The Hot Spot Café & Pizzeria, from all appearances, is just that — a hot spot. The Glendale Police Department is a few steps away out the back door; City Hall is a stone’s throw away, and the courthouse is diagonally across the street. Next door, day workers ply their trade in front of Dunn-Edwards Paints.
“Everything in here is great,” offered a day worker as he chowed down on a lunch of fried eggs, bacon, hash browns and white toast. It looked good. The eggs were cooked exactly the way I like them — fried and up.
A police detective came in the back door and sat down at a table behind me. He’s a regular. A lady sitting at the table next to me was a juror on lunch break.
The menu is eclectic, and the place is clean and cozy. It is more of a takeout place, with six small tables inside and one al fresco. You order off a large menu above the counter. The only table service is for delivery of your meal.
My guests and I decided to stick to sandwiches. I wished I could have purchased just a slice of pizza because I heard it was excellent. But, then, if they sold it by the slice, that would mean it was precooked and wouldn’t have that just-out-of-the-oven hot taste I prefer.
I ordered the Italian sub sandwich ($6.49), which they serve with mayo and mustard. I had them hold the mayo and mustard and asked for oil only. It was delicious. The bread was toasted and had an interesting pita-like taste. I later learned that the bread is specially made for Hot Spot, and they use some of the same ingredients that go into pita bread. The owner was reluctant to part with the “secret” ingredient.
My wife loved the cheeseburger combo ($6.99) and the paprika-sprinkled fries. My wife ate it all, which was a good sign. She does not have a big appetite.
Another guest had the grilled chicken sandwich ($6.49) and said it was terrific. We both agreed that our sandwiches had a good proportion of ingredients. The pesto on the grilled chicken was a nice addition. Many sandwiches are overwhelmed by one ingredient — especially cheese — but my sandwich had the perfect combination of ingredients and that great bread.
The Hot Spot Café’s pizzas come in individual size, small, medium, large and extra large. An individual cheese pizza is $4.49. The two highest-priced pizzas — Armenian pizza and barbecue chicken pizza — are $14.99 for the extra large.
The cafe also offers spaghetti with a choice of sauces, lasagna, salads and hot sandwiches, including German sausage, hot pastrami and a Philly cheese steak. It really should be called a cheese steak sandwich. A true Philly cheese steak sandwich doesn’t come with melted Swiss cheese and chipotle sauce or mayo. A little Cheez Whiz, please, or provolone.
Hot Spot Café & Pizzeria definitely gets two thumbs up.
STAN WAWER has been a writer and editor for Southern California newspapers for 47 years and more recently has been freelancing restaurant and travel stories for publications throughout the country.
What: Hot Spot Café
Where: 509 E. Broadway, Glendale
When: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week
Prices: $3.99 to $14.99
Contact: (818) 548-8262. No website, but Hot Spot does have a Facebook presence.