California Burger


Untitled-1The other day I found myself at California Burger, a burger place located at 8537 Auburn Blvd, Citrus Heights, CA 95610. As well as many other locations, but that’s the one I went to. Seeing as I’m a California resident born and raised I felt that a burger chain named after my beloved state was something I should check out.

Now after going in and waiting in a respectable line I was finally able to order, the first thing I noticed about the place is their menu is enormous. As you might find about 3 different screens at most most places displaying specials and regular food options California burger was closer to 5 screens with an extremely varied menu. It seems to me that they were creating a one stop shop for your semi-fast food needs. They even had some greek deserts in one of those display cases at the front, I did ask what one of the things were, but sadly the person working didn’t have any idea what the name was. They did look quite good though.

So my next stop was the soda machine as any meal needs a drink, although I have to say the machine is actually one of the more complicated ones I’ve come across. Instead of having a bunch of different spigots and a single soda attached to each one this particular machine had one spigot and a touch screen display with what I remember being over 100 different options for a drink. Quite remarkable that they manage to put so many options in a single machine without having to refill every couple of hours.

After navigating the soda menu I took my seat, and waited, and waited, and waited. I felt I would leave this place as a much older man from when I walked in. Now this is both a good thing and a bad thing, if you’re looking for a quick meal this is less then ideal. Of course on the flip side that means in this extremely busy restaurant they are cooking everything to order. Seeing as I had time to kill I struck up a conversation with a man seated next to me and he told me that he had been going to California Burger for around 15 years and found the place to be reasonable and as good as In & Out.Untitled-2

When my food finally came out I did find it to be very good. Since I was at a California burger I thought i’d stick with their specialty so I went with one of their specialty burgers, I can’t remember the name, but I did find it to be an extremely enjoyable burger. I can certainly see why the man had been going for so long. I also had a side of breaded mushrooms that weren’t of the same level as the burger, but I wouldn’t mind stopping at a California burger just for the mushrooms in the future.

All in all I really dug the place, and I don’t know why it took me so long to go to one.

My name is Chris Diel and I play music on KSSU

The Rise and Fall of the Ultimate Cheeseburger


Burger

In middle school my name was drawn from among every student. The prize, a choice between a free ticket to an upcoming dance or a meal voucher from Jack in the Box. Though not much of a dancer I chose the ticket in an effort to get out more. Unfortunately I was struck with a terrible flu the night of the dance that left me delirious at home and unable to attend. A little relived, though upset that my winning amounted to nothing I asked the principle if she would allow me to exchange my prize for the second option and she agreed. The coupon was for a free Ultimate Cheeseburger meal.

Before this time the only sandwich I would eat at Jack in the Box was a Chicken Sandwich without mayonnaise. I loved that sandwich. The always hot and crispy chicken patty topped with a single crunchy lettuce leaf accompanied by fresh fries and a cold Dr. Pepper that would fizzle in my throat with each sip. Absolutely delicious!  Once I find my liking at a restaurant I am hesitant to try something else. But the coupon provided an excellent opportunity for diversity. When I took my first bite of that sandwich I was astounded. The mixture of three different sauces enhanced by the juices from the two beef patties held together by four slices of cheese was unlike anything I had tasted before. After that bite I knew I had found my new usual at Jack in the Box and my favorite cheeseburger that I had tasted up to that point in my young life.

I continued to order the Ultimate Cheeseburger for years and enjoyed it every time! Yet within the last few years something had changed. On a normal trip to Jack in the Box, on an ordinary day I took a bite of my order and realized that it did not taste as it did in my younger years. It had to be a fluke. You get a bad burger once in a while, fine, no problem. Each time after that, however, was the same experience. What was once a juicy, succulent, sensation of sauces was now a coating of mush on two lopsided dried patties plastered together with unmelted cheese. The burger was now intolerable and inedible. The sudden change of taste was not limited to my local Jack in the box but to multiple locations around my area. I have experienced a change in taste between multiple locations of the same restaurant before and even between countries, but never the same exact problem with the same exact burger. What happened? Maybe my tastes changed. Maybe they did. But I can no longer stomach my past favorite burger and have given up on the meat products at Jack in the box entirely.

I have returned to the Chicken Sandwich (now with a side of five mini churros!) and will stick with that until that too changes. Maybe in a few years I’ll try the Ultimate Cheeseburger again. Maybe in a few years Jack in the Box will reevaluate their menu and return to their once fresh ways.

