Anna's Restaurant & Bakery
Oak Glen, CA
four short miles up Oak Glen Road from Bryant Street, Anna’s Restaurant
& Bakery offers a serene escape from today’s busy pace. Even the
drive to get there was relaxing. Instead of freeway bustle, I traveled
the winding road with little traffic, no street lights or car horns.
Just a few homes, a couple of apple orchards, and the forested beauty
of the San Bernardino Mountains.
Open since the end of January, Anna’s occupies the old Cider Barrel
Restaurant, although the new owner, Anna Harris, along with her
life-partner Aaron Burgess, remodeled the restaurant, opting for a
casual elegance, offering an atmosphere where their patrons can enjoy a
delicious breakfast or lunch, yet feel comfortable bringing that
special person for a nice dinner or special occasion.
(Anna and Aaron)
A pastry chef by
trade, Anna originally thought to purchase a bakery. She’d managed
several restaurants, including the Cal State University kitchen where
she supervised 76 employees. She and Aaron checked several places, then
heard about the Cider Barrel location. As soon as they saw it, they
fell in love with the area, especially the view. Aaron, a Cal State
University Associate Director of Operations for the Student Union,
enjoys shrugging out of his coat and tie and breathing the crisp
mountain air. They both dream of possibilities for the surrounding
grounds. While the gazebo area might need attention now, they envision
new paint, plants, and anything else they can think of to offer their
clientele a tranquil escape, even for an evening, from modern society.
They want to provide a beautiful setting for weddings, banquets, and
other occasions in which to celebrate.
occasionally feature live entertainment, and their first venture will
be on Saturday, April 19. A jazz ensemble will perform, featuring
vocalist Sarah Waldie and Vaughn Fahie on sax. Not only is Mr Fahie is
a recording artist, but he’s also a sound engineer, teacher, and a
community leader. Anna’s upscale menu for the evening will run between
$40-$60 per person.
Not only do they
have the dining room in front and a banquet room which seats up to 150
people, but for those who wish to remain anonymous, they have a private
Anna, while a
respected Pasadena LE Cordon Bleu graduate, seems to have the
delightful heart and impish nature of a child. She specializes in
pastries, and, since she dives into her dessert before her meal, she
offers her customers the same option.
‘Dessert first,’ she laughingly told me.
desserts. She brought two for me to sample, a moist bread pudding made
with an orange wine sauce, crème Chantilly and other of her own unusual
ingredients. An eye-candy treat came next, a raspberry mousse over
French vanilla cake and cream topping, with an edible violet on top.
The afternoon I was there, another couple was enjoying their dinner and
the unique chocolate dessert Anna prepared for the occasion. They’d
asked for something a little different, and Anna, in her element,
created a dessert especially for them.
Not only does
she create special desserts, she recently filled a catering request for
an unusual side. She prepared an assortment of potato chips with sweet
potatoes, regular potatoes, and beets, using the combination for flavor
and for color.
“We eat with our
nose and eyes,” she says. “Not just with our mouths.” Good tasting food
is of utmost importance, so her menu is filled with recipes from her
own family. Her mother can often be found in the kitchen as well.
comfort foods such as brown sugar pork chops, chicken, and a dinner
with two big slabs of homemade meatloaf, with mashed red potatoes and
dinner, served after 4:00pm, range from $10.99 to $14.99 for the chops,
and I was glad to see homemade soup or salad was included in the price.
Anna said they usually have two soups each day, such as cream of
spinach with basil and perhaps a bean soup. Some of the appetizers are
sweet potato fries and zucchini sticks, and their soups are accompanied
with warm bread. By customer request, she’s added her own homemade
chili with beans.
Along with her
handpicked staff including Brittany Davis, lead server and management
trainee, and sous chef Chico Ableosa, they serve sandwiches and burgers
with the large steak cut fries. I had their portabella mushroom
sandwich, a delicious combination of mushroom, avocado, spinach,
tomato, provolone cheese, red onion, garlic mayonnaise on toasted
I can’t wait to have another, but she said I’d have to
try her BLT. She sampled several vendor’s bacon before she found the
one she likes, and she puts 5 slices on each sandwich made with grilled
served from 8:00am to 11:30am Saturdays and Sundays, and they offer the
classic 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon or sausage, hash browns and 2 slices
of bread for $5.99. They also offer pancakes, French toast, omelets and
Not only do they
have a children’s menu, but on Wednesdays, children 10 and under eat
free with each paid adult entrée. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays,
seniors enjoy a 10% discount.
Anna is still
working on the final touches for the bakery section of the restaurant,
but the day I was there, some of her creations had already sold out.
Her scones, made with cranberries, ginger and pecans, disappeared
early, so I grabbed one of her half-pound white chocolate
After dinner, I
walked the grounds with Anna and Aaron and couldn’t help but admire the
beauty all around me. Standing by the gazebo, looking up at the
picturesque San Bernardino Mountains and admiring the glowing sunset in
the valley, I reveled in nature’s glory. Then I took a deep breath and
the cares of the world seemed to fade away.
Anna's Restaurant & Bakery
38490 Oak Glen Road
UPDATE: now closed
Tuesday - Thursday: 11am-7pm
Open year around