Tag Archives: Carlsbad

Trying Out A Sonic Drive-In In Vista

To most of the rest of the country, Sonic Drive-In restaurants are a common, everyday sight and experience. Perhaps, one hardly worth taking note. However, they are relatively new here in San Diego, with their first store appearing in Santee about a year ago. I still have not visited that location, but on my way to my Post Office Box in Carlsbad I was driving through Vista and found they had put in a Sonic Drive-In near the recently redeveloped Main Street area. In fact, it’s really close to the old Peppertree Frosty shop that has an amazing variety of milkshakes and other ice cream treats.

I decided to give Sonic a try as I haven’t done a “drive-in” experience in years and thought it might be fun. I pulled into an open stall, decided on what to have then pressed the button to call the store to let them know I was ready to order. Once the order was placed, I loved the fact I could just pay with my Debit card (using it as a Mastercard) right at the menu board right next to the speaker and within a few minutes a young girl on roller skates was out to deliver my order and receipt. It was really cool. I know once the drive-thru was introduced, the drive-in’s were pretty much existing on borrowed time and nearly disappeared permanently, fortunately Sonic has been able to revive the format and make it accessible to folks who might never know the concept ever existed.

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Filled Up Which Wich? Loyalty Card

In what will most likely be my final visit to Which Wich? for the year, I went to redeem the loyalty punch card for my free sandwich. I had collected the necessary ten stamps from the purchase of ten sandwiches over the course of the last couple of months. I have to admit I love these kind of gimmick programs as I find the collection process of the program nearly as much fun as the redeeming aspect of the process. It’s almost like a mini-goals card, and each punch brings you one step closer to that free prize, in this case a sandwich.

When you think about it, it’s really a good deal for the restaurants or other businesses that offer these kind of loyalty programs. In the case of Which Wich?, the value of a completed card is the price of a single sandwich, here in the San Diego area, that means a full card is worth $5.25. But in order to get that $5.25, a total of $52.50 needs to be spent. That’s just the bare minimum that must be spent, that doesn’t include the chips, cookies, or drinks people may buy in addition to the sandwiches. Which Wich? even takes it a step further and adding an end of the year deadline for the punches to be collected and redeemed. This card when full expires on December 31. Any unredeemed cards or ones that didn’t collect enough punches are voided and the whole process starts over on January 1.

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Economy Dinner Night At Rubios

Economy Dinner Night At Rubio'sOn Wednesday night some of my friends got together for a little get together at one of the local Rubio’s restaurants. It was dubbed an “Economy Dinner Night” due to one member of our group of friends, Jason Murillo, works for the corporate office of Rubio’s which is here in San Diego (or rather Carlsbad to be more specific). He was able to allow us all to get together and use his 50% off employee discount.

Rubio’s was started by a fellow San Diego State University Alumni, Ralph Rubio, on the basis of a fish taco inspired by the fish tacos Rubio tried and loved on a surfing trip into Mexico. Rubio brought the concept north of the border and hasn’t looked back ever since. His fish tacos were a huge hit here in San Diego and the company has been expanding out to bring the concept of fish tacos as well as many other Baja inspired menu items to all parts of California as well as Rubio’s restaurants in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. I remember being very hesitant to try my first fish taco, but I was hooked and I usually offer to take my out of town friends to try one, although I’ve had a few just not be able to wrap their minds about fish being inside of a taco. It’s their loss because they’re quite good.

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My Proudest Moment On Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure

Belly Fat Cure Proudest MomentWhen I first met Jorge Cruise in April, one of the things I said to him was that one of my goals when I joined his Belly Fat Cure program was to be able to get on one of the smaller commuter planes and be able to latch my seat belt without having it stretched out to it’s widest point and still having to suck in my gut or contorting myself in such a way so that I could just get the belt latched. The reason why this is was a goal for me is because those 30 seater commuter planes have shorter seat belts than the ones you find in the bigger jet planes.

What I didn’t tell Jorge was one time I had to suffer the embarrassment of having to ask for a seat belt extension from the flight attendant one time because no matter how much I tried to suck in my gut, I still couldn’t get the seat belt latched when a few days before I was able to successfully do it. The flight attendant made no big deal about it but I was absolutely crushed and shamed. And if it wasn’t for the fact there were people around me that could see me, I probably would have shed a few tears over it at that moment too. I was extremely embarrassed by it.

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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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Trying The Which Wich? In Santa Ana

Which Wich? Santa AnaSince originally being introduced to Which Wich? sandwich shops by Brian Hill, I’ve also become a fan of the shops and have recently made a point to try out all three of the Which Wich? locations here in San Diego. And since there’s just one additional location in California at the present time, I thought I might as well check it out too, since I’d be in the area to visit Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland for my birthday.