Tex is a DJ with KSSU Sacramento States only student run radio station.

Carls Jr’s El Diablo


ElDiabloAs a man who likes to keep his Ghost Pepper shaker next to the salt and pepper, spicy food is more then something I have an occasional taste for. I love it so much that I’ve begun to lose touch with what normal people consider spicy. Now this has it’s challenges such as cooking for other people and trying to keep the heat level low enough that other people can eat it. Of course cooking for yourself is a little easier, just add hot sauce to taste, but finding decent fast food that’s actually spicy is another story all together.

When I sat down with this El Diablo burger from Carl’s Jr’s which is praised as being one of the “spiciest burger’s in fast food” I really didn’t have high hopes. After being disappointed by fast food restaurants and their “supposed” spicy foods it’s hard to take a commercial like that seriously. Earlier in the day I had found myself at a Carl’s Jr’s and was in need of food so not really expecting much, but wanting to try something different I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. Boy am I glad I did, as this is one delicious concoction that they’ve come up with. I’m more then a little happy to say this burger has a kick to it which is likely coming from the Habanero sauce, but the bacon and jalapeno cheese poppers add something to this burger that really puts it over the top. This burger definitely seems like a late night creation between some buddies trying to outdo each-other with a deep frier(who hasn’t been there?) but I would easily put it up against their classic Western Bacon Cheeseburger. Sadly the El Diablo is only going to be around for a limited time, but the elusiveness of this delicious concoction may add to it’s desirability.

In the meantime this creation of theirs may be my favorite on the menu. If you’re like me and looking for something spicy, this won’t compete with Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ sauce for instance, but it is a fairly delicious burger and it does have a nice little kick to it. Of course at the end of the day it’s still just a fast food burger and a little overpriced for what you’re getting, but sometimes you just don’t want to cook.

All in all i’d give it an 8/10

I am Chris Diel a DJ with KSSU Sacramento States only student run radio station.

 

Slice of Sacramento ft. Cole’s Corner: Giovanni’s Pizza (6200 Folsom Blvd)


IMG_20150213_183608187_HDR

Welcome to the first ever post of The Slice of Sacramento. This pizza review will focus on pizzerias in or around the Sacramento area. Basis for comparison will be pepperoni, house specialties, and ‘extra extra.’ In the interest of fairness fellow KSSU DJ Cole in his section ‘Cole’s Corner’. So join us as we find out, “will Jonny Mac go back, or go on the attack?”

We decided to go to the Folsom Blvd. branch of Giovanni’s Pizza as opposed to the original location in Land Park in part due to its close vicinity to Sac State. In addition, the Elements housing as well as St. Francis and Hiram Johnson High Schools are close by, giving Giovanni’s Pizza a potentially prime location. Parking is ample with a large industrial feeling gravel driveway as well as the lot from the F65 complex just next door.  The building itself is a hugely oversized and the space is added to by a patio seating option out front. Although usually a plus, due to the particular area of Folsom Blvd. as well as the industrial nature of the area, the outside patio does not work as well as it does at somewhere close like Burr’s Fountain, and should be chosen judiciously.  The inside is filled almost exclusively with tables, only offering a sparse selection of games, video or otherwise, for those who would be so inclined. The general feeling in the building is one of emptiness not due to a lack of customers, but more so to poor space utilization. The addition of something as simple a billiards table would make Giovanni’s more of a destination of the college/high school demographic.

PizzaNow the good stuff.  The pizza is why we are here. Giovanni’s offers New York Style pizza and in that regard they do not disappoint. The slices are of a general size and the crust is crispy yet foldable. While there is a lunch special available that gets you two slices and a soda for $6.99, they regularly offer whole pizza pies exclusively that run just a little on the expensive size with a large pepperoni roughly $20 for a large and $6 more to get ‘New York size.’ But how was the pizza, is it work that $20 plus dollar point of sale, well the answer depends on what you decide to get.  We sampled the pepperoni as well as the Don Giovanni special that was topped with sausage and fire roasted sweet peppers and it arrived to our table only 15 short minutes after ordering. First and foremost these pizzas were dripping in the greasy flavorful goodness I love, if you love it as well stay put, if not, grab all the napkins you can. The Don Giovanni special was a reserved take on a house special with only two toppings, which although worked together, tended to get lost in the mix, with the sausage seemingly not flavorful enough. The pepperoni on the other hand was exactly what one wants a pep pizza to be. With liberal placement of the peperoni themselves this pie was packed with flavor and would please even the most monetarily stringent.

