We’ve had The Hat before, but I don’t remember it being anything spectacular. After a couple trips to New York City and new found interest in pastrami, The Hat seemed like a great place to visit before heading to the Brea Mall. The Hat’s been around for a while — this Southern California staple first opened it’s doors in Alhambra in 1951 and is, of course, known for it’s “world-famous” pastrami.
Since we were in Brea, we decided to visit that location, but there are other Hat restaurants in Glendora, Pasadena and Rancho Cucamonga, just to name a few. There was so much to try on the menu, but we settled on a few things. Jose got the cheeseburger piled high with pastrami, I got the warm french dip beef sandwich with Au Jus and we shared “wet” fries, which means it’s slathered in gravy. Seriously can’t go wrong with that, right?
Let’s just say, you get the value for your money and you need to go hungry, or looking to share with some friends. Jose’s pastrami cheeseburger was enough for two!
Jose chose the burger/pastrami combo because he didn’t want a full-on pastrami flavor, but if that’s your thing, you’re in luck! I snuck a piece (or two) of the pastrami and it was really tasty and not dry.
Even though Jose’s eyes were as big as saucers when he went in, he was about to pop after eating this. I had already decided to try the warm beef dip sandwich before I stepped foot into The Hat, since that’s what I was craving. The sandwich was served on a warm roll with a good amount of sliced roast beef.
You could either choose the Au Jus (pictured above) or go with a gravy. Being somewhat of a traditionalist with my food, I decided to go with Au Jus — and it was tasty, but a little salty, as expected. It hit the spot, though and that’s a good thing.
The fries were delicious! When we asked the girl at the counter how big the wet fries where, she made a plate size gesture — we didn’t know better, so we went ahead and ordered them. HUGE!! Probably about 2-3 servings of fries and plenty of brown gravy on top. It was a delicious option over the everyday ketchup, but next time we are going to be ordering the smaller serving of fries and add on a side of gravy — we had to throw away too much.
Looking at these pictures makes me want to go back and have lunch!