Tag Archives: Southern California

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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Christmas 2009 With The Family

Christmas 2009 was special in many ways this year. First off my mom and dad were in their new house in Temecula. Also this year my brother and his wife came out from Nashville to spend Christmas here in Southern California. And my grandfather on my mom’s side also came down from Calgary to spend the holidays here. It’s first Christmas in a while that many of us have been together.

My parents’ new home in Temecula looked great with my mom’s Christmas decorations. Some of the things that weren’t yet finished when I last visited at Thanksgiving were finally done such as the backspashes in the Kitchen. The cabinet doors for the cupboards in the kitchen were finally back with the center sections of them cut out and glass inserted to replace the wood removed. The old iron bed frame that was in the lower level guest room had been completely repainted to a metallic grey color and the new mattresses for both the lower level guest room as well as the upstairs bedroom had arrived. About the only thing that still hadn’t arrived yet were the blinds for all the windows.

I came over on Christmas Eve to take my dad and grandpa to the Xanadu production in Costa Mesa. This gave my mom some time to do some errands without my dad and grandpa in her hair. My brother and his wife were arriving late Christmas Eve and I since I had to work I decided to stay over at my folks place, go to work, and then return to my folks place first thing in the morning after work. I had volunteered to have my schedule changed at work in order to work Christmas Eve so that my usual night off could be given to someone on the shift with kids. As I’ve gotten older it’s become less important to enjoy Christmas morning at the earliest possible moment, it doesn’t make much difference to me if the festivities begin at 6 am, 8 am, or 10 am when I’d be back from work. Small kids on the other hand, every extra hour they’d have to wait for mom or dad to come home from work would feel like an eternity so I didn’t want to deprive one of my co-workers from the chance to spend an early morning Christmas with their kids.

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The Touring Xanadu Stage Show Returns To Southern California

One of the highlights of 2008 for me was the opening of Xanadu at the La Jolla Playhouse. The stage show that became a surprise hit on Broadway and was even nominated for a few Tony Awards, made its debut as a touring show in San Diego. Following San Diego, the show moved to Chicago and then played a brief stint in Tokyo before going on a brief hiatus for a few months, but now the tour is back on the road starting in Costa Mesa, California, just a short drive from San Diego.

I immediately fell in love with the show when I first saw it and then proceeded to see it several more times before it’s run at the La Jolla Playhouse finished it’s two month run. I took several friends to see the show and one of the highlights was when I took my mom to see the show as I was able to get on stage seats for that performance. I didn’t tell my mom until we got there that we’d be sitting on stage, she wasn’t so amused by that, but we had a good time and she enjoyed the show.

With the return to Southern California, I definitely wanted to see the show again, and since my dad was back from doing work in Austin, Texas and my grandfather was in town it seemed like a good opportunity to take them to the show. I asked my mom if she wanted to see the show again, if we did the Christmas Eve matinée show and she said she was interested but had too much to do to prepare for my brother and his wife’s arrival and Christmas to take time out to see the show. But she did like the idea of me taking my father and grandfather to the show so that she could get some things accomplished while they were out of the house. So I booked the tickets for my dad, grandpa, and I to see Xanadu on Christmas Eve at 2 pm.

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Where Have All The A&W’s Gone?

Every once in a while I get a craving and generally nothing really satisfies it until I get what I’m craving. And today I was just getting the bug to have some food from an A&W restaurant. I grew up in Canada and A&W’s are one of the first and larger fast food chains in Canada. I’d even go so far as to say they are far more popular in Canada than I’ve seen here in the United States (using in Southern California anyway). Usually when I get a craving for A&W its due to nostalgia for the Canadian A&Ws. I know the last time I got a craving for A&W and went to one of the ones here in San Diego I was disappointed because American A&Ws are nothing like the Canadian ones. The menus don’t offer the same items and the food doesn’t even taste the same. So I knew I was probably setting myself up for another disappointment but it’s been a couple of years since I last went to A&W but I was willing to chance it.

These days A&W is one of the “brands” of restaurants part of the YUM! Corporation which consists of all the restaurant brands bought up by the Pepsi Corporation. (In Canada, A&W’s were started by the American A&W’s but were sold off in 1972 and have no ties to the American A&W operations) I’m not sure if YUM! is just a new name for the division, a spun off & separate company, or even sold off, but anyway, they are home to familiar restaurant names, like Kentucky Fried Chicken (or KFC), Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W, and Long John Silvers. Pepsi originally bought up these restaurants so they could ensure these restaurants served only Pepsi products as beverages. One of the concepts YUM has been doing in recent years is putting in single locations that offer more than one brand in one restaurant. Usually it ends up being a KFC or Taco Bell co-branded with one of the other not quite as popular brands.

