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.
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 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.