Tag Archives: Escondido

Farmer Boys Hamburgers Uses Twitter To Reach Out

Yesterday, I decided to stop for some food after work and while driving through Escondido, I decided to stop at the Farmer Boys Restaurant on Valley Parkway. Farmer Boys is a chain of restaurants throughout Southern California although they have next to no presence at all in San Diego County. They have 2 stores in Escondido, but are mostly located in Riverside and San Bernadino counties. (They even have 2 locations in Las Vegas.)

The restaurants are pretty cool as a kind of hybrid fast food/sit down restaurant. You place your order at the counter like a fast food place and if you’re dining in, they give you a number and serve your order to your table on real plates with real flatware, not the disposable paper products of traditional fast food places. The place has a more rural appeal in terms of appearance and fits in with a country style home feeling, and is really quite a pleasant environment to dine in. And the service is quite friendly too.

Farmer Boys has the tagline “World’s Greatest Hamburgers” and while many places make that claim or something very similar, usually it’s just over inflated hype. Would I consider the burgers at Farmer Boys to be the World’s Greatest, no, not by a long shot. But what I would say is that they’re definitely on par or slightly above the average sit down restaurant. And while the tagline really focuses on burgers, they really do offer quite a selection of different things, burgers are just a small portion of the menu. They do offer a rather large breakfast menu, so they have a greater bit of variety than you’d expect for a place claiming to be a “burger” joint.

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Aunt Gussie’s Great Sugar Free Cookies

Aunt Gussies CookiesI was introduced to Aunt Gussie’s Sugar Free Cookies when I was in New York in September. There was a huge display of them at the Whole Foods Market on 7th Avenue. I decided to buy a package of the cookies and I opted for the Spelt Sugar Free Chocolate Chip ones and found them to be quite good. Spelt is a wheat alternative that’s high in fiber and allows nutrients to be absorbed more quickly than traditional wheat.

Before heading home from New York, I looked up Aunt Gussie’s website and used the store locater option to see if there were any stores in the San Diego area that carried the cookies. According to the website, both Whole Foods Markets in San Diego carry them, so I figured it would be easy to find some more at home. Not quite the case, I visited both San Diego locations, I spent an hour at the Hillcrest location trying to find the cookies, no luck at all. The La Jolla location carried a couple of varieties, but not ones I wanted, certainly no match for the large section of them the New York location had, no doubt due to the fact the company is based in New Jersey, so it’s pretty much local to New York.

I ended up finding them at my local Jimbo’s Naturally. The local 4S Ranch location in Rancho Bernardo had two spots on the shelf for them, one was sold out which I’m guessing was the sugar free chocolate chip cookies and the other was the sugar free biscotti style cookies. I didn’t but those. I was told the Escondido location definitely had the sugar free chocolate chip cookies and I had to stop in Escondido today so I stopped by there. Sure enough they had the Sugar Free chocolate chip cookies, except these were the Sugar Free Chocolate Chip cookies with Almonds. Not exactly what I wanted, but I’m okay with Almonds so I bought a package. Very good!!

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Making Homemade Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire Pudding HomemadeWhen I recently stopped at Major Market in Escondido to check their prices on some flavored extracts for my sugar-free Nanaimo Bars, I took the opportunity to browse the whole store. Major Market carries a lot of International foods and they carry a large selection of British foods. It also happens to be where I has previously purchased the Bird’s Custard Powder that is an essential ingredient for my sugar free Nanaimo Bar recipe. I happened to browse the frozen food section and saw they had some bags of imported Aunt Bessie’s Frozen Yorkshire Pudding.

I’ve only had Yorkshire Pudding one time in my life and that was in the home of my good friends Sara and Paul Russell when I spent a week in the United Kingdom in 2006. I thought they were amazing and I really liked them. But I’ve not had them since. Seeing the bag of Yorkshire Pudding in the store, reminded me of those tasty Yorkshire Pudding pastries that Sara had made during my visit. While looking at the bag in the store, I decided to use my cell phone and look up recipes for Yorkshire pudding to see if it was going to be easy to make or if I should just buy the overpriced bag of imported frozen ones.

