Around Town: Summer? Time for veggieburgers and white wine

Summer’s here and soon the pumpkins will be growing at La Cañada Flintridge’s Dish restaurant.

Dish sows pumpkins in August near the parking lot and harvests them in October. There’s pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin pie.

A few weeks ago, I ran into Kevin Finch, the owner of Dish, at the last Chamber of Commerce mixer.

The Valley Sun hosted the mixer, which featured a rollicking and successful raffle. I made off with a $20 gift card (to be re-donated to the 2012 Torres Golf Classic), and a certificate for a quarter-page ad in the Outlook.

“Look at what I got!” I exclaimed, to no one in particular.

Several bystanders suggested that I run an ad for the Valley Sun’s Around Town column with my free quarter-page ad from the Outlook. I’m still thinking that over.

Anyway, back to Kevin Finch, a civic-minded, vegetarian-friendly guy.

Civic-minded because he donated several gift cards for the raffle, which I unfortunately did not win. Vegetarian-friendly because Kevin put the recipe for his Vegetarian Tortilla Soup online, along with a video on how to make Deep Dish Apple Pie. See

One of my favorite menu items is the Brenner Modified Dish Vegan Vegetable Plate ($9.95). The normal Vegan Vegetable Plate contains assorted fresh vegetables, spinach, wild rice, lentils and salad. My modification makes the plate vegetarian, as opposed to vegan. I ask the server to substitute macaroni and cheese for the wild rice. The calories are similar and it’s a rare treat to have that little scoop of mac n’ cheese. (Don’t tell Padgett, my trainer.)

And then there’s the Dish signature wine flights. Kevin sells everything from Eberle to Duckhorn.

“Ask your server for a taste of any wine,” says the menu.

But my nefarious goal in chatting up Kevin Finch was to ask about the equally awesome, world class Dish House-Made Veggieburger, on the menu for $11.50, (add cheese for .75) . The menu says that it is made with lentils, mushrooms, barley, chopped onions, carrots, celery, ground almonds, fresh tomato, olive oil, fresh herbs and top-secret seasonings. So good with the sweet potato fries.

“Kevin,” I asked, “What’s really in the veggieburger?”

“I’ll give you the recipe,” he replied, “We make it ourselves.”


Now, on to Le Petite Vendome to procure white wine.

Summer has finally arrived.

ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at

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