In any case, all of the ones in San Diego county were KFC/A&W’s and oddly enough all of them are in the South part of the county, none of them were in North County. So none of the locations are conveniently located for me. So I headed off to the closest location that Google maps pointed me to. I even checked it on the street view to see the location before going there and sure enough, there was a KFC & A&W combination store. However, when I got there, the signage for the A&W was gone, just the KFC remained. From the dirt on the walls where the signs used to be, it looked like it must have been a recent removal. Continue reading Where Have All The A&W’s Gone?

A Modest Proposal For San Diego Indian Casinos

Las Vegas StripUnlike Jonathan Swift’s satirical essay entitled “A Modest Proposal” that suggest the Irish should sell their children to rich people as food, my modest proposal is a thought on how to improve Indian Gaming especially here in San Diego county. What I view as a big problem for Indian Gaming here is that the reservations are on land that is pretty much in the middle of nowhere and in a lot of cases have fairly treacherous roads to get to them, and all the casinos are spread out way too far apart from each other to be a real draw.

The proposal I am suggesting is that the tribes should get together, and select one of the reservations that is either centrally located within the county or one that is easy to get to and in exchange for land or revenue from the other tribes, allow the other local tribes ownership rights to a section of the land in order to build their resort casinos. Essentially allowing for all the local Indian tribes to set up their casinos in one location and create a San Diego version of the Las Vegas strip. With all the local Indian casinos in a single location, it would create the ultimate Southern California gaming destination.

The benefit of a San Diego Strip of Indian Gaming casinos is that it would eliminate the problems of having horrible winding roads to get to the casinos. The reason being is that with ten current gaming tribes in San Diego county putting all their casinos in one place, between the ten of them, they could afford to create a set of large and safe roadways in and out of the strip area. The amount of effort to police the casinos could be consolidated, plus it would easier to market the casinos as all it would be easy to just advertise each casino as being part of the San Diego strip.

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Join Me And See Kylie Minogue At The Hollywood Bowl

Kylie Minogue Hollywood BowlOn October 4th, Kylie Minogue plays the Hollywood Bowl. In her only Southern California appearance, I decided I am going to take opportunity to see the global megastar live in concert. This may be my only chance to see Kylie Minogue in concert on “my turf” so to speak.

While Kylie plays Europe and Australia every time she releases an album, the United States rarely gets more than a television appearance. Granted she doesn’t have the same popularity here in the United States as she does abroad. But I think it’s awesome that she’s coming to the United States and Canada (does it really count as including Canada when its just a single show in Toronto?). I have several of her concert DVDs from past tours and they’re always enjoyable to watch. Welcome to California to perform Kylie.

I wonder if she’ll incorporate an ABBA song or two as she was recently at the BBC2 concerts in London paying tribute to the music of ABBA.

If you’d like to join me, tickets are still available from TicketMaster. Click here to visit TicketMaster and let me know if you’re coming. I’m not getting fancy seats. I managed to get $30 tickets in section N1 which is pretty close to center albeit pretty far from the stage. I just bought my tickets this morning too. The show is not yet sold out.

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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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Spending My Birthday At The Disneyland Resort (Part 1)

Disneyland Birthday ButtonWhen it was announced in 2008 that the Disney Resorts would be offering free admission to one park for people to celebrate their birthday in 2009, I knew I was going to make plans to enjoy Disneyland for my birthday. It’s not the first time I’ve spent my birthday at Disneyland. The last time was in 2004 back when I last had an annual pass to the parks. I was excited to come to Disneyland for my birthday as I haven’t been to the park since right around the time Space Mountain was re-opening following two years of being closed to completely replace the tracks.

I posted a note on my Twitter account to see if any of my friends would be free and available to join me at Disneyland, and I suppose the one thing as you get older is that the responsibilities of the real world doesn’t always allow your friends to come play with you in an amusement park on a “work” day during the week. So aside from several notes of regret of not being able to come from local friends and notes from international friends where the travel distances were prohibitive of being able to come, it was looking like I’d be doing the park on my own. No big deal as far as I’m concerned, I’ve never been the type of person to allow the fact others couldn’t come to stop me from enjoying the things I want to do. Besides, I’ve done the Disney parks several times on my own when I last had annual passes, sometimes I’d end up at the parks on a whim and would have no time to invite others anyway.

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