Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dinerwood on the Road: Rose's Sugar Shack, San Clemente CA

Everything seemed so perfect. The sun was shining, a cool breeze was blowing off the ocean, official Dinerwood Photog Charlie Chu had returned for a weekend trip, and we were eating at a diner. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

And nothing did, for several hours.

I did a little bit of research for our trip down to Del Mar, California and found a cute little diner called Rose's Sugar Shack, just off the freeway. The waitress asked if we wanted to sit inside or on the patio. It being such a lovely day, we decided to sit outside.

It did seem to take way too long for the waitress to get to us initially. I have no clue how busy it was on the inside, but for the first ten minutes we were there, there was no on else sitting on the patio. She did apologize, which was nice.

This gave us a lot of time to peruse the menu. It's certainly not a dense menu, with nothing surprisingly or seemingly unique. The prices were about a dollar or two higher than I would have liked, but since it was a beach town, I just accepted it. I figure I'm paying for the luxury of a nice ocean breeze while I eat pancakes.

Which is what I did. I got a simple bacon, eggs, pancakes breakfast. Everything tasted okay, but just okay. There in that beautiful setting, I wanted something equally beautiful...or at least tasty.

Chu went with his default order of corned beef hash and eggs. The hash was slightly better than canned. The pieces of toast were nice, thick slices, which was good.

An easy summation is: We ordered, we ate it, we left. It was a rather disappointing but adequate place to eat. Everything was fine, until about two hours later.

Chu and I were at the fair in Del Mar. I was all set to go crazy with some fair food. A turkey leg was a must, but that's not really crazy. Deep-fried twinkie? Been there. Hash brown coated hot-dog? Done that. Apple fries? Nailed it shut. I wanted to try something new, something exciting! Would it be this deep-fried butter? I think yes!

It was while walking up and down the food lanes looking for this deep-fried butter that I started to feel it. It started as a low rumble and then a gurgling and then a wrenching and then... well, let's not get into it here in polite company.

Considering the only food in my stomach was from Rose's Sugar Shack, I knew the culprit. Fortunately for him, Chu went unscathed. Prior to this, I had felt rather indifferent toward Rose's Sugar Shack. This clearly tipped my opinion to the downhill side. I didn't feel right again until nearly twenty-four hours later. This severely impacted the rest of my weekend.

Food: I got sick. Chu didn't. So.. let's call it "risky?"
Price: $7-$10
Service: Okay.
Pie: None.

Rose's Sugar Shack Cafe
2319 S El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA 92672

It turns out the deep-fried butter is kind of crap. I imagined as something kind of like the cornmeal mush from Stox restaurant: frozen stick off butter, rolled in batter, and then fried just long enough to soften the butter. Instead, it's a stupid churro stuffed with butter. What the hell?

Our friend Jovi of the Rad Dudes podcast did try the deep-fried butter. A video of the aftermath can be found here.

No comments: