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On Monday, November 2, the second Sonic Drive-In in San Diego County opened for business on the corner of Broadway and South Santa Fe Avenue in Vista. Like the Santee location, this time North County folks went nutso for the 1950s-style restaurant’s roller-skating carhops and car-window service. Traffic was so heavy, the city opened an auxiliary lot to hold all the waiting cars. When the restaurant opened at 5:30 a.m., the line was out to the street, according general manager Shawn Boyd. There was over an hour wait most of the day just to place an order.

Down the street, within view of Sonic, Pepper Tree Frosty is one of the oldest hamburger stands in the county. Family-owned since 1960, second-generation owner Danny Villaseñor said his Monday was extremely busy. “We called in everyone we could to work.” Villaseñor says he got Sonic’s overflow along with his regulars. “There was even an anti-Sonic crowd,” he said.

He’s seen this before, when McDonald's and other burger joints came to town. “We actually benefit every time a new fast-food place opens because we offer things you won’t find at any other place,” he says.

On Tuesday, the day after some of the Sonic hoopla settled, Villaseñor said his sales were still higher than average.

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Comments

PistolPete Nov. 10, 2009 @ 12:44 p.m.

Thanks SP. D'n'S is a very special in that they are usually found in the most humblest of towns in the Midwest. The D'n'S is unfortunetely, a dying breed but one that isn't dead yet. There's nothing really unique about them and that's their uniqness. Just a great burger with great service and a smile and a great root beer to wash it all down. Friendly waitstaff and ownership,friendly neighbors to eat with and some really cool lookin' cars to watch pull in & out while soaking it all in.

I'm certainly not going to knock the Pepper Tree Frosty as I've never been there but I'm almost certain that they are worlds apart from a D'n'S. I don't mean that in a bad way either. As much as it looks like I knock California at every opportunity, I think it's just a culture that I'm not used to and may never get used to.

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Ken Harrison Nov. 11, 2009 @ 8:55 a.m.

Hey surfpup and all, what's happening is Corp America is finding a way to prostitute the old brands. What once were money losing old school Americana is now big bucks in our nostalgia. Most are owned by equity firms. But nothing is ol' fashioned about their operations. Everything's been revised, and none of the old "flavor" exists. Like A&W mentioned, the root beer taste the same, but that's it. Do you think Papa Burger, Mama Burger, Teen Burger, and Baby Burger would have stood for a stupid "Root Bear" as their mascot? A&W restaurant are operated by a division of Pitney Bowes? Gimme a break. (BTW- the last original A&W I found was in 1999, Gila Bend, AZ with frosty mugs, etc. The owner promised to contact me if she ever wanted to sell. ) Vernor's was kicked around to about to about 5 different owners in the last 10 years until someone saw $ signs with the brand & knew how to market. Lionel trains is owned by some conglomerate that just keep slapping the old lionel logo on cheaper and cheaper plastic parts, so much so that real train enthusiast laugh it them. At least with the resurgence of Bob's, they are true to the original concept, but have yet to bring back Pappy Parker's Fried Chicken. And of course In N Out has never changed. I could go on & on but will save for my book.

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or Nov. 12, 2009 @ 12:11 a.m.

Pink's is opening a hot dog stand @Knott's Berry Farm in January. BEST hot dogs ever.

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PistolPete Nov. 12, 2009 @ 12:48 a.m.

This place sounds like it the s*** back in the 70's. Not sure if there were any out here though...

http://www.fuzzymemories.tv/screen.php?c=1213&p=1&m=arthur treachers

Also, a few seconds ago when I logged in, I saw this in the new videos...

http://www.fuzzymemories.tv/screen.php?c=2630&p=1

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Ken Harrison Nov. 10, 2009 @ 5:42 p.m.

Hey guys, I appreciate all the chit chat that started with my Anti Sonic/Pepper Tree Frosty story. You guys need to get your own chat room! I haven't read all of the fasinatin' facts yet about all the restaurant chains, but I know most of the answers to the questions asked. I've been researching a book (for about 10 years now) to be entitled "Who Killed Bob's Big Boy" about all the iconic places we grew up with that are now gone, A&W, Bob's, Orange Julius, Naugles, Hancock Gas, Speedee Marts, etc. Since Bob's is making a comeback in SoCal I may need to get it done sooner than later, or the title won't mean anything.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 10, 2009 @ 6:10 p.m.

I've been researching a book (for about 10 years now) to be entitled "Who Killed Bob's Big Boy" about all the iconic places we grew up with that are now gone, A&W, Bob's, Orange Julius, Naugles, Hancock Gas, Speedee Marts, etc.

By califcomedy

A&W is still around, but they are not a big chain. man, their Rootbeer is the BEST baby!

There is an A&W in Palm Springs, right at the far end of Palm Canyon (end of the "strip"), about 1 block past Ramon Road, on the right.

http://www.awrestaurants.com/#/home

725 S Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA 92264 (760)320-0004

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David Dodd Nov. 10, 2009 @ 6:24 p.m.

califcomedy: If Bob's Big Boy makes a comeback, you can always change the working title to "Who Killed Dick Naugle?"

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or Nov. 10, 2009 @ 6:32 p.m.

If that's the location that was about 3 blocks south of Las Casuelas, I believe it's now became a KFC.

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or Nov. 10, 2009 @ 6:41 p.m.

re #87 Since both are owned by yum brands, it could be still open as a dual menu place, but I don't remember seeinf an A&W sign.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 10, 2009 @ 7:20 p.m.

Since both are owned by yum brands, it could be still open as a dual menu place, but I don't remember seeinf an A&W sign.

By occumsrazor

Yes, BOTH KFC and A&W are on the same lot, next to each other.

I have not been there for about a year-but I doubt the A&W folded up it's tent.

