Monday, October 01, 2007

The Hat - Alhambra

I know I've got a number of international readers, so if you've ever wondered why Americans are so fat, well, this would be one of many, many reasons. It's a lesson in excess that well, just gets excessive.
The Hat - Alhambra 1
The Hat, a chain of 10 restaurants in SoCal which started in Alhambra in 1951, specializes in pastrami sandwiches. There's no sign that says so, but as this is the only The Hat in Alhambra, I'll assume the location on Valley and Garfield is the original? There's an outdoor eating area in the back and a counter to order at the street side of the intersection. Is it really the best pastrami sandwich in the world?
The Hat - Alhambra 2
Here's their menu.
The Hat - Alhambra 3
Cousin Q goes to The Hat, not for the pastrami, but for the chili cheese fries. It's a large order for $4.19 so he called me to help him eat. I wasn't too impressed with the chili, I like it meatier. Between the two of us and his little brother, we couldn't finish.
The Hat - Alhambra 4
But that's also because he got a single order of onion rings, which for $3.19 fills up a paper bag.
The Hat - Alhambra 5
Did you know The Hat also has a hidden menu? I didn't either until I saw this photo on Biggest Menu. And the minute I showed it to lil' sis, she insisted we order it. Chili cheese fries $4.19, with pastrami, $9.07. I called up cousin Q and his little brother and between the four of us, we weren't quite able to finish everything. But whoa! Was it good!
The Hat - Alhambra 6
Here's a close-up of all that lovely thinly sliced pastrami.
The Hat - Alhambra 7
So of course, lil' sis then told some of our other cousins about the "hidden" pastrami chili cheese fries and we ordered it again, with a side of pickles. This time we had 5 people to help polish this off.
The Hat - Alhambra 8
I also wanted to try that "world famous" pastrami dip for $6.49. I thought it was good, but nothing rave-worthy. I much prefer my pastrami on the chili cheese fries.
The Hat - Alhambra 9
Well, you know we can't stop at just that. So after lil' sis saw Henry Chan's Food Videos's video on Biggest Menu, well, she couldn't stop talking about it for a week despite my attempts to distract her with other food. So finally, I gave in and we got chili cheese fries, with pastrami, and pickles, and tomatoes. No onions for us. This was $9.29.
The Hat - Alhambra 10
It was packed about 6 inches high.
The Hat - Alhambra 11
The Hat - Alhambra 12
The Hat - Alhambra 13
The "artist" posing with his creation.
The Hat - Alhambra 14
You can watch him assembling my chili cheese fries with pastrami, pickles, and tomatoes here.
Oh god, we're such gluttons! Who else ate at The Hat? Henry Chan's Food Videos recorded his chili cheese fries, with pastrami, pickles, tomatoes, and onions. The Hat (10 locations) 1 W. Valley Blvd. Alhambra, CA 91801 626-282-0140 Open every day from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.


  1. There's a Hat in the Kook I've been meaning to peep into, and I loves me some chili cheese fries.

    I also heard the Oinkster in Eagle Rock has some tasty pastrami. The owner is Pinoy I think and they serve Ube shakes at Oinkster. But I've never been there either. Sad, that.

  2. Hey WC - Seeing the pastrami chili cheese fries at the Hat always has a strange effect on stomach growls and constricts at the same time...... I have never seen anyone finish the whole thing solo.

  3. Marvin,
    My cousins recently dined at the Oinkster. They said the pulled pork was dry and bad. But I've heard good things about the pastrami. So far Langer's is the best pastrami I've ever had. Review to come! ;)

    You and me both. We usually have at least 4 people to eat an order.

  4. oh my! for some reason, everytime i see pics of the pastrami chili cheese fries, i feel like grabbin' whoevers with me and going there to motor through that glutonous pile. heheh...what's that secret signal you gave in the video to get more pastrami...i wanna try.

    thanks for sharin' wandering!!

  5. I think this place has the best pastrami on rye and I'm not a big fan of rye bread.

  6. Henry,
    Gah! Those BM photos started a whole chain reaction. There was no secret signal, the guy was showing off and spilled some pastrami so he had to give me more.

    Hehe, didn't you read the comment above? I said Langer's was the best pastrami ever! Post to come.

  7. omg, that was a huge pile of food!

  8. holy cow, what a concept! chili cheese fries with pastrami... just found your blog via chubbypanda korean fried chicken link. looks like lotsa good reading.

  9. Hippity,
    Yeah, I simultaneously salivate and have a heart attack. :P

    Thanks! And yeah, what else can they add to make it even more artery-clogging?

  10. Hehe The Hat brings back memories of high school...when calories/fat content/cholesterol/bp didn't mean a thing.

  11. Jeannie,
    Even if I didn't care about the calories, in high school I played sports. Sadly, I do not get enough exercise to justify eating here!

  12. Hi WC, I ate at the hat back in college. My friend Steph from USC took me here and I was not a fan of the pastrami sandwich. In fact, I think it was the first time I ever threw a significant portion of food away. Places like these are exactly why Americans are fat (and happy).

  13. Cathy,
    Yeah, the pastrami sandwich wasn't for me either. The pastrami chili cheese fries though are another matter. But yeah, eating here makes me fat. Good thing I don't do it very often.


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