As I wrapped up my afternoon at Knott’s Berry Farm, I punched in Which Wich? into the Google Maps on my iPhone and it pulled up the Santa Ana location and I used the directions feature to tell me how to get there from Knott’s Berry Farm. It was just a short little drive down the Interstate 5, past Disneyland, and once I found the right highway exit, just a couple of miles to the East of the highway.

I got there in no time at all and despite the relative emptiness of the shopping center in general, the Which Wich? location was actually busy. There were a couple of people waiting for sandwiches to be made, one at the register, and a couple filling out bags for their orders and a number of people at the various tables in the shop. There even was a California Highway Patrol officer enjoying a sandwich in there at the time.

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Officially Been To Every Which Wich? In San Diego

Which WichI have officially now tried each and every Which Wich? location in the San Diego area. To date there are three locations. The first location to open was the Hillcrest location on 5th Avenue. The second location to open was the Pacific Beach location off of Garnet. And the newest addition to the San Diego Which Wich? family is the Carlsbad location located in the Forum shopping center off of Calle Barcelona. However, I didn’t visit them in the order of their openings, I started with the Hillcrest location, then tried the Carlsbad location, before finally making it to the Pacific Beach location.

As a new and up and coming chain of sandwich shops here in San Diego, I have become a big fan of their concept as a sandwich shop. The premise that you set foot in the shop, grab a Which Wich? bag for one of the ten sandwich categories or get the bag for their signature sandwich, “The Wicked” and a red sharpie and you proceed to check off the condiments and toppings you’d like on your sandwich. I’ve included a photograph of one of my sandwich bags for a Roast Beef sandwich I had on one of my visits. From there you take your bag to the register and purchase the sandwich and if you like you can add on your choice of chips, cookies, sodas, iced teas, and milkshakes and then relax while the sandwich experts behind the counter make your sandwich completely customized to your order. There’s no need to point at ingredients or shout over a sneeze guard like at other sandwich shops. Your sandwich comes out how you want it, and when you write your name on the bag, you get the extra personal touch of having your sandwich called out by your name.

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Which Wich? Comes To Carlsbad

Which Wich CarlsbadI’m excited to report that the folks of San Diego’s North County now have their first Which Wich? Sandwich shop. I’ve previously reported about my first experience at the Hillcrest Which Wich? shop. (Click here to read about my first visit to Which Wich?). For those unfamiliar with the concept of how Which Wich? works, you enter the store and grab a bag for the category of sandwich you want, then using a supplied Red Sharpie pen, you check off all the toppings and condiments you want on the sandwich as well as your name at the bottom, then take the bag to the register to pay and then the sandwich will be prepared exactly to your specifications while you wait a couple of short minutes. No muss, no fuss, no having to shout over a glass separator and pointing at toppings, just a sandwich made exactly how you want it.

With my good friend Patsy Ledene from my hometown of Calgary, I wanted to introduce her to Which Wich? and their amazing sandwiches. Since she was already in Carlsbad staying with another friend of hers in the San Diego area, it seemed almost funny that when I went to pick her up, the Forum shopping center that Which Wich is in, just happens to be the closest shopping center to where I was meeting Patsy. Our first order of business was finding where in the shopping center Which Wich? is located. We ended up driving past several shops before we finally found it.

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Dame Edna As Vicious As Ever At San Diego’s Civic Theatre

Dame Edna - My First Last TourDame Edna, the International “Gigastar” (upgraded from “Megastar”) from Moonee Ponds, Australia brought her fantastic show to San Diego’s Civic Theatre for the week of June 2nd through the 7th. I, along with a couple of friends, caught the performance earlier tonight. Dame Edna’s brand of comedy usually stems from the random selection of various audience members usually in the first couple of rows and interrogating them, or pretty much picking on them. And tonight San Diego proved to be a goldmine at the expense of the individuals selected to spark the comedy of the show.

One woman in particular, Beverly, seemed to bear the brunt of the bitchy humor, from the delightfully comedic answers she gave in response to Dame Edna’s line of inquiry. It started with her description of her home as being an “ethnic” home in Carlsbad, to which Dame Edna inquired if that was like a shopping cart. When asked what the home is made of, Dame Edna had a field day out the response which was bricks and tiles and the home is on stilts. Dame Edna first wanted to know if the stilts were to keep the vermin away and then wanted to know if Beverly’s home was a tourist attraction. It was a riot witnessing a comedy legend at work with such interesting and out of left field answers.

A few others in the audience were picked on throughout the evening, but Beverly proved to be the most entertaining of the bunch. At one point in the show, Dame Edna had a couch and a chair brought out to resemble a talk show stage and under the premise that the evening was being filmed for an HBO pilot, Dame Edna invited the people she picked on during the evening up on stage to be interviewed. She even had Carolyn, another woman she chose to pick on during the evening, sing a song to the audience proclaiming it to be a Susan Boyle moment.

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