I will make a trip out there in the next few weeks and report back.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 9:42 a.m.

Sonic is popular out here because 9 out of 10 transplants agree-In'n'Out suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks!

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abbeyrd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 9:48 a.m.

I disagree with you Pistol Pete. Ate at Sonic and it was horrible! In & Out is overrated but so much better.

Here's wishing continued success to Pepper Tree Frosty

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:44 a.m.

That's strange. Most transplants I've spoken to agree with me. In'n'Out burgers are too greasy and the fries taste cold and nasty after sitting there for 5 minutes. The shakes are pretty good for being a "chain" restaurant. Sonic isn't the best either. Steak'n'Shake kicks both Sonic's and In'n'Out's asses. I also noticed that In'n'Out employees are waaaaaaaaaaay too friendly. Then again, I'm from Chi-Town so I expect a little attitude to come from someone slingin' burgers for minimum wage.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 12:24 p.m.

"In N Out Burger" is the best burger made today.

It is 100% fresh, everything is fresh-the buns are made daily on location, the french fries are made daily on location from real spuds, the milkshakes use REAL ice cream, the meat is never frozen and is always fresh. Nothing can touch In N Out.

My favorite restaurant is "The Waffle House", which are huge in the midwest, south and east coast, but there is not a single one in California, very disappointing.

"Steak n Shake" is also big in the midwest, but not a single one out here.

When I was in Florida there were tons of "Checkers" drive through restaurants, had great deals, loved that place-but none in California.

In N Out is the best though-bar none.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 12:30 p.m.

There's a Rally's in Esco,SP. Rally's is the exact same place as Checkers. Think of Rally's to Checkers what Carl's Jr. is to Hardee's.

http://hosted.where2getit.com/checkers/

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 12:43 p.m.

Doing some quick Wiki research,I found out that the Carl's Jr./Green Burrito sibling is the Hardee's/Red Burrito.

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gardenparty Nov. 4, 2009 @ 1:41 p.m.

Surfpup, You can take a drive over to the Phoenix area to get your WH fix. I think there are about 5 or 6 in the area. We go occasionally when visiting a cousin in the area. If you're up in L.A., check out Roscoe's chicken and waffles. Better than WH, I think. Unless something has changed recently, In-N-Out buns aren't made on site, but they are made fresh every day in their commissary in Baldwin Park. That's where all their ingredients are shipped from.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 2:02 p.m.

In'n'Out reminds me of Scientology...

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David Dodd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 2:19 p.m.

The In'n'Out Double-Double animal style is hands-down, my favorite fast food burger. Second would be a burger from one of the two original Tommy's (the original franchise on Rampart and Beverly in Los Angeles is the best), although most of their franchise locations aren't as good.

But the best take out hamburgers in my opinion come from the individually owned Greek char-broiled places. I haven't seen one in San Diego (although no-doubt there are some), but they have quite a few of them in Los Angeles.

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Joe Poutous Nov. 4, 2009 @ 2:44 p.m.

Hodad's

Classic Malt Shop

Hamburger Mary's (before it closed)

and Refried... there are a couple of Greek places that have killer burgers. Georgia's and Olympic Cafe both have killer burgers.

  • Joe
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gardenparty Nov. 4, 2009 @ 2:50 p.m.

Gringo, when you lived in LA, did you ever eat at Fatburger? When I was a kid, probably between 10-13 yrs old or so, my dad and both of my grandfathers would go up to see the Lakers once in a while. They would take me sometimes and I can remember going to a Fatburger close to the Forum sometimes. I don't remember if it's the same one that's at Manchester and Crenshaw or not. I had eaten at In-N-Out but I remember liking Fatburger better although it could be the fact that I could get onion rings there and In-N-Out doesn't have them, cos I'm an onion rings kind af guy. I remember they had good shakes, too. We would get our food then go to the Forum about an hour early and eat while we watched the teams warm up. I always thought that was cool. Haven't eaten at FB for a long time; too many are franchised and aren't of the same quality. That's why I like In-N-Out; they're all company owned and you know what to expect.

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David Dodd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 2:53 p.m.

Thanks, Joe. I'll give them a shot when I'm in the area.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 2:57 p.m.

I'll take FB over I'n'O anyday. Hell,I'll take BK over I'n'O anyday.

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David Dodd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 3:12 p.m.

gardenparty,

For whatever reason, I've never eaten at a Fatburger. I've heard about them, but honestly can't remember seeing one. I probably wasn't paying attention. I've heard that they serve a great burger.

I grew up and lived East of Los Angeles between 1964 and 1992. There weren't many fast food joints close by, I remember a Jack-in-the-Box coming first, followed by a McDonald's, then a Taco Bell, and finally an In'n'Out. We had to drive a ways just to get to Tommy's. There were two Greek joints, one in South El Monte and one in South Gate that I really liked. Later, they opened a Greek place near where my parents lived that was really good, and they had the best onion rings I've ever had (I'm an onion rings kind of guy myself).

Regarding Fatburger, I guess I just missed it somehow, by all accounts there were certainly locations. When I was a teenager I used to go to Venice beach all of the time, I guess I drove right by a location and never noticed.

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David Dodd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 3:16 p.m.

They have a Burger King a couple of blocks from where I live. I don't like it. It could be because it's a Tijuana franchise, but I don't remember liking Burger King the couple of times I ate there in the U.S. There is a Carl's Jr. franchise in Tijuana, however, that beats any Carl's Jr. franchise I've eaten at in the U.S. Sounds odd, but it's true.

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Joe Poutous Nov. 4, 2009 @ 3:48 p.m.

I try to avoid the Jack-King-Mc-Carls burgers. No soul. In-N-Out is OK.. I have tried Fatburgers... about the same quality as In-N-Out.

