How do you judge different communities? There is of course all sorts of statistical information you can use, another way is to use a totally unscientific approach and gauge neighborhoods by, I don't know, how about Coffee Shops? I think you can tell a lot about communities by looking at their Coffee Shops, so let's look at the foothills using this very subjective approach:
Sierra Madre: "The Only Place in Town" a great name (although there are in fact other places to eat in Sierra Madre), this coffee shop has a nice relaxed atmosphere and a varied menu of burgers, pastas, tacos and omelets. Their Zuchini bread is pretty good too!
Altadena: "Amy's Patio Cafe" is a small restaurant at the corner of Lake and Altadena. It's got a wonderful menu, although my favorites are the home-made desserts!
Pasadena: "Kathleen's Restaurant" it doesn't look like much from the outside, but you have plenty of parking round the back and the food is delicious. My favorite are the home-made soups.
La Canada: "The Dish" what a great place. A very eclectic menu and since they're licensed they also have a great beer and wine list plus some really interesting cocktails.
Montrose: "City Hall Coffee Shop", there is no web site which tells you a lot of what you need to know, it's like a time warp to those pre-internet days. The food is great, but really just you need to soak up the atmosphere. Here's a link to Trip Advisor for the details.
La Crescenta: "Tickle Tree Cafe" definitely a modern, young vibe here, especially after our Montrose stop. A wonderfully varied menu.
Sunland: "Back Door Bakery" this is just darned sad, since just when I came up with this idea for Judging Communities by the Coffee Shops, this place burned down! The owners say they are going to rebuild and I certainly hope it's true, because in the meantime they'll be sorely missed :-(
Shadow Hills: "Rise N Shine Cafe" once again, you're not going to find a web site here, so I included the Yelp page. What you will find is a lot of Western memorabilia, really friendly people and a great menu of home cookin'.
Lake View Terrace: "The Ranch Side Cafe" a friendly spot with a Western style menu, good food and great service.
As I said at the beginning, this is a very subjective survey, but as you'll see from the places I've picked (and eaten at on many occasions) you'll find our Foothill communities to full of great eateries, good food and friendly service. Heck who wouldn't want to live here?