Extra Extra

IMG_20150213_175113820The sleeper hit of the evening was the order of chicken wings we got thanks to a good old fashioned coupon. The wings came with celery and ranch as was delivered to our table after only ten minutes and gave us a nice small window to enjoy some of the appetizers before the main dish arrived. This 10 piece wing dish was a pleasant surprise for both Cole and I. Instead of ones typical, or expected buffalo wing, Giovanni’s instead offers a rocking sweet habanero wing with a heat that sneaks up on you unexpectedly, but not unwillingly. At only about $8 this 10 wing option works great as an appetizer, or even a meal of its own

Verdict: Jonny Mac goes back!! It would be interesting to see how the original location compares to this Folsom branch, but overall this one is worth checking out if you don’t mind spending a bit more on a New York style pizza, despite the locations shortcomings in regards to decoration or feel, the pizza offers an experience good enough to only need a handful of friends

Cole’s Corner:

Coles Corner

                It’s been a while since I’ve been to a non-chain pizza place. My outings lately have consisted of Round Table or Pizza Hut. That said, Giovanni’s Old World New York Pizzeria is a nice return to the family-style local joints of my yesteryear.
                The location of Giovanni’s is close to Sac State’s campus. A quick bike ride from the grounds to Folsom Blvd takes around ten minutes at the most; if you’re looking for a dine-in experience off campus, it’s a fairly easy commute. The restaurant itself is very spacious. With about twenty tables spaced out, a concrete floor that dampens the atmosphere a bit and a ceiling height of easily twenty-five feet, this place gives off the vibes of a warehouse. Barring the general pictures of The Big Apple hung up in “New York Style” restaurants, there isn’t much else to take in while dining in. Aside from that, the interior is a nice and clean area to rest for a bit after finishing classes for the day.
                With the setting all said and done, it’s time to get to the pizza. John and I ordered one large pizza; half of it being the classic pepperoni we all know and love, the other half being the house special “Don Giovanni”, consisting of Italian sausages and sweet roasted peppers. The large size was roughly $25 without drinks and is split into eight slices, so this pizza is on the pricier side. True to its namesake, the pizza is cooked with a thin crust that easily folds when picking up a slice, emulating the style of a New York pizza.
                The pepperoni pizza is a pizza that you can hardly ever do wrong, and Giovanni’s keeps that statement true. It has plenty of pepperonis without it being overbearing, the slight grease that keeps the pizza hot, and the cheese that compliments the meat without taking over the flavor. It’s a classic staple of pizza and I enjoyed every slice of it.
                The “Don Giovanni”, on the other hand, was a more peculiar pizza. Sausage and pepper alone on a pizza is not a common mix, and with this case left it to be desired. The sweet peppers were delicious, but the flavor overpowered the sausage and I could hardly taste it. On top of that, there was a generous serving of the peppers on each slice while the sausage was lacking. I found myself having one slice with only one or two sausages with a lot more peppers on them.  If there was a more even distribution of toppings, I feel like this pizza would have been a bit tastier.
                Overall, I have to say that Giovanni’s is a decent pizza place. If you don’t mind a pricier dining experience in a spacious environment, this pizzeria has a nice tasting New York Style slice of pizza goodness.
Environment: 3/5
Pepperoni Pizza: 4/5
House Special (Don Giovanni): 3.5/5

 

 

Cole and John are DJ’s at Sacramento State’s only student run radio station KSSU

Thanksgiving Extravagance


ThanksGiving

What other day of the year can you eat until you throw up?

None other than Thanksgiving, where we stuff stuffing and good times into our bodies. During Thanksgiving, I usually head up to Chico to my grandparent’s house, or they come down here. Either way, the whole family collects under one household and everybody brings some sort of food or dessert. My mother creates a “Thanksgiving Lasanga”. This Lasagna is like other Lasagnas, except in between each layer of pasta is stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, and the sauce is substituted for gravy.

HOO MA GAWSH

It is Heaven in your mouth. Its greatness reaches your taste buds whether it be hot or cold.

After all the typical festivities shenanigans and small talk about who did what where, a brave group of us go out shopping for Black Friday at midnight. Once I went Black Friday shopping and witnessed people fighting over shoes. Shoes! At Wal-mart! They are already cheap!