Go to Hodad's and order a cheese burger with extra pickles... you get about half a jar of sliced pickles on your burger.. Add bacon and you are close to heaven.

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antigeekess Nov. 4, 2009 @ 4:36 p.m.

Love Sonic. For me, a fast-food trifecta is Sonic, Whataburger, and Dairy Queen (full-service). These 3 sit right in a row on the Apache Trail in Arizona.

My favorite burger out here is In-n-Out. Fresh and tasty. Everything else there pretty much sucks, IMO. But there's definitely no reason it should remind anybody of Scientology. Quite the contrary.

http://www.snopes.com/business/alliance/inandout.asp

Also unique:

http://www.in-n-out.com/foundation.asp

Nice folks. Still privately owned, their site states that they treat their employees like family. Judging from the way those kids interact with the customers, I believe it. Always exceptionally hospitable.

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Joe Poutous Nov. 4, 2009 @ 5:08 p.m.

that is true - the service at In N Out is always great!

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David Dodd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 5:13 p.m.

I've never been to Sonic, Whataburger, or Dairy Queen. Funny thing though, I manufactured (personally, because apparently no one else at the company I worked for could do it), those advertising panels in the lit signs that you see all over the midwest, for Sonic and Dairy Queen. You know, the one's with "floating food", the "3 for $2", that sort of thing.

Like this:

http://www.nationalreaderboard.com/customword.php

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 6:06 p.m.

There's a Rally's in Esco,SP. Rally's is the exact same place as Checkers. Think of Rally's to Checkers what Carl's Jr. is to Hardee's.

http://hosted.where2getit.com/checkers/

By PistolPete

You know what-about 15 years ago Rally's started opening up restaurants in San Diego.

They had one on Rosecrans, right across the street from Denny's, and one in Chula Vista on Palm and a few others-but they all closed down.

And yes, Rally's is pretty close to Checkers.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 6:16 p.m.

Surfpup, You can take a drive over to the Phoenix area to get your WH fix. I think there are about 5 or 6 in the area. We go occasionally when visiting a cousin in the area. If you're up in L.A., check out Roscoe's chicken and waffles. Better than WH, I think. Unless something has changed recently, In-N-Out buns aren't made on site, but they are made fresh every day in their commissary in Baldwin Park. That's where all their ingredients are shipped from.

By gardenparty

Yes, the WH has has restaurants in AZ-and I cannot figure out why they have them in AZ and NOT one in CA??????? That just does not make sense to me. I love the Waffle House. When I visited Florida and found that place I ate there everyday. When I was living in the midwest I ate there as often as I could. WH is #1!

I have never been to Roscoe's, will have to give them a try.

I thought the In N Out restaurants had small ovens they baked their buns in-like Subway Sandwich's does??????

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 6:23 p.m.

Nice folks. Still privately owned, their site states that they treat their employees like family. Judging from the way those kids interact with the customers, I believe it. Always exceptionally hospitable.

By antigeekess

There was a HUGE fight among the In N Out restaurant organization a few years back. Once the founders died, the ownership went to the granddaughter-who was 23 y/o at the time.

The CEO, long time In N Out executive, and the grand daughter didn't see eye to eye in the culture of running the place, she wanted to expand fast, the CEO didn't.

Long story short In N Out expanded fast and the grand daughter is the one who now calls all the shots.

I am sure that on a restaurant by restaurant basis, In N Out is probably more profitable than any other fast food chain. In many ways they copied Ray Kroc's (McDonalds) ideas, but they ended up doeing a better job than McD's.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 6:28 p.m.

Second would be a burger from one of the two original Tommy's (the original franchise on Rampart and Beverly in Los Angeles is the best), although most of their franchise locations aren't as good.

A chili burger from the original Tommy's Burger is hard to beat!

And the franchise locations do not compare, a consistency problem I think

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David Dodd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 6:38 p.m.

A chili burger from the original Tommy's Burger is hard to beat!

And the franchise locations do not compare, a consistency problem I think.

===================================

Yeah, I have no idea what's up with that! The original is great, and then they opened one up in Whittier, which was much closer (by about eight miles), and it wasn't quite the same. Then, at some point in the '80's, a franchise opened up near where I grew up, and it didn't even compare. They have a location in San Diego, but I've never tried it.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 6:42 p.m.

"My favorite burger out here is In-n-Out. Fresh and tasty. Everything else there pretty much sucks, IMO. But there's definitely no reason it should remind anybody of Scientology. Quite the contrary."

http://www.snopes.com/business/alliance/...

AG-By comparing them to Scientology, I just meant that they're all hype and no substance. I also scoped that Snopes link while reading the Wikipedia page on I'n'O.

I know I could NEVER work at an I'n'O. $10.00 an hour is a rip-off considering how nuts that place gets. The I'n'O here in CMR stays busy.

I'm waiting on Bob's Big Boy to come back. And since I've never been to a Sambo's, I'd love to see them make a comeback since I hear they were so much better than Denny's. On a sidenote, did you guys know that the former chairman of Denny's also started the Winchell's donut chain?

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David Dodd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 6:55 p.m.

Pete, I actually waited tables at a Sambo's for about a month. I'll have to write about that some time.

Now that you mention it, the Big Boy burger wasn't all bad. I actually went to the original location in Glendale, even before I knew it was the original location. Here in Tijuana, there is (or was, I haven't passed by it lately), a restaurant called, "Big Boy", and somehow they had a copy of that statue out front. Can't find a photo of that, but here's the tall sign:

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38/dchinn/IMG_4197.jpg

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antigeekess Nov. 4, 2009 @ 7 p.m.

