Date: September 3, 2013
Time: 12:00 pm
Weather: Sunny, Really nice 85 degrees
Patronage: 20 people
Attendees: Me and my sister Jenn
Total Bill: About $34 (roughly $17/person)
This started out as a lunch date with my sister, and on a whim decided on CBIP. I have only ever eaten there once before and wanted to try it again. Obviously this is a chain restaurant, and to be honest one that I didn't really want to like.
I had visions before ever stepping foot in the place, that they would play nothing else besides Jimmy Buffett music. I also had predetermined a scenario that at the top of every hour the entire staff would come out and perform some sort of routine to song that birthed the name. Luckily I was way off on my vision, because I would have walked straight out of the venue.
Me being the music snob that I am, actually has nothing against Parrotheads. It isn't my thing at all, but I get that people do enjoy it. Now they do play some Buffett songs. In fact Jenn asked if that's all they play, so I'm sure that she was curious about that too, as of course a Buffett song was on at the time.
The décor makes you feel like a tiki bar/hokey beach feel, that is surprisingly cheesy, yet totally acceptable. It does a good job of instantly making you relaxed and wanting to enjoy your time there. Almost a vacation feel to it, and maybe that is because of traveling and actually going to restaurants in San Diego that are on the beach. There must be some sort of connection that I can't make, but it works.
On to the food.
We chose not to order an appetizer for our lunch, but I do want to say that I am a huge sucker for fried pickles. Namely the fried pickles that you can get at the Dundee Dell, which is a whole other story. The first time that I went to CBIP I did get the fried pickles. They do appear to be frozen and not made fresh, but I really did enjoy them. They are Claussen hamburger style pickles, but they had great flavor and nice crunch. I will say that the other apps on the menu are very generic fare. Nachos, chips and dip, quesadillas, and the sort.
Jenn decided on getting a Mushroom and Swiss burger, but you can get a couple different meat choices other than the usual beef. She went with getting Kobe beef. Now Jenn likes her hamburgers bloody rare, but usually orders mid. When she requested it the waitress said that they tend to cook more to the rare side, and Jenn lit up like a kid in a candy store, as it is difficult to even order a burger cooked to mid. You do get a side dish with your meal and she was sold on the teriyaki broccoli.
I went with the Good Egg. It is American Cheese, Grilled Ham, and an Over easy egg on top. I am a sucker for an egg on a hamburger. If you have never tried it you are truly missing out. I also wanted mine mid rare. For my side, how can you go wrong with fries?
We were both enjoying a beer when they brought out our meal.
They were not lying about cooking to the rare side. It was really nice to see a burger properly cooked from a chain restaurant.
Jenn said that her burger had really good flavor. It was cooked to perfection. I will admit that it did look amazing. Her broccoli was really fresh. The only issue with her dish was the sauce on the broccoli. There either wasn't enough, or it wasn't thick enough to get a good coating on the florets.
My burger was perfectly pink and the flavors of the ham, cheese, and egg go so well together. My egg was surprisingly over done. Instead of over easy, it was virtually over medium. No runny yolk, but the flavor was good, I was just hoping to get the runny messy yolk. The mark of an extraordinary burger is if it can be dripping down your chin.
The remainder of the menu does look interesting from salads and sandwiches to some standard restaurant seafood and dessert. I will firmly say that if you go to CBIP for your seafood fix your vision of perfect seafood comes frozen, breaded, and oven cooked. I do not mean to offend anyone, but seriously, I could never respect anyone that does go there for the seafood. If you want seafood then go to a seafood place.
The desserts look about as unimaginative as you would expect. It always appears that restaurants view desserts as an after thought. I would never recommend you to waste your time on this category. The massive benefit to CBIP is it's location. You can enjoy your meal, and even a few libations and walk around at a great open air mall. Literally next door to CBIP is a Cold Stone Creamery, and that by far is the way to get your sweet tooth cravings taken care of.
I would ultimately rate this place as a place that I would go to again. Just get the impression that this place will change your life about hamburgers. Take it for what it is worth, and you just may walk away feeling like it was a vacation.
Pictured above is Jenn's Mushroom Swiss with Kobe beef, and the Teriyaki Broccoli
My Good Egg burger and fries