Last year, I applied for seasonal work at Hot Topic. The Manager was not there the first time I showed up, and was on an “extended lunch break” (smoke break with food) so the assistant manager came to my aid. He said they had a spot to work on Black Friday, so I signed up. I had my employee card, paperwork, and everything. On the day before Thanksgiving, I called to see what time they wanted me to come in and they replied, “sir, we don’t have you scheduled to work here.” Apparently, because the manager did not employ me, my paperwork and card did not matter. After the holidays, I returned to the manager, who promised me a job, only to ignore my calls, texts, e-mails, and visits after an interveiw.

This Thanksgiving, I am heading up to Chico. My grandmother, being a Filipina, is making Lumpia. A relaxing, Lumpia-filled, no work, mini-vacation up to the countryside of Chico is exactly what I want this Thanksgiving.

To hear more about my life’s randomness and shortcomings (with Metal/hardcore/heavyrock music) listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” every Thursday at 9am on http://www.kssu.com.

Until next time, this is DJGingerbeard, heading out.

Taco Bell Quesarito Review


Quesarito

I’m a big fan of foods that tend to travel off the beaten path. Taco bell generally doesn’t disappoint in this capacity, as many of their concoctions would put Macgyver to shame. Chipotle actually brought a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla to the table in a commercial capacity, but it’s taco bell’s affordable price range as well as the marketing they threw behind it that really got my attention.

The Taco Bell quesarito is offered for under 3 dollars and comes in 3 different varieties: chicken, beef, and steak. Besides meat, they also add rice to the inner burrito as well as a chipotle sauce that I can’t quite make my mind up about. Everyone i’ve talked to who has tried this union of quesadilla and Burrito tend to not care for the chipotle sauce, personally I don’t think it’s bad but it just seems unnecessary. Considering the whole burrito has been wrapped in what seems like a tortilla covered in cheese whiz adding more sauce to it makes the whole experience messier than it needs to be.

Now I can’t say this is my favorite food in the world as taco bell is generally known for their affordable price range which generally means food quality will suffer in some capacity. When measuring the quesarito up against other products I’ve received from taco bell in the past I’d rate it a bit higher not only for it’s innovation and the novelty of eating a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla, but it was a decent execution as such this is now my go-to at taco bell. All in all I’d rate it at about a 5/10

Beef Quesarito

Beef Quesarito

 

Below you can find a list of other blog posts I’ve made, or feel free to look around and view some of the contributions by our other fine DJ’s.

Movie Reviews: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Knights of Badassdom, Godzilla 2014,

Show Reviews: Sleepy Hollow, From Dusk Till Dawn, Archer, 30 Rock, Defiance Season 2

Comics: Transmetropolitan

Games: Flappy Bird, Glow Golf

Bands: Acacia Strain, Die Antwoord

Food: Pescatarian.

Computer Stuff: Version Control,

Local Stuff: Earth Day at Sac State, California State Fair 2014

I’m DJ Good Deal a DJ with KSSU Sac State’s only student run radio station.

New BBQ spot near Sac State: Fahrenheit 250


farenheit bbq

The new replacement of former bar Bislas is now open! Located on Folsom Boulevard near the Sac State campus, Fahrenheit 250 offers a wide range of BBQ, sandwiches, appetizers, and more!

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The Shine Cafe: A Great Place to Study in Sacramento


shine-cafe

For students who find the enjoyment in studying in areas outside the library, they will be happy to learn about different local cafes that are great for studying. One of my new favorite places is located on E Street in downtown Sacramento called The Shine on 1400 E Street in Sacramento.

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Vic’s Ice Cream Parlor and Quickly’s: Sacramento’s Best Stops for Ice Cream and Boba Teas


vic's ice cream

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream. But seriously, who doesn’t love ice cream?

If you live or are near the Sacramento area, you must go to Land Park area and go to Vic’s Ice Cream. Vic’s Ice Cream is a family owned, old-fashioned, ice cream parlor. It has been around since the 1950s and it has maintained it old-fashioned feel.

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Azul Mexican Grill and Tequila Bar- Experience the Blue


azul banner image

Sacramento is such a diverse city that it offers a variety of delicious authentic foods and a number of interesting eateries. With that I have narrowed my favorite place to eat.

For dinner, my favorite spot to eat in midtown is Azul Mexican Grill and Tequila Bar. I can’t even count with two hands the number of times I have been there in the matter of a few months.

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