Re #27:

All you gotta do is make a little roadtrip to Santa Barbara, Pete.

http://www.sambosrestaurant.com/indexsam.htm

Kinda funny that Sambo has become quite a bit paler, over the years. One might think that Cali would be the last place to 'lose' a tan. :)

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 7:01 p.m.

I haven't been in a Big Boy since I quit droolin'. No one I've ever talked to about the place ever had an unkind word to say though. That speaks volumes. I still have a hard plastic bank in the shape of the Big Boy from the late 70's.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 7:02 p.m.

HAH! Ag made a funny!!! :-D The Yankees are buttf***in' the Phillies and I'm Lovin' it! Ba da bop bop bop!

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gofurry Nov. 4, 2009 @ 7:09 p.m.

Hodads

Double Bacon Cheeseburger.

BURP!

AHHHHHHHH!

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 7:10 p.m.

I fart in your general direction, gofurry! :-D

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antigeekess Nov. 4, 2009 @ 7:13 p.m.

For some reason, in Dallas it was "Kip's Big Boy," not Bob's. And eventually, that Big Boy statue was apparently stolen at least once. I just found one of the alleged perps on an SMU alumni site. Guess what he does for a living?

MARK ROBERTSON ’85 Member-at-large Mark is an attorney for Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Mark is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and was ‚mysteriously? linked to the stealing of Kip’s Big Boy during his time as a Pike at SMU. Mark was also in the band while at SMU, highlights of which were performing at the football games played in Japan and Hawaii.


Some things never change, I guess...

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David Dodd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 7:47 p.m.

It reminds me, the Sambo's thing, about what an uproar developed over the "little black Sambo" thing. When I was a kid and learned the tale, Sambo was from India, and was chased by a tiger, and the tiger turned into butter or some damned thing.

Point is, there are no tigers in Africa.

I found it odd. To me, there were so much larger issues. I remember reading "Up From Slavery" as a kid, and then thinking about people being upset at the Sambo tale, and wondering WTF? I thought that with all of the crapfest racism in the world that the Sambo thing was probably somewhat benign, comparatively.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 7:49 p.m.

The people whose panties got in a twist over the Sambos were the early pioneers of a little f***ed up thing called Political Correctness.

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gardenparty Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:13 p.m.

re #24 Let me help you out here, surfpup. When founder Harry Snyder died in 1976, his son Rich took over as Pres., with older son Guy as VP. In December of 1993 Rich and the COO were killed in a plane crash coming into land @ SNA. I remember it; it was rush hour on a Tuesday and I flew over it coming back from a long weekend @ my gf's in SFO. Esther Snyder took over as Pres. That left Guy as the heir when Ester died. Rich and Guy both worked on expanding the company. When Guy od'd on pain killers in 1999, that meant his daughter, then 17, was the sole remaining heir(ess) in the event of Esther's death. The guy that sued was actually a vp of real estate and one of the estate trustees. The lawsuit wasn't really about expansion, that was just an excuse. It was really because he thought the daughter and some of the other execs were trying speed up the daughter's takeover and force him and Esther out.There was also an accusation that real estate vp diverted construction materials and crews to his own property and charged the work to the company. Long story short, there were suits and counter suits, Esther died a few months later, a settlement was made and the company severed all ties with the vp. The daughter got 1/3 of the company when she turned turned 25, gets 1/2 30 and the rest by 35.

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antigeekess Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:22 p.m.

Re #35:

Yeah, Sambo was from India, which is why he's still dressed as he is on the Sambo's site. However, he was a dark-skinned Indian boy, and now he looks Caucasian.

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gardenparty Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:33 p.m.

23

I could swear that there used to be a WH in Blythe. We used to drive back and forth alot in the early 80's and for some reason I keep remembering stopping at one in Blythe. As the In-N-Out buns, they all come from the commissary. The stores get daily deliveries and the only thing they do at store level is prep the onion/lettuce/potatos, ect. I was in Tucson on business for a few days in 2007 when they were opening a store their. I have NEVER seen any fast food joint that busy. I saw on the news that people were waiting as long as 4 hrs in the drive thru and they had cops directing traffic. I talked to the manager on on visit and he said they were getting 2 deliveries a day instead of one. I later read that opening set records for most burgers sold in one day along with the most sold in one week.

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David Dodd Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:34 p.m.

38:

I haven't seen Sambo lately, the chain folded some time ago. My point is that, as a kid, I found it all very Rudyard Kipling. The actual story was written by Helen Bannerman, who apparently lived in India for a while. According to what I can dig up, there is only one remaining Sambo's, in Santa Barbara. So it goes.

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antigeekess Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:48 p.m.

Re #40:

The original Sambo's is in Santa Barbara. (See earlier link to website.)

Re #39:

As for Waffle House, the site lists an address at 1499 Hobson Way in Blythe, but then doesn't show it on the map.

http://www.wafflehouse.com/welcome/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79:waffle-house-restaurant-locator&catid=38

Somebody on Yahoo Answers thinks it's there:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070420163644AA9q84o

Looks like there 'was' one there, at the very least.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:48 p.m.

gardenparty-All that proves is that fat,lazy Americans need to get lives. 4 hours for a nasty burger? REALLY?

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:49 p.m.

In December of 1993 Rich and the COO were killed in a plane crash coming into land @ SNA.

I remember when that happened, they were flying the small personal/company jet, like a Lear or Gulf Stream, and the jet stream from one of the big commercial jets caused it to lose control when landing. Pretty sad, and as I recall a number of the top management were killed, like 4.

I didn't recall all the details about the control-but I do remember the part about the guy having the work crews diverted to his home for personal work.

In any event, I think in N Out is the best run fast food restaurant I have ever seen. They stick to what they know and don't veer away from the basics. And they have the cleanest restaurants by far.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:55 p.m.

