Review: Tops Restaurant

The Original Tops
1792 East Walnut St
(626) 584-0244

Burrito Express has become one of the more popular dining destinations for many Providence students here in Pasadena, but Tops Restaurant on East Walnut is a cheaper, tastier choice. Tops has been in business for over 50 years in the same location and for good reason. Since arriving in September, I have eaten there three times. Not once has the food disappointed me.

The first two times that I made the five minute trip to Tops, I ordered their carne asada burrito. Priced at $6.19, it is cheaper than almost all the burritos at Burrito Express, and is significantly bigger. The meat was savory, and combined with the perfect mix of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, the finished product was juicy with a hint of sweetness. As if that wasn’t enough, the jack and cheddar cheese oozed into the hearty chunks of steak and created a delightful texture with the tomatoes. Needless to say, it was a fantastic burrito.

Tops’ menu is not limited to Mexican food, but also includes salads, burgers, sandwiches (pastrami, French dip, etc.) and gyros. On my third trip, I tried Tops’ beef-lamb gyro. It was the most memorable gyro I’ve ever had, stuffed with more than enough meat, tomatoes, and Tzatziki (a white, yogurt sauce). I can eat my fair share of food, so I was pleasantly surprised when this gyro filled me up. It was about eight inches long, priced at $5.79, and a little less “thickset” than the carne asada burrito. The pita bread was lightly baked and tender, not crispy or hard, and the meat, once again, complimented the tomatoes and onions. For desert (eaten before the gyro), I chose a maple bar doughnut from Tops’ wide variety of doughnuts that are showcased in the restaurant’s dining room.

After so many unforgettable experiences at Tops, I cannot help but crave going back again to try something new, due to their excellent variety and superb taste. Anyone looking for a good, reasonably priced lunch or dinner should try Tops Restaurant on the corner of Allen and East Walnut Street in Pasadena.