An authentic deli, right from New York?

I have vowed to eat at several “gourmet” food trucks over the next two or three months, and I have recently begun my adventure.

My last rant I identified what the word “gourmet” actually means. Bottom line is it’s a reason to charge more for food truck food. Yes, I think the food often times can express the owner or chef’s culinary breadth, but there still must be a limit. For the time being, the limit is set to hold the cards close and don’t show what you’re holding. What does that mean? . . . hell I don’t know, I just thought it sounded good.

These food trucks can be of great variety, serving a variety of different items and thus can charge what they want. This has been my experience when eating at The InSlider. inslider I had to decipher the menu first because these gourmet terms threw us off a bit; with terms like Brioche, Jidori, Kobe, Aioli and “truffle essence” fries. What we got were 4, 2 1/2 inch round potato rolls with American “Kobe” beef, one jalapeno slice, a free-range (Jidori) chicken piece with mayonnaise (Ailoi) and a small serving of very soggy fries with “essence”. All for $20. Oh yeah we did have to wait extra long for a fresh batch of sweet potato tots to be plated only 3/4 full in the wax-lined service tray. We finished hungry and seemingly void. I heard nothing but complaints that day from the other staffers in my building. The over-priced, less-than-enjoyable InSlider. I guess the flavors were there; but,  . . . where’s the beef?

On a better note; I once ventured out to watch a concert at Harrah’s Rincon Casino just outside of Valley Center, California and met a guy named Rich and his New York on Rye deli food truck (it was a booth that day). Rich seemed to be an easy-going guy and, at the time, we struck up a bit of conversation. I wasn’t much hungry that night we met but I promised to check him out on the flip-side someday.

new york deli on rye

Well someday is today. Rich has his truck strategically placed as part of the replacement food court at MCAS Miramar along with several other rotating “gourmet” food trucks on the installation. I had attempted several times to get over there, but have more times fallen short and settled for the standard leftovers from home . . . except today. This will be my second trip to the food trucks so far.

I met up with Rich and ordered, from what I saw, an awesome looking corned beef hash burrito. I saw him make one of these while at Harrah’s. Ok, a burrito doesn’t sound like much along the lines of a New York deli, but more like a Cali-York fusion . . . and I think it was. It was pretty remarkable, very spicy (good flavorful spice, not too hot). As Rich and I negotiated my burrito, he up-sold me on the fries, claiming them to be the “worlds best”, or something like that. They were good, but far from the “best” of class I have ever had. Again good, . . . but you make the call. Both the burrito and the fries were of sufficiant quantity and the quality was good. At the $11 price point, I didn’t feel ripped off.

I like Rich, and I will again check out the reuben, pastrami or Knish. Give Rich’s truck a try, the staff has always been a hoot to talk with and Rich can’t seem to keep still. He’s fun to talk to.

I’m going to give Rich 2 pickles and a Knish.



Prohibition Brewing – Wow, what a year has done!

I am much happier to be writing about Prohibition Brewing Company in Vista, California than in the past. Visit them at

Our visit today began with very skeptical and mixed emotions due to the overwhelmingly continuous disappointing first year of floundering food service and haphazard lack of hospitality know-how.Prohibition 3

I think some of todays happiness is due to the Chef being allowed to actually create a good menu of tasty variety and abundant portions catering to a much more eager beer drinking and food savvy demographic. Well I think they are on to something now. Congratulations on your pursuit and I hope you continue because NOW we have a reason to go back!!!

It was good to see that some of the favorites from the previous “soft opening” menu that held on for a full year have now been complimented by some new, much more palatable savory treats. The pictures here are of a tortilla soup that my wife said was quite good, but could have also have been doubling as the vegetable soup. That’s perfectly legitimate as long as the flavors are not the same. I don’t think they were because of the detectable cumin. A wonderful fresh plating with brilliant colors and adequate portion helped as well. Prohibition 4

We also had to try the reuben. A characteristic sandwich that can be rarely screwed up . . . but I’ve seen it bonked at a local eatery recently.Prohibition 1 The showcased bread of marbled rye really made it a nice plate with adequate sauerkraut and plenty of their signature truffle parmesan fries.Along with our meal we couldn’t escape without comparing their wedge salad to Mikes BBQ in Escondido. Prohibition 2

Prohibition now has a new customer of the wedge as long as their quality and portion control remains steady; as are their burgers, remaining constant is the key. They are still good since the last menu..

