Have you ever had a hankering for authentic southern food but were unable to buy a ticket to Kentucky to get it? Look no further than Braise and Crumble Café.
Shannon Hart and Tyler Wu opened Braise and Crumble Cafe in the fall of 2014 with the hope of bringing Southern comfort to Pasadena, and they have done just that.
“We really care about what we’re doing here,” said Hart, “and we just really wanted to use fresh ingredients every day and bring people a taste of home that they’re missing.”
Hart’s family comes from Hart County, Kentucky, where the recipe for Braise and Crumble’s delicious fried chicken has been passed down in her family for over 60 years. While Hart was the first person in her family to make this recipe commercial, she wasn’t always so generous. In fact, when Hart and Wu first opened Braise and Crumble it wasn’t an item on the menu.
“They had to convince me to put it on our menu,” said Hart. “It’s a very sentimental and personal dish for me, but it was received really well right away and it’s taken off since then so we’re grateful.”
Wu, on the other hand, was not raised in the South.
“I am originally from Taiwan, so Chinese food was very prominent in my culture and lifestyle,” said Wu. “My background probably shows up most with the pulled pork, which has spices and seasonings I’m familiar with.”
Wu is a French-trained chef who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu and uses that influence to make the dishes served at Braise and Crumble one of a kind.
“It’s kind of like my favorite things as a child mixed in with what I’ve learned over the years,” Wu said.
Hart and Wu have known each other for 15 years and in that time they had talked about opening a café of their own.
“It started off as more of a pipe dream like, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had a little place like this?’ And then one day we decided to follow our dream.”
The relationships outside of the kitchen are an integral part of the success Braise and Crumble has enjoyed the past year. A friend of Hart and Wu, Shannon Walker, said the café’s style represents their respective personalities.
“The best thing in the world is having savory and sweet come together because those two are both those as characters too,” Walker said.
As much as the surpluses of regulars are loved at Braise and Crumble, Hart and Wu love the new faces just as much.
“We have new [customers] every day and that is still, after a year, amazing that we get new people every day,” said Hart.
Braise and Crumble Cafe is a refreshing take on authentic Southern food run by authentic people.
“We just want people to come here and have a good time with some good food, almost like getting together for dinner at grandma’s,” said Hart.