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ABBA Fab Brings Unique ABBA Tribute Show To Escondido

ABBA FabHaving literally just gotten off the plane from New York where I spent two nights with the real Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus as they presented the first English language performance of their musical, Kristina at Carnegie Hall, I took the opportunity to attend the ABBA Fab tribute concert at Escondido’s California Center For The Arts. As the author of the eZine article, “ABBA Tribute Bands – 8 Tips To Improve Your Show” I often like to check out ABBA Tribute Bands to see which ones are worth recommending and which ones are worth avoiding.

ABBA Fab bills themselves as “The Premiere ABBA Experience” on their posters for the event and on their website at ABBAFab.com as “The most amazing tribute show you will see anywhere.” which are some pretty grand statements for a tribute band that has never been seen or heard by me or any of the other ABBA fans I am in touch with around the globe. So I was a bit skeptical of their claim as I have seen some truly great ABBA tribute performances and some truly appalling performances as well.

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The Downside Of 100+ Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountain Flavors

Coke Freestyle Jack In The BoxToday I decided to introduce my co-worker and roommate to the Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountain machine (which I previously wrote about, click here to read that blog entry). Since there are three Jack In The Box locations in Escondido that have the machine and Escondido is on the way home, we stopped at one just to get drinks to try out the machine. Unfortunately, we ran into one of the downsides of the machine.

The main downside of the machine is that because the Jack In The Box locations get a lot more traffic of visitors than the one I encountered at the Noodles & Company restaurant in San Marcos, the fountain was “Sold Out” of a lot of flavors. Here it is a Sunday morning and all the Fanta Zero flavors are sold out, both regular and diet Barq’s Root Beer are sold out, as well as several other variations which limits the choices. The menu screen doesn’t hide the unavailable choices, but rather changes them to grayed out options that it won’t allow you to select. So you just get stuck knowing there are choices you can’t have at the moment. (Probably a secret plot to make you want those flavors even more.)

Additionally, the busier Jack In The Box locations also meant it was kind of a slow process to get the drink because there was a small line for the machine as each person spent a little bit longer than a traditional fountain to pick and chose what flavors under the various brand labels and in the case of the sold out status of a lot of the more exotic flavor choices many had to go into other menus to pick something else because they weren’t able to try what they wanted from each menu.

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Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountain – The Future Of Soda Fountains

Coke Freestyle FountainThe future of Soda Fountain dispensing has arrived, at least in beta testing form. When I stopped at the San Marcos, California location of Noodles & Company to redeem the free bowl of pasta offer I received for my birthday from the chain, I discovered they have installed a new soda fountain machine which according the signs offers over 100 different flavor combinations. Amazingly the machine didn’t seem to be much any bigger space wise than a traditional fountain machine except for the fact it was freestanding instead of having to be mounted on a counter. The opening within which to place the cup seemed to be styled from the “Men In Black” school of retro looking futuristic designs.

Instead of offering individual taps for each of the 100+ flavors, there was just a single opening in the Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountain. You just insert the cup against the lever in the back to have ice drop through the machine into your cup, then just allow the cup to sit in the center while using the touchscreen to pick the brand of beverage to bring up a sub menu of available flavors from which you can choose to fill the cup with. Many of the flavor choices are ones that aren’t available in retail stores as bottled choices because there simply is no way any store would ever carry that many different flavors.

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Sometimes You Just Have To Get Imported Ingredients

Birds Custard PowderOn my last visit to my mom’s house, I presented her with a couple of Eat-More candy bars from GoCanuck.com that I had ordered for her. The candy bars sparked a discussion of some of the things from Canada we miss, and as we reminisced, my mom mentioned, Nanimo Bars. Nanimo Bars are a layered dessert cake that feature a base layer, a layer of custard, topped with a layer of chocolate. The legend has it that the dessert was created by a housewife from Nanimo, British Columbia who decided to name it after the town. How true that is or not, I don’t know, but in any case, it’s kind of a well known dessert in Western Canada.

