Does anyone remember going to Pancho’s in Pasadena on Saturdays to get  face down on all you can eat Mexican food?

When I played football at Lee High School one Saturday each month, the whole team would meet at the Lee Field House on Gentry Drive. Some of us would drive our parents bigger cars so we could fit more guys in one car instead of driving six small cars. 

We would even pack station wagons full of football players to haul freight over to Pancho’s on Spencer Highway.

Those folks had to hate to see us guys coming through the door. 

It was all you could eat for $3.99. With tea came to about five bucks plus tip. 

The line started with guacamole salad, shredded salads and then on to the soups and cheese selections. Nachos, cheese enchiladas, chicken or beef enchiladas. Next up, chalupas, chimichangas, chili rellenos, tamales, beans, corn, rice.

If you could fry it, pan sear it, pour cheese over it, and spice it up, we ate it all.

And always the sopapillas drizzled with honey for desserts.

When we scarfed down our first round, they had a small Mexican flag in the center of the table, you raised your flag to tell the waiter you wanted another plate full of food or more tea. Ordinarily we each would go through about two and a half plates of food followed by desserts.

There is no way they gained a profit off of us Gander football players coming in and wiping out half their days’ supply of food. I always remember how good the food was and how much fun it was to have lunch with my teammates from REL.

There are still Pancho’s Mexican buffets around the area.

Lanny Griffith is an REL graduate and media mogul. Contact him at  



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