They ARE clean. I will defend them on that.

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gardenparty Nov. 5, 2009 @ 12:05 a.m.

re #42 Pete, have you ever been to Tucson? If you have, then you know 2 things. First, as many zonies that come to Ca. they know about in-n-out so it's a novelty to them. Secondly, you would also know that during the 4 hrs the spent in line, in Tucson they missed absolutely nothing. BTW, not everybody who eats fast food is fat and lazy or, no offense intended, has your physique. I rarely eat fast food and when I do it's usually a taco shop. But if I do want a burger, it's usually in-n-out. I know it's fresh and I know what I'm getting

re#43 It's called wake turbulence. It was from a 757 that was about 2 miles in front of them. That crash investigation led to the FAA requirement for an adequate period between heavy aircraft and following light aircraft to allow wake turbulence to diminish. It was a charter flight with just 2 execs. The other 3 were the pilot/co-pilot and a friend of Snyder's. The eery thing is Snyder and the other guy never flew together when they went the same place for business.In-N-Out had a corporate policy forbidding it. In this case, they had been up in Norcal for a store opening and supposedly the COO flew back on the charter so he could get home sooner. Esther Snyder had been on the plane also, but for some reason they made a stop in LA and she got off the plane.

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David Dodd Nov. 5, 2009 @ 12:48 a.m.

Oh, yeah. Good ol' Dick Naugle. Naugles was like Del Taco on steroids. I know. I worked there for about a year in college. Right down from Cal State Fullerton. Those were the days.

You're right, Pete. That was gourmet fast food. We had lines going around the effing block.

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PistolPete Nov. 5, 2009 @ 12:59 a.m.

Del Taco comes pretty close considering it's been almost 25 years. And in all fairness to I'n'O, they're not nearly as bad as I make them sound to be. I've had much worse and I've had much better. I just don't understand the idolization of a greasy burger in a supposedly health conscience state. That and coupled with the fact that I absolutely abhor the "spread". I always forget to tell them no 1,000 sauce as much as I forget to tell the guys at the taco shop no guac on me tacos.

And with that,I bid you a rare adieu. I'm getting over the flu and my neck is killing me.

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David Dodd Nov. 5, 2009 @ 1:08 a.m.

Pete, Naugles and Del Taco share a history. Like I said, I worked at one. Naugles was purchased by the company that held Del Taco, then they went independent, then they died, long after I worked there. They really shared a history at one time.

This little part is true, and there is even more behind it, but I am old and alcohol has thankfully destroyed those brain cells.

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gardenparty Nov. 5, 2009 @ 1:13 a.m.

Gringo, was that the one Placentia, I think at either Nutwood or Chapman? It's been a long time so I don't remember for sure. When I was married, way back in the college days, my in-laws owned a condo on Placentia, just immediately south of the center on the sw corner. I remember a 7-11 next to a mexican restaurant in the center and then across a side street south down Placentia there are some condos. Coming the other way, from the south on Placentia was a Naugles we all ways went to when we were there. I saw John Robinson in there once; That was back when he was coaching the Rams and they had preseason camp at CSUF. Didn't Naugles merge with Del Taco not to long after Dick Naugle sold. I think thats when Del Taco came up with "Macho", when they took over Naugles?

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David Dodd Nov. 5, 2009 @ 1:33 a.m.

Damn, gardenparty, you know L.A!

That was the one. And yes, I think Naugles went solo, and then re-merged. And you're right, Naugles came up with the "macho" thing, but, as expensive as those burritos were, they were huge! On the weekends, we had lines going around the block, out to the 57 freeway. It was quite the attraction back then. I worked second and third shift. They were open 24/7. I think their food was worth the money.

I can tell you that as workers, we were encouraged to make sure that our portions were generous, they never yelled at us over food useage. The night I quit, it was because the day manager (who I never knew) came in one night and yelled at us for some stupid reason. She left, and I tossed my work badge aside and split. I'll likely blog that at some point. I felt liberated, and it carried me forward as I did that many times in my careers afterward.

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SDaniels Nov. 5, 2009 @ 5:57 a.m.

I was raised on fast food, with Frankensteinian results, and think I remember Naugles. We lived in Placentia, OC, and those street names sound familiar--sure we are not talking Orange County? Didn't Naugles originate the brown sugar fried tortilla chip triangles for dessert?

Pig flu, Pete? Feel better, "homey." :)

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Joe Poutous Nov. 5, 2009 @ 6:11 a.m.

Here is a roadtrip that I want to take.. They just reopened the Johnny's Broiler in Downey as a Bob's Big Boy Broiler... The original carhop was torn down illegally.

http://www.roadsidepeek.com/roadusa/southwest/california/socal/socaleats/socalcoffeeshop/johniesbroiler/bobsbroiler/index.htm

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SDaniels Nov. 5, 2009 @ 6:55 a.m.

This sounds and looks sooo fun, tiki! Let's go! Is that the original "Bob" perched up top there, or are there changes to his frozen, manic expression? I remember the original Bobs used to stand in front of the entrance, and I used to hang all over them as a kid.

Remember "Little Black Sambo?" That theme was chucked for very obvious reasons, but I remember the menu always had the Uncle Remus story about how maple syrup was 'born.'

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Joe Poutous Nov. 5, 2009 @ 7:13 a.m.

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=409637&highlight=bob+big+boy+broiler&page=14

Dig the pix!

That blue/ bare metal flamed Shoebox Ford under the Drive In sign if off the f-ing hook.

  • Joe
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SDaniels Nov. 5, 2009 @ 7:42 a.m.

The pix are fab. So is the car--have never seen that much chrome on a dome! :)

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PistolPete Nov. 5, 2009 @ 8:25 a.m.

refried-I knew about the Naugles/Del Taco connection having looked at the wiki page awhile while in a different forum talking about defunct restaurants. That's why I said that Del Taco comes pretty close. They "stole" some items from Dick Naugles.

