper-jack, home grown peppers, avocado, lettuce and tomato. Let's give this one another UMAI! Not into the spicy? There's also the Crazy Mike's burger; half pound of ground chuck, cheese, grilled peppers and onions and another half pound of pastrami. So, good, so unctuous, Chef Tony says no need for anything more. Forget the mayo, mustard or ketchup. This is so massive, you'll need two hands to eat and a big appetite to finish.

Nearly everything at Jake's Roadhouse is scratch made by Chef Tony. He makes the salad dressing, the salsa, the dry rub for the meats and the afore mentioned pancake batter. His cole slaw gets high marks because he makes each serving fresh for each order; fresh cut cabbage and a dressing that's tangy but not too sweet.

His french fries are fresh cut and his onion rings are hand battered, made light and crispy with Blue Moon ale.

If you go to Jake's roadhouse, be sure to congratulate Chef and his sisters, brothers and cousins that work the restaurant. On March 5th, the restaurant will celebrate it's 15th anniversary in Old Town Monrovia.

Jake's Roadhouse

622 S Myrtle Ave

Monrovia, CA 91016


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