We will be frequenting now since this is now decent for us to entertain visitors and becoming a street-wise gathering hole for the locals and youths enjoying the craft beer industry

Great job Prohibition. Someone was actually paying attention.

I going to give this place only 3 full 1/2  kegs and a beer ball. They still have some proving to do to this CritDick!

Kegs X 3beer ball


The hands keep feeding the hungry heads.

Visiting my mother today at a skilled nursing facility revealed a very cleaver observation and a comedic approach to the thoughts of seniors.

My mother, whose opinions and characteristic views of people has never been kept much to herself, had pointed out something that could very well be leading to our nation’s current state of obesity.

My mother carefully leaned over toward me. Her frail body moving slowly as to not cause a disturbance that could send her tumbling atop me from her current inability to stabilize herself. As she leaned over, approaching closely to my ear, she eloquently whispered, “look at those heads over there”, pointing now at the nurses station from our vantage point through the doorway, “those hands haven’t stopped putting food into them all day”.


I saw that our vantage point revealed only the heads of several nurses from just below their jaw lines. As my mother and I watched closely, she abruptly pointed once again to the heads and, blurted, “see . . . !” What we then saw was the occasional closed fist of one of those staff with a Nacho Cheese Doritos extended from the clenched thumb, and first finger, carefully placing that flavored tortilla chip inside. “It’s been going on all day like that”, she finished.

Doritos Girl

I don’t think we laughed that hard in a long time. We could see nothing below the heads from our vantage point because of the counter blocking our view of any computer work, paperwork or scribing being performed on any charts. Everything below the head  was blocked by the counter. All we saw were feeding heads.

A good day



Absolutely the most incredible story about our youth, an old man, and a Grandpa . . . well, maybe not incredible, but funny none the less.


Sitting and watching the beginning of a recent football game with my father (90 years young, October 4, 2012) and reminiscing about my recent trip with the family to Disneyland, “The Happiest Place on Earth”; I told him about all of the changes to the theme park over the years that have taken place since my last visit and since my youth. I told him about the incorporation of elements from the movie Nemo into the Submarine Voyage ride. So, being extremely tech-savvy, my father swiftly grabbed ahold of his IPhone and began Wikipedia searches for information as I began to tell this story:

TL 59As we were waiting in line for The Submarine Voyage, I told him of my questioning the park’s youthful staff about where I might get some TL59. TL59 was written on a 12 or 18 inch water supply line that has “TL59 SEAWATER SUPPLY” stenciled in black paint on the side as it faces the waiting line to get on the submarine ride. Since I have this demented humor and a wealth of military and aerospace acronyms in my data base, I decided to challenge that youthful staff.


As we neared the launching area I asked yet another staff member if he knew where I can get some TL59 Saltwater. That polite young man looked at me all crooked-like with an eat-shit look on his face and said “Old man, you must have thought I just fell off the back of the dope wagon”! He continued, “TL59 stands for TomorrowLand, and 59 is the year this ride first debuted”. I looked square back in that young man’s face and said, “Listen here pimple-neck, don’t you be getting all smart with me or I’ll smack that crack-smokin’ look right up some!” But just then I had to stop and ponder for a moment if that punk was right . . . luckily, it was my time to board the vessel.

So my Dad and I laughed a bit that day and had another sip of beer, rooted for our team a bit more and reminisced about the times my father used to take and drop us off at the themed park. I think there may have been a bit more pleasure from the staff back in the day, but when you know you’ve been beat, time to get out the hoof cream and clean yourself off a bit; get back up, and ride off. Damn kids . . .

TL59 – who would’ve thought that I would get outsmarted by a boy . . . just a boy!

I’m thinkin’ about a couple of lines o’ BS for this one!!!Fish_on_the_Line__2_Fish_on_the_Line__2_


Pinocchio, Ron Jeremy and a dude named “JD”. That already sounds perverted!

I enjoy things when I meet someone who can talk the talk . . . about the F&B industry to the level that I have been educated. Again, so none of you are confused . . . , I will most probably never know as much as many individuals in the industry; but when I do run into one of them, that certainly seems to have been around the block a time or two, and can talk the talk, it’s enjoyable to talk about the industry. I like to learn as much as I like to perform at that level . . . not all of us can, and I may never perform to the level of many. But for now, it’s fun none the less.