SD-I think it was just your average, everyday common flu. Body aches,s*** yourself with bad diarrhea every 30 minutes, and either sweat or freeze every ten. I was sick for 4 days with 2 being the worst. I don't get sick very often but when I do, oh boy!

Was this what you were thinking of? http://search.hp.my.aol.com/aol/imageDetails?s_it=imageDetails&query=bob%27s+bigboy&img=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.you-are-here.com%2Fsculpture%2Fbob.jpg&site=&host=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.you-are-here.com%2Fsculpture%2Fbob.html&width=88&height=131&thumbUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fimages-partners-tbn.google.com%2Fimages%3Fq%3Dtbn%3Az14geLY49J6sgM%3Awww.you-are-here.com%2Fsculpture%2Fbob.jpg&b=image%3Fs_it%3Dtopsearchbox.image%26imgsz%3D%26query%3Dbob%2527s%2Bbigboy

Tiki-Awesome car!

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SDaniels Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:06 a.m.

Doesn't sound like pig flu, Pete, because the big "D" is not a main feature. More the sweat and freeze, very high temps, and what you mentioned made me think of it with the neck pain--severe body aches. Hope you are drinking LOTS of water, rather than the bourbon advocated in another thread :)

Yes, that's the Bob we were discussing earlier--Tiki's rad link to the new Broiler in Downey has Bob up on top of the building, and the expression looked a bit different, but it is prob. the same one. Inside looks cool, too, with one of those old 60s chandeliers and stainless steel ceiling. I want to go! Next time we head that way!

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PistolPete Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:16 a.m.

I basically rode the storm out for two days. I would've had a nip or two of bourbon but I didn't have any. I have to take my GF's mother to the doctor today in Esco so I'll be getting some needed fresh air.

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gardenparty Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:29 a.m.

Re # 51 Gringo, both sets of my grandparents moved to SD in the late 20's/early 30's(military don't you know), both of my parents were born in SD. I grew up in SD, but technically I'm an angelino. The bad news was broken to me when I was very young that I wasn't a native born San Diegan. I was crushed. It seems that my parents were at LAX to pick someone up and my mother went into labor a couple of weeks early. She was taken to Centinela, I guess because it was closest. So I was born in and lived the first 24 hrs or so of my life in lovely Inglewood. But...since I left for college in 79, the only length of time I spent back in SD was summers and about 6-8 months after I finished grad school. I had a chance to advance in my company by moving to OC, so I have spent most of the last 20+ or so yrs in and around OC/LA.

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gardenparty Nov. 5, 2009 @ 10:03 a.m.

Gringo, didn't Naugles have something called the Naugleburger and the double Naugleburger? My former bother in law was the one who turned me on to Naugles. He was a dig dude, 6'6" or so and probably 260+ and if my memory serves me right, his favorite meal was 2 double somethings with frys and a coke. I agree about the portions......huge burritos. I remember reading something about that after Naugles was sold to Collins food. Somebody was referencing Naugles inability to get their costs down and said something to the affect that Naugles couldn't even tell how much an average order costto make and DelTaco could tell if their cost varied even 1/10 of 1% on a meal.

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antigeekess Nov. 5, 2009 @ 10:36 a.m.

Re #45:

"Secondly, you would also know that during the 4 hrs the spent in line, in Tucson they missed absolutely nothing."

LOL. Both funny and true.

"BTW, not everybody who eats fast food is fat and lazy or, no offense intended, has your physique."

There's some 1st Amendment truth for ya.

:)

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Joe Poutous Nov. 5, 2009 @ 10:36 a.m.

"I was raised on fast food, with Frankensteinian results"

You have bolts in your neck and require electro-shock to get up in the morning?

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antigeekess Nov. 5, 2009 @ 10:52 a.m.

"Remember "Little Black Sambo?" That theme was chucked for very obvious reasons, but I remember the menu always had the Uncle Remus story about how maple syrup was 'born.'"

Scroll up, Daniels. We beat that topic to death already. Sambo's alive and well, just looking a bit paler these days:

http://www.sambosrestaurant.com/

They were still showing those cartoons -- in which Sambo had gone from Indian to black -- when I was little.

The cartoon I remember, however, I don't see. He sang a song that went:

"I'm Little Black Sambo, Little Black Sambo Dressed in the prettiest clothes. My jacket is red, my trousers are blue..."

Aaaand the Wiki link, if anybody's still lost: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_b...

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CuddleFish Nov. 5, 2009 @ 10:54 a.m.

"Remember "Little Black Sambo?" That theme was chucked for very obvious reasons,

By antigeekess 10:52 a.m., Nov 5, 2009

Apparently, not obvious enough. But then, some people will always be obnoxiously obtuse.

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antigeekess Nov. 5, 2009 @ 11 a.m.

Cuddle, you're quoting MY quote of Daniels, and apparently attributing it to me -- not that there's anything wrong with it.

Not sure what your point is, either way.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 5, 2009 @ 11:06 a.m.

I used to go to Sambo's in Hayward, CA as a child. Me and my Mom and my sister would go to breakfest once a week there, we loved Sambo's.

It was sad to see them go under, but I am pleasantly surprised to see the original Sambo's is still open for business. Next SB trip I am there.

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richopp Nov. 5, 2009 @ 11:32 a.m.

Sonic: In South Florida the one I ate at was very, very bad. Never again.

