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A difference in breakfast sandwich philosophy

Crackheads a place to hang, not grab and go

This sandwich doesn't look as damp as it feels.
This sandwich doesn't look as damp as it feels.

There’s this undeveloped lot at the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and State Street, the main crossroads of Carlsbad Village. Well, mostly undeveloped. For some time there’s been a little juice bar doing business out of a converted storage container, alongside wood bench picnic tables and bright green artificial turf. Not a bad way to infill, I’ve thought.

Place

Crackheads

430 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad

A few months back, a second storage container business popped up beside the juice bar, with its own turf and tables. When I first met Crackheads, it was making breakfast sandwiches from behind a counter in the dining hall at the Liberty Public Market in Point Loma. That never struck me as a good fit — for one thing, the Public Market doesn’t really open til 11am, about the time most breakfast spots switch to a lunch menu.

Eggy brioches on one side, cocktails on the other

Eggy breakfast sandwiches are Crackheads’ raison d'être, and it diligently provided them into evening hours at Liberty Station, but not for long. An ad hoc outdoor restaurant on a busy corner of Carlsbad makes more sense.

Alas, most of the problems I encountered at Liberty Station have followed it north. In fairness, I believe that its proprietors and I have very different ideas about the point of a breakfast sandwich in the first place.

The first is expediency. One out of a dozen choose a breakfast sandwich because they want to spend time lingering over their meal. It’s typically a grab-and-go arrangement. I knew Crackheads was doing business on this spot, and was looking for a quick breakfast as I passed through the area. Parking in the Village ain’t always plentiful, but it’s free, and I found a spot within two blocks of said corner, and made my brisk way over, hoping breakfast would be quick. It wasn’t.

A couple at the counter ahead of me had been waiting to order for several minutes when I arrived, and I waited along with them for several minutes more. There was no one behind the counter. Now, this business actually operates out of two converted storage containers, arranged in an L-shape, the long part of the L being a cocktail bar keen on serving bloody Marys. Those ordering cocktails at 1030 am on a weekday had no wait.

The couple ordered coffee and were quickly served and on their way. For $7.50 I ordered the Wilbur, a sandwich of “soft scrambled eggs”, fennel sausage, bacon, and cheese, served on toasted brioche. Most such sandwiches show up on English muffins, bagels, or croissants, so I admired the idea of toasted brioche.

The second problem was the "toasted" brioche bun. As in Liberty Station, when my egg sandwich finally arrived, served on a plate and wrapped in a paper sleeve, that bun had acquired a thin layer of grease. Greasy on the inside I get — we’re talking about bacon, sausage, and cheese on the same sandwich here. But toasted and sweaty are not at all the same thing.

Making matters worse was rubbery bacon. I hadn’t even wanted bacon, but on all six bacon sandwiches, plus an avocado toast option, that chewy bacon comes standard. The sausage, eggs, and cheese held up their end of the deal.

Forced to hang out for a while, I did enjoy the design and atmosphere of the new Crackheads location, and though I didn’t try any of the ten-dollar cocktails, I can see its value come happy hour. In other words, the other end of the day.

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This sandwich doesn't look as damp as it feels.
This sandwich doesn't look as damp as it feels.

There’s this undeveloped lot at the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and State Street, the main crossroads of Carlsbad Village. Well, mostly undeveloped. For some time there’s been a little juice bar doing business out of a converted storage container, alongside wood bench picnic tables and bright green artificial turf. Not a bad way to infill, I’ve thought.

Place

Crackheads

430 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad

A few months back, a second storage container business popped up beside the juice bar, with its own turf and tables. When I first met Crackheads, it was making breakfast sandwiches from behind a counter in the dining hall at the Liberty Public Market in Point Loma. That never struck me as a good fit — for one thing, the Public Market doesn’t really open til 11am, about the time most breakfast spots switch to a lunch menu.

Eggy brioches on one side, cocktails on the other

Eggy breakfast sandwiches are Crackheads’ raison d'être, and it diligently provided them into evening hours at Liberty Station, but not for long. An ad hoc outdoor restaurant on a busy corner of Carlsbad makes more sense.

Alas, most of the problems I encountered at Liberty Station have followed it north. In fairness, I believe that its proprietors and I have very different ideas about the point of a breakfast sandwich in the first place.

The first is expediency. One out of a dozen choose a breakfast sandwich because they want to spend time lingering over their meal. It’s typically a grab-and-go arrangement. I knew Crackheads was doing business on this spot, and was looking for a quick breakfast as I passed through the area. Parking in the Village ain’t always plentiful, but it’s free, and I found a spot within two blocks of said corner, and made my brisk way over, hoping breakfast would be quick. It wasn’t.

A couple at the counter ahead of me had been waiting to order for several minutes when I arrived, and I waited along with them for several minutes more. There was no one behind the counter. Now, this business actually operates out of two converted storage containers, arranged in an L-shape, the long part of the L being a cocktail bar keen on serving bloody Marys. Those ordering cocktails at 1030 am on a weekday had no wait.

The couple ordered coffee and were quickly served and on their way. For $7.50 I ordered the Wilbur, a sandwich of “soft scrambled eggs”, fennel sausage, bacon, and cheese, served on toasted brioche. Most such sandwiches show up on English muffins, bagels, or croissants, so I admired the idea of toasted brioche.

The second problem was the "toasted" brioche bun. As in Liberty Station, when my egg sandwich finally arrived, served on a plate and wrapped in a paper sleeve, that bun had acquired a thin layer of grease. Greasy on the inside I get — we’re talking about bacon, sausage, and cheese on the same sandwich here. But toasted and sweaty are not at all the same thing.

Making matters worse was rubbery bacon. I hadn’t even wanted bacon, but on all six bacon sandwiches, plus an avocado toast option, that chewy bacon comes standard. The sausage, eggs, and cheese held up their end of the deal.

Forced to hang out for a while, I did enjoy the design and atmosphere of the new Crackheads location, and though I didn’t try any of the ten-dollar cocktails, I can see its value come happy hour. In other words, the other end of the day.

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Comments
1

Rubbery bacon, like pants on the ground or obese guys wearing a Speedo, should be outlawed in San Diego. ;-)

Oct. 21, 2018

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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