As JD poured our first round, we had very small conversation about this and that. I overheard him mention Pinocchio (yes, we just ate there . . . and always excellent) to another customer, it’s just around the corner as being one of his competitors. Learning just a bit more about JD is that he (JD) had made a transition from some big names on the East Coast . . . I think it was New York. Anyway, he seemed to be very cultivated in industry terms and definitions just until to the moment when I threw the ol’ “I can F^@& ’em at the beginning then fix ’em in the end” referring to my diverse background and education. I don’t think he ever figured out what it is I really do. I did however tell him I was a student in the culinary business field and we related well. I think he thought I may be some kind of big shot, so then I gave him a CritDicks business card and he quickly changed his opinion. He then showed me a bottle of Ron De Jeremy Spiced Rum . . . OK, I just had to taste . . . but just what is that shit spiced with??? Ron Jeremy? Being displayed at an establishment in old town Palm Springs . . . ? Think about this a moment . . . and what is the population of that area? I’ll just leave it at that . . . ron-de-jeremy-spiced-rum

JD was cool. He even asked me to try an infused Vodka of garlic, jalapeno peppers and something else. We both agreed that it would make a killer Bloody Mary. He said they used it for the house Mary’s. JD also claimed that his kitchen is very small and streamlined. I never asked to go back and look but they seemed to be kicking out the plates as we watched the NFL finals in favor of San Francisco. I think I saw a linguine and clams perhaps. He said their food was very good and It looked as though he might be telling the truth. I hope to go back and meet up with him again and maybe try the menu. I wish I had taken the name of the place but was being quickly summoned away by the shopping half of our party. Hopefully JD will write a comment and give me the name, then I can really blast them . . . only kidding.

JD made our short visit memorable. Heck we just stopped in to catch the latest score of the game. He quickly made us feel welcome and created a good atmosphere. Hats off. I will be coming back. I just wish I had the name, but until then here’s where it is close to  – 138 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA and look at the picture. See what alcohol does . . . anyway, it’s the place with the red umbrellas. Palm Springs place


Stop in and say “Hi” to JD and give ’em a try.


Didn’t expect that! Sand Crabs . . . right in our back yard!

Well, if you’re roaming the North County (San Diego) looking for a unique dining experience, I’m sure you’ll find what you need right in Escondido.sand-crab-logo

Watch yourself as you walk in, the planters are lined with oyster shells . . . kinda neat! Any way, The Original Sand Crab Tavern claims to have been here for as many as 22 plus years. You would not expect to find it located in an industrial area; but to our surprise, based on a recommendation from a co-worker, we found this messy table, crab smashin’, elbow lickin’ good place to eat just around the corner behind the Sprinter station.

We ate lunch there on a Saturday just upon opening and everything was delicious. I was told by the fellow Californian (with a heavy Irish accent, and that’s a whole other story) server that the time to be there is Friday and Saturday nights when the atmosphere changes into an oyster slingin’ brewhouse in which several excellent bottled choices are available. Oh; and do try the Voodoo Shrimp, the sauce is killer for dipping bread.



Enjoy this place and bring some bucks; it wasn’t cheap, since the halibut fish-n-chips was $23.


Giving up . . . Not!

Many of you may have wondered where I have gone. I got distracted completing my school work last quarter, then the holidays . . . now I’m finding the site here has changed and I now have difficulty making posts. Be patient. I’m trying to get back into the swing.

I’ve looked at several directions in which to venture once I complete this damn education. I’m old, I’m tired . . . but still hungry. I may never own a restaurant, run a catering business or work as a line cook; but until my fingers have begun to nub, then I’ll continue to be a Dick.

I am currently being afforded an opportunity to investigate these, so called, “gourmet” food trucks on a regular basis in the coming months, so please look for my rants. The installation I work at is undergoing renovations to the food court area and has arranged for several trucks to participate on a rotating schedule during the lunch schedule. So far I have been mostly unimpressed with what I’ve seen, but I have a couple months to fully judge. I will leave a card with each vendor as I CritDick them.

Until now I will just leave you with the definition of “gourmet” taken from Wikipedia (the ultimate resource). Gourmet (pron.: /ɡɔrˈmeɪ/) is a culturalideal associated with the culinary arts of fine food and drink, or haute cuisine, which is characterised by refined, even elaborate preparations and presentations of aesthetically balanced meals of several contrasting, often quite rich courses. The term and its associated practices are usually used positively to describe people of refined taste and passion.

That might be refering to me!

Please keep in mind that this rant was done on my Android so I was a bit limited in my capabilities of properly editing.


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