Well my mom, pulled out her recipe book from Canada from which she used to make the recipe and I decided to make a photo copy of it and thought I would see if I could make a sugar-free version of it to be complaint with Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program. And it presented some interesting challenges. A couple of the ingredients were going to present a challenge, but I was up for the challenge.

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WOW! Excellent Customer Service At Apple Store

Apple StoreYesterday, after visiting my mom for Mother’s Day, I stopped at the Apple Store at Westfield – North County Fair and needed to exchange the Nike+ sensor I had bought in December because I couldn’t get it to work yesterday and I thought it might be a dead battery. The battery is supposed to be good for 1,000 miles, but so far I’ve only gotten about 200 miles on it. So I was a little ticked off that it wasn’t working so I could get in a 2 mile run before visiting my mom.

Before I determined the battery was the most likely source of the problem, I thought the 3.0 beta of the Operating System (OS) was causing the problem. I had managed to get a few runs in using the new OS, even though a couple of those runs ended up not being tracked because the Nike application crashed the iPod. Just to be sure I reinstalled the Operating System but that didn’t fix the problem. So on that basis I figured it was the battery causing the problem.

Well I printed off my purchase receipt since the store emailed me my receipt at the time of purchase. (How cool is that?) And sure enough, I walked right in, talked to one of the employees at the Apple Store and they were more than happy to help me out with no grief whatsoever. The Nike+ sensor was exchanged for a new one in just a matter of minutes and they even went so far as to renew the warranty to the date of the exchange as opposed to the original purchase. I am extremely impressed with the service I received at the Escondido Apple Store. It’s so rare to see service that doesn’t treat you like a criminal for needing assistance. I am so happy to be recommending their stores.

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Jesus H. Christ – An $18 Movie Ticket For Star Trek in IMAX

Star Trek - The IMAX PosterYou know movies are getting to be expensive when it costs about the same to see it on screen as it does to buy the DVD when it comes out. Talk about fleecing the hell out of consumers. In this case, it’s the insanely expensive ticket to see “Star Trek” this Thursday night on an IMAX screen at the Regal Cinema in Escondido.

I’m hoping the experience will be good because this will be the first mainstream movie I’ve seen in IMAX since “Spider-Man 3”, a couple years ago. At the time it was the premiere feature at the Edwards Cinema in Mira Mesa which was just opening it’s IMAX theatre. Basically it converted one of it’s largest theaters into an IMAX auditorium. And I caught a 6 am showing of the movie (the third screening since the midnight premiere showing) and I was a little underwhelmed by the IMAX experience. It could just be that “Spider-Man 3” was a not quite the best film, but I do think the auditorium contributed to the experience, as I felt the screen was just not size wise up to par for an IMAX experience. All my previous IMAX experiences have been at theme parks with these giant larger than life screens, and this screen just felt average. Not quite the sensory overload experience I was hoping for.

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Continuous City Brings Virtual Life To The Stage In San Diego

Continuous CityThanks to having attended “Xanadu” at the La Jolla Playhouse, I ended up on their mailing list for future shows. I was sent a mailer inviting me to check out a limited run show as part of their Edge series of plays. The Edge series is designed to bring new and adventurous works to the stage in the hopes of presenting groundbreaking and innovative theatre. This season’s selection is called “Continuous City” produced by The Builder’s Association.

“Continuous City” tells the tale of how modern technology from the likes of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace allow you to connect no matter where you are, as if you’re in one great big continuous city, but yet, even with the technology it’s very isolating. The story gets told through the perspectives of four people. J.V., is the project manager for a fictional social networking site called XUBU. He spends much of the time trying to run the project while juggling video conferencing calls with family and girlfriends. He’s also tasked with keeping existing investors content as the site approaches launch. Finding investors for J.V. to keep happy is Michael. In addition to battling jet lag and finding investors, Michael finds it difficult to connect with his daughter, Samantha, back home when he’s trying to use the technology to stay connected but finds his daughter growing distant without a definitive answer of when he’ll be home to be with her in person. Additionally, Samantha is left in the care of Deb, a video blogger who is out exploring the city she’s in when she’s not taking care of Samantha.

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