Checkers: As mentioned before, this is the FL version of Rally's

Carls, Jr: I ate at one in CA years ago, and went to school in NC where Hardee's started--actually, I was in school when Hardee's started. I saw little that led me to believe they were the same, but they certainly could have merged since I ate there. Carls was pretty bad. Hardee's was decent in those days-we ate the Hardee's Husky, which was like a Whopper but better, but his was in the '60s, so who knows. I remember when Arby's opened across the street from Hardee's. They actually served real roast beef in those days, at least for the first year or so. After that, it became whatever it is today and we stopped going.

In 'n Out: As many times as I have been to CA I have not yet eaten there. Probably because I was on expenses and we went to real restaurants. One day I will try it as my brother now lives near San Diego--Escondido, I think it is.

I would like to try Hodad's and that other place it was compared to the other day--a bar, basically, with fresh burgers rather than frozen like at Hodad's.

San Diego sounds like a great place to do a burger week! I can't wait to come out there again.

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richopp Nov. 5, 2009 @ 11:36 a.m.

Oh, forgot. In VA where I grew up, Bob's was Shoney's Big Boy, and it was our Mel's (American Graffiti) as we hung out there in our cars. We had two, and we drove from one to the other constantly on the weekends. Food was OK--Big Boy was a cousin to a Big Mac, only made with actual food as I remember.

Cheers!

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 5, 2009 @ 11:44 a.m.

I would like to try Hodad's and that other place it was compared to the other day--a bar, basically, with fresh burgers rather than frozen like at Hodad's.

Hodad's is pretty good. The son of the founders used to run it back in the 90's, don't know if he still does. has been around forever.

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Joe Poutous Nov. 5, 2009 @ 12:48 p.m.

oh... Great burgers at the Longhorn Cafe in Grantville, too. They do the Boll Weevil style condiment trays (peppers, pickles, mayo, mustard, catsup) So you can really load up on pickles (can you tell that I really like pickles on my burger?).

  • Joe
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SDaniels Nov. 5, 2009 @ 1 p.m.

re: #63: "Frankensteinian...:" Well, tiki, there's a theory about growing up on foods loaded with preservatives (as I did) and certain autoimmune diseases that typically show up in your twenties.

re: #65: Woops. Sorry I missed all that--and refried was right--the tigers turn to butter, not syrup! I guess I always had pancakes there as a kid, so it made me think of syrup. Wow, the little red jacket and trousers, etc.--very nostalgic, that place. Yes, Sambo is looking very anemic these days--guess he's been existing solely on Sambo's breakfasts :)

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richopp Nov. 5, 2009 @ 1:12 p.m.

re# 71--surfpuppy: Thanks for the update. Itis nice when something stays in the family over generations if it is kept up. Some place in San Diego did a vote-off the other day on a blog or something I read that compared Hodad's to another place there. Both of them sounded great to me! Also, they said that Hodad's was right on the beach, and that always adds a little something to a place. Here where I live we have a pretty sleazy Holiday Inn on the beach, but a burger and a cold one while sitting outside at their Tiki Hut looking at the sand and surf are pretty tasty. I look forward to trying Hodad's.

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David Dodd Nov. 5, 2009 @ 1:45 p.m.

@gardenparty: I was lucky I guess, my father was in the Navy, so I was born in San Diego at the old Balboa Naval Hospital. I became unlucky a few years later, when they moved to Los Angeles.

Regarding Naugles, they also had a triple Naugle burger. I distinctly remember a female voice in the drive thru, "I'd like a triple Naugle burger, a taco salad, large fries, and a small Tab." We all looked at each other, fully appreciating why the drive-thru was invented in the first place. Yes, she was huge, in spite of the 1-calorie Tab.

They also had a burger called the "Ortega burger", which was a burger with green chiles. It was surprisingly good. The big burritos were, as I remember, "Macho meat", and "Macho combo". And they were enormous. Employees got to eat for free. I don't doubt that they had an issue with food costs, we were given colored scoops to measure portions but no one paid much attention to it.

@Visduh: I honestly don't remember much about the secret sauce. Most of the ingredients, like lettuce and tomato and cheese came in fresh, and the ground beef was cooked fresh as well, but a lot of the spices and sauces came in packets or cans. Bread and taco shells were delivered daily.

This is like 30 years ago for me, so remembering the details is a sketchy proposition. I do remember that the uniforms were brown.

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PistolPete Nov. 5, 2009 @ 12:26 a.m.

My favorite fast food in the world while living in Illinois was a place some of you may be familiar with-Naugles. It's gone now, RIP :-( If, and that's a big if, it was to ever return, myself being a fat, lazy American, would NEVER wait 4 hours in line for one of their tacos.

I'll put it this way...the only way I eat I'n'O, is if someone else is footin' the bill. And if Tucson is THAT boring, there ARE other places to live. If the Dust Bowlers could leave for Cali, they can too.

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Joe Poutous Nov. 5, 2009 @ 7:49 p.m.

I have been to a few places that serve an "Ortega burger"... I love 'em.

Usually eat them too fast and end up with the bad burger blues.

At home I make turkey burgers. I spread the meat out thin on the cutting board and go crazy with the fresh ground black pepper and garlic salt. Roll it all back up and form the burgers then out to the grill.

I make them small (slider size) and serve them on those little kaiser dinner rolls.

Pepper Jack for anyone that wants a cheese burger.

Sometimes I sauté up a bunch of red onion to serve on top.

i heart food. - Joe

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PistolPete Nov. 5, 2009 @ 8:13 p.m.

I don't remember much about Naugle's with the exception of the awesome tacos,brown uniforms and some really cute chick who adored me.

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JoeKraatz Nov. 6, 2009 @ 1:14 p.m.

Independents are always better than the chains. Too bad there are so many stupid sheep in this country.

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lovetowrite Nov. 8, 2009 @ 9:32 p.m.

Anyone remember a burger joint called "The Gulch" by SDSU? That was many years ago. They had the best burgers....

