Emmanuel Gutierrez |Copy Editor|
Sundowner’s, located on E street, is a gem for the San Bernardino elderly and the family-oriented on a budget.
With those two demographics in mind and having been raised on the SB delicacy, I wanted to know how college students who had never experienced Sundowner’s would perceive it.
Amongst my party were four Christopher Columbuses who were about to embark on an epic, maiden voyage that is Sundowner’s. Ultimately, discovering something millions of people already knew about.
Prior to entering the fine dining establishment, there were spells of mutiny and disdain for our gastronomic destination by members who shall not be named.
I cast aside any vilification for Sundowner’s and the recommendations for another place; fortunately for myself, recent CSUSB graduate Daniel DeMarco intervened: “You guys, it’s worth it for the experience.”
I substantiated his claim by saying, “Yeah, even when you get Alzheimer’s, you will remember this place.”
Sundowner’s may be categorized as a cafeteria-style restaurant.
You get in line to order, slide a tray, collecting appetizers, beverages and so on, pay for your meal at the end of the line, and an announcer on a speaker system calls your number to pick up your food.
It is, for lack of a better term, unforgettably impressionable; perhaps some would even go as far as to call it “ghetto-fabulous.”
“They trying it, and you know what, I have a feeling it’ll be bomb!” said Loydie Burmah, Coyote Chronicle Managing Editor.
However, not all first impressions amongst the group were as optimistic.
I saw a few pursed lips and squinted expressions dart from one wall to another, withholding judgement for later—I presume.
Recent CSUSB graduate Clarissa Toll ordered the soup and salad lunch special, Sarah Johnson and DeMarco ordered a cheeseburger, and the rest of us ordered patty melts.
Upon finding seats, Copy Editor Shane Burrell quickly acknowledged the abundance of elderly couples dining in the banquet room and commented on the room smelling of Poligrip. For those who don’t know, Poligrip is a denture adhesive.
Our numbers were called by the announcer, one by one, before any of us had time to finish our appetizers—speedy service!
To the untrained ear, the announcer is, more often than not, incomprehensible. Toll described it like Charlie Brown’s teacher, but you know, muddled in Spanglish.
Then it was chow-down time.
I found my golden-glazed patty melt a crunchy, mouth-watering experience. Especially since I dunked it into my pool of mashed potatoes and gravy, drowning it like the kid with glasses from “The Sandlot.”
Upon rescue, I performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Patty didn’t make it. Itadakimasu!
Despite finding the consistency of the crust to be too soggy, Burmah said the “cheesecake tasted artificial, but good.”
“But let the record show: Jack in the Box cheesecake is better,” added Burmah.
Unfortunately, not everyone was satisfied.
Johnson said, “the burger looks frightening,” and it was “the blandest burger I’ve ever had.”
Such negativity would normally bear weight on my perception of the restaurant, however, in all fairness, she had just returned from a dentist appointment and was still numb—so, her opinion doesn’t matter.
“I asked for three sides of ranch and they gave me this,” said Shane, jabbing a disgusted finger at a gigantic side of ranch dressing—approximately a half cup.
Burmah, instead, saw the ranch container half full and reasoned that they were “very accommodating.”
Personally, I found the Sundowner’s expedition to be an overall success. I made a believer in Burmah, Gil was already on board, and DeMarco found it acceptable.
It should be noted that I may not be the most objective person when it comes to this fine gastronomic locale.
I may or may not attribute, and thank, Sundowner’s for my formidable immune system—I can’t say for sure if it’s had an effect because I am not a doctor—but yes; yes, it did.
Disregarding my sensitivities to MSG and lactose, I’m immune to everything. Take that, chlamydia!
But the reality is not everyone was satisfied.
I guess Sundowner’s isn’t for everyone and that’s ok.
Closing comments for the evening:
“Chewing is not necessary,” said Burrell, which was a throwback to the abundance of elderly diners.