Tag Archives: Parking

Smashburger Comes To San Diego

It seems that there’s always a new competitor out there in the field seeing to claim ownership of the best burger title, and this month a new competitor is throwing their hat into the competition here in San Diego. Smashburger, a chain of premium burger joints, has opened their doors of their very first store in San Diego county. Their first location is located in downtown La Jolla, home to some fine restaurants and premium shopping experiences. Perfect for a place offering superior quality burgers.

I’ve actually been to Smashburger twice now. The first visit was with a couple of friends. I met them there after I got done with work. They had driven up from San Diego and I was heading South from work. The restaurant itself wasn’t jam packed with people yet, but the parking in La Jolla was a challenge. The only unfortunate side about La Jolla is that parking and getting around there are not the most enjoyable experiences. So until Smashburger opens some more locations, the La Jolla location is just going to be an occasional visit depending on how willing I am to put up with frustrating parking.

The second visit I went with another friend who was out of town at the time I went with the first two friends and while we were there my friend had a suggestion for their manager and he came out and talked with us for a few minutes. Apparently the success of the new La Jolla location has been far exceeding expectations so they’ve been readily welcomed into San Diego. At peak meal periods they’re struggling to meet the demand and that’s always a good sign.

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Trying Hodad’s, One Of CNN’s Top 5 Burgers In America

Hodad's BurgerIn one of those the truth is so strange it sounds like fiction moments, I was listening to Mary Occhino on my Sirius Satellite Radio because I woke up fairly early this morning. Her show now airs here in California between 4 am and 7 am due to the recent addition of Rosie O’Donnell to the Sirius XM Stars channel lineup. I decided to give Rosie O’Donnell’s program a try and stayed listening to her show.

During the Rosie Radio show, she was discussing how she and her daughter are addicted to one of the coffee style drinks at Dunkin’ Donuts. So I ended up checking out Dunkin’ Donuts webpage and on a long shot checked to see if any were in town. And it came up with no results. But a Google search yielded some different results, and so I ended up on Yelp.com where some local reviewers of some local donut shop were reminiscing about how that particular shop used to be Dunkin’ Donuts at one point in time. On the right hand side of the page was a Canadian Maple Leaf that caught my eye. Naturally as a Canadian, I had to see why there was a Canadian Maple Leaf on this page of reviews for a local donut shop that used to be a Dunkin’ Donuts however many years ago.

The Maple Leaf image was basically being used as a profile picture and it was tied to a list called “Comfort Foods” that was under a header called “Related Lists.” So whoever this person is had prepared a list of locations on Yelp, that he or she felt were great comfort food locations in San Diego, so out of curiosity, I clicked on because I’m assuming that he or she is also Canadian like me, so maybe they would have similar tastes.

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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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Pet Peeve: Restaurants Who Face Their Entrances To The Street

Elephant BarEvery once in a while I get in one of those moods where I really start to question the logic of how things get done. Today happens to be one of those days. It seems that the latest trend in restaurants in the suburb strip malls is that they now situate the free standing restaurants so that the main entrance seems to be at the furthest possible point from the parking lot. To me this just seems really stupid.

I do realize that the restaurants are trying to create an impression for people driving by in the hopes that people will stop in and catch a meal there, but to me it seems rather counter intuitive to situate a building facing the street and have a section of parking to the side of the building but put the actual entrance on the opposite side furthest away from the parking. And then they will often do elaborate landscaping and curvy sidewalks so getting to the entrance from the parking lot is an adventure in itself.

Take the photo of the Elephant Bar restaurant that’s pictured above, they have one that looks very similar in San Marcos, California. In this picture the entrance looks to be centered on the building but it’s actually to the right as the round curved section to the right which is an enclosed by outdoor bar area obscures how far to the left the building actually extends. The way the restaurant is set up, the parking lot is off to the left of the building outside of view in this picture. It just seems really dumb to be putting the main entrance so far from where people park.

I’m not against having to walk a little bit further, but it just strikes me as not very customer friendly a tactic to do this. If you want to attract drive by traffic then I think the approach to facing the entrance towards the street actually works against you during the peak hours of the restaurant. You may have a lot of people waiting outside the restaurant for tables, and it would seem to me that having that visible to the street would make a person feel more inclined to pass on that restaurant than stop and put their name on the wait list. With an entrance facing the parking lot, you could at least hide the overflow of waiting people long enough for drive by diners to have at least pulled into the parking lot before showing them they might be in for a bit of a wait. Continue reading Pet Peeve: Restaurants Who Face Their Entrances To The Street

Fleetwood Mac Rocks The San Diego Sports Arena

Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood MacLast night was the San Diego stop in Fleetwood Mac’s 2009 Unleashed Tour. The concert was at the San Diego Sports Arena, not exactly a venue known for great acoustics, in fact, it’s one of the worst in town, but the bright side is that I finally got to see Fleetwood Mac in concert for the first time ever. It was definitely one of the best concerts I’ve been to in a long time and it was just one of the most magical evenings in a long time.

The show had a lot of obstacles to overcome for me in the sense that the venue is old and crappy, the acoustics are terrible, and what seemed to add insult to injury is that they were charging an insanely ridiculous $20 for parking in the Sports Arena lot, which is really torn up and in terrible condition. Sheesh, not even Disneyland charges that much for parking, and their parking lot and structure are immaculate. And yet, despite all of these obstacles, the concert was phenomenal, probably as close to a religious experience as one gets for a non-church goer.

Stevie Nicks was in excellent form throughout the show, not only was she singing beautifully, she was quite personable on stage. I had seen her once on one of her solo tours in 2001 and she could barely muster a “Hello San Diego” then, perhaps because that tour was right around September 11th, I don’t know, but she was like a gracious host to the Fleetwood Mac concert last night. Not only was she very warm to the audience, she even commented how nostalgic it was to be playing the San Diego Sports Arena as she recounted a story about the very first time her and Lindsey Buckingham went out on a tour as an opening act and one of the venues on that tour was the San Diego Sports Arena. She commented how the place and its dressing rooms looked the same as on that first time on tour.

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