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 9, 2009 @ 6:54 a.m.

Anyone remember a burger joint called "The Gulch" by SDSU? That was many years ago. They had the best burgers....

By lovetowrite

No, but I sure do remember "Doodle Burger" at 70th Street and I-8, awful place, and way over priced.

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PistolPete Nov. 9, 2009 @ 11:13 a.m.

Ya'll need a Dog'n'Suds out here...

While growing up, this place was my American Graffiti and the owner being interviewed is super cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YXR8x... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PrcxH...

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Robert Johnston Nov. 16, 2009 @ 3:54 p.m.

When I was a tyke, my folks would take us (my sis and I) to see our paternal grandparents. At the time, they lived in Buttevile at "The Lazy J, which overlooks the Willamette River.

Anyhoo, for after-church lunch, we'd pile into the GMC Blazer (they made them back in the 1960's-late 1970's) for a trip to A&W. The root beer was great, the burgers were delish, and the service was rather nice--albeit it was car-hop service.

We also had an Arctic Circle in town (Foghorn Leghorn brandishing a "Circle-A" branding iron was it's mascot), and a Burgerville USA in Salem.

FYI, in the early-to-mid 1980's, there was a Sonic in Oceanside, in the Mission Marketplace. I go there sometimes for a limeade, but they closed down in 1988.

My recepie for Grilled Cheeseburgers: 1 lb of ground meat 2 eggs 4 buns 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded Seasoned Salt, to taste Lemon Pepper, to taste Worchestershire Sauce, to taste. Hunt's ketchup Guilden's Brown Mustard.

  1. Activate Grill.
  2. Combine meat, eggs, shredded cheese, and seasonings in a large bowl. Form into patties and place in refridegerator until ready to cook.
  3. When ready, spray grill with lecithin spray, then put patties on grill. Cook each side for ten minutes, depending on thickness. 4 As you are cooking, put ketchup and mustard on bun faces.
  4. After cooking, serve hot.

In place of ketchup and mustard, use whatever condiments you desire. But check with your guests before you slather on the sauce--anaphylatic shock from a food allergy will wreck any backyard cookout!

Schmekt gut, nein?

--RKJ

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richopp Dec. 11, 2009 @ 12:49 p.m.

califcomedy--Haven't been out here in a month, so missed the last comments. FYI, Lionel has been taken private again and is partly owned by Neil Young from CSN&Y. He has an autistic (I think) child and found, when the child was younger, that trains gave them something to do together. Mike Wolf, who started out working for his neighbor (Williams) by assembling trains in his basement after school, started MTH and blew Lionel out of the water when it was going through the multiple ownership thing. Its a long story, but Mike asked to license tinplate back then and they told him to eat dirt. Today, after he sued Lionel and won (industrial espionage), he has joined forces with the new owners and repros the early Lionel tinplate stuff and it is beautiful--and very expensive! They even have the Lionel name on the trains. Mike made MTH tinplate for many years and it is also beautiful stuff. MTH decided to take the "toy" out of the toy train business from the start, and his stuff is amazingly well done. It has its problems, of course, like anything made in Korea, but for the most part he has it under control. I think the told me once that his biggest headache was US Customs. I guess all businesses have their little gremlins. Anyway, check out the newest Lionel and MTH. You will be surprised at the quality and so forth--kind of where Lionel was going when rocket ships captured the minds of kids in the late '50s and early '60s and they had to sell out.

Regarding your book, there were many stories when I was growing up in VA about Shoney's Big Boy, which was the version back there. Supposedly Alex Schoenbaum bought the rights to the trademark for the south and we did have at least two of them (Warwick and Hampton) back in the day. As I said in an earlier post, they were our "Mel's" as we drove the hot rods (or dad's car) from one to the other all night long and hung with our friends there. Might have sipped a brew or two, but not me, of course! They left, however,

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_v18/ai_3260566/

and now run a chain of family places.

Cheers!

Richard

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Visduh March 30, 2010 @ 7:32 p.m.

Wow, if I were willing to wait a few minutes I could be making the 100th posting to this piece. Or maybe I will, if someone gets theirs in ahead of this one.

I have no idea of why Sonic is so popular now. They had an outlet on Mission Ave in O'side, across the street from Oceanside High, in the 90's and it was as if they gave a party and nobody came. (It closed about that time for lack of interest.) Now Sonic is HOT, HOT, Hot. Why? I have no idea. The drive-in concept was a big deal when I was kid, but it faded away in the 60-70's. Remember A&W?

My personal experience with Sonic was that the food was indifferently prepared, of pedestrian quality, served lukewarm, not a particularly good value at best, and the service perfunctory. I can only assume that the popularity of those is due to others having a better experience than I've had. But how? I have no clue.

Is this just that jaded burger-holics are looking for a new sort of burger joint, and the newest arrival will get big business for a few weeks or months? Please, somebody, 'splain why Sonic is so popular.

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antigeekess March 30, 2010 @ 8:22 p.m.

Well, you waited almost 4 months, Visduh, and I guess you 'could' have kept waiting, but I'll take that #100 snarf, assuming somebody doesn't beat me to it.

Sonic is so popular because it ROCKS! At least, in other states it does. However, I have noted repeatedly that even chains that are good in other states SUCK out here. Haven't tried a California Sonic yet. Perhaps I'll have to make a pilgrimage to one.

http://www.sonicdrivein.com/home.jsp#/menu

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thatguyinesco March 30, 2010 @ 9:17 p.m.

Double Dell Cheeseburger at Del Taco is the best chain burger out there. You can take my word on it or just try it.

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CuddleFish March 30, 2010 @ 10:31 p.m.

Double Dels are okay, if you add the right kind of hot sauce to them.

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