Day 205: Tops Burgers

Tops' Chili Cheese Fries

Tops’ Chili Cheese Fries

Besides doughnuts, my one edible guilty pleasure is a big ol’ order of chili cheese fries. The best are always served at greasy spoons or old fast-food joints.

Tops Burger in Pasadena has been around for over 50 years. The restaurant is showing its age, but that’s part of its charm. I occasionally ate here in my youth when my waistline could afford the occasional indulgence.

Nowadays, it’s rare that I’ll grab an order, especially at Tops. The small is more than enough for two people and the large can probably feed an entire family. The other day I went with the junior (child) size and it was more than enough food for me.

I felt pretty good for restraining myself from ordering a larger size. That hasn’t always been the case at Tops.


Day 204: CONCACAF Gold Cup

Team USA's Gyasi Zardes

LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes representing the U.S.

Well, that was interesting. Not only did Jamaica upset the U.S. in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals, but the Panama-Mexico match nearly ended in a riot. As much as I love The Beautiful Game, the ugliness of any sporting event marred by questionable refereeing and unruly fan behavior is something I’ll never appreciate.

Some of that ugliness was on display at the Galaxy-Barcelona game I attended two nights ago. On a beautiful Tuesday night in Pasadena, a sold-out crowd of over 93,000 filled the Rose Bowl to cheer for their teams. It was a remarkably pro-Barcelona audience, since Barca has the longer and more illustrious history.

Now, I’m all about supporting your club and being passionate and vocal. Unfortunately, some “fans” think of the games as an excuse to over-imbibe and act like an idiot. F-bombs filled the air, as did slurred speech and the occasional near-fight. I was embarrassed for them and felt bad for all of the parents who had to explain to their children why it’s not acceptable to act like a drunken buffoon in public.

As I commented to my stepdaughter, it was like being at a Raiders game.

(For the record, I’m a card-carrying member of the Raider Nation. Most of us diehard fans act responsibly, but it’s the unruly types who make the news. And truth be told, I’ve seen some bad behavior at the Raider games, especially when they were in Los Angeles.)