Foodie Review: Chuck E Cheese’s (San Antonio, TX)

IMG_9555.JPG

Why the hell am I doing a foodie review for Chuck-E-Cheese?

To tell you the truth, I don’t know. Is this where writer dreams go to die?

We’ll see.

The truth is, I randomly posted a few foodie reviews this past week on a whim, because I visited a few cool places recently, and did get some gift cards to Pei Wei, but my daily views on those were actually double of my new movie reviews. With little promotion on Twitter, they are still my most viewed blogposts a few days later, so I am testing to see if people just like reading whatever comes to mind.

So what is this bizarre place?

IMG_9548.JPG

This is a place I wanted to go for my 8th birthday. I still remember the story. My parents called to book the place, and it was all booked. Chuck E Cheese himself would not visit my table. We pressed on bravely, and my mother baked a fucking chocolate cake and we invited my friends and we all went there anyways.

IMG_9514.JPG

Things have changed since then. You buy pizza and tokens in packages (the discount is given with 80 tokens) with the mirage that this is a good deal. Most of the games in the arcade are essentially gambling games where you do various things for tickets. The biggest scores you can get is 250 tickets, if you hit 1/200 odds. If you have an extremely lucky day and somehow accumulate 7500 tickets in one magical session, beating the average of 4-10 tickets per game, what can you get? One frozen action figure that costs around $15 at Walmart.

IMG_9525.JPG

Anyways, back to the foodie review. We ordered a couple pizzas. This was the pepperoni pizza. Behold the weird pizza slice cuts. You can always recognized a Chuck E Cheeze pizza by the unorthodox pizza slicing; it’s almost as if the pizza cutter closes their eyes and cuts. Eating the pizza and rating it is more of an exercise of not saying if it is good or bad, but ranking it. To me, the pizza is maybe a slot higher than Cici’s pizza and frozen grocery store pizza, but a step lower than Little Caesers pizza, which I consider below the big 3 (Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, Dominos).

IMG_9552.JPG

Watching your weight? Chuck E Cheese also sports a pretty good looking salad bar. It was constantly getting refilled from tubs that I assume come from some food distributor. I thought the presentation was actually surprisingly clean for what I expected. Taking a quick glance around, I discovered why: The salad bar was the furthest distance from the arcade and there wasn’t a kid within 40 feet, so this was likely the cleanest area in the entire place.

So how was the food? Eh, the pizza might be a 4/10. But how was it while watching the kid running around like a maniac trying to win tickets? Eh, the quality of the pizza didn’t really matter, now did it?

If you enjoy me just blogging on anything instead of focusing on movies, like and share and leave a comment below. I have some big trips coming up and can keep sharing whatever happens.

Travel Blog (Traders Village, San Antonio, TX)

IMG_6798.jpeg

If you have never been to Texas, you have not quite experienced the pride that the people here get by doing everything bigger. This was my first visit to Trader’s Village, and it was one of the largest flea markets I’ve ever been to. The place has so many shops and booths that you might not have the time see everything you wanted. I know I sure didn’t.IMG_1358.jpeg

Almost everything is covered in shed type booths. There are carnivals rides in the “arcade” and food venders, which all seemed to be doing more business than many of the venders. I talked to one owner of a baseball card and action figure themed shop, and he said the rain keeps customers away if the morning looks bad. He pays around $260 a month to keep his shed and seems to be pretty happy with his cash business. His business plan centers of “keeping customers back” by pricing everything for $1, even if he knows he could sell it for $10, so that people check his place first week to week and he can build a customer base weekend after weekend. I nicknamed him the Sam Walton of the Flea Market.

IMG_8961.jpeg

Do you want to buy some birds? There are plenty to buy for cheap. Cages. Food. Why go to Petsmart when you can go to a flea market? Um …

IMG_0779.jpeg

I was pretty impressed with some of the booths. This booth specialized in toys and games and most of it was stuff you can’t find in stores anymore. Maybe 60% was still new in the package and the prices varied. I’m not an expert on prices of newer toys, but it seems they were all priced for collectors to buy. I looked for the owner, and he wasn’t even in the shop. He was chilling 50 feet away at a seating area just watching his place from afar.

IMG_4390.jpeg

And there I was, the reason why I came here. I’ve been searching for an original nintendo, but wanted to find one on the cheap with perhaps a stack of games. I visited one impressive shop and it seemed to specialize in everything electronic. He had gaming systems of all kinds: Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Gamecube, Playstation, Wii, XBOX, and even a few Atari systems. I got straight to the point and asked about the Nintendo in the box, and the owner (who said he’d been doing this since 1990) said he wanted $200 for it. Holy crap. This is beyond even ebay pricing. Okay. He saw the shock on my face, and said he also had two “new in the box’ Nintendos. How much did he want for them? $2000.

I rolled my eyes and now understood why his shed was filled with stuff, all the way to the ceiling as you can see. He had nintendo games, supernintendo games, and Nintendo 64 games in glass cases along with maybe a couple thousand playstation/xbox games for each system. I asked how much the games were, and he told me “depends on the game.” God damn. Where the hell was I? His business model is to actually eye each customer and play the negotiation game with each person?  I had $300 in my pocket ready to outfit my game room, but he lost me with this gimmicks. I didn’t feel like negotiating him down from $60 he probably wanted for the original Super Mario, down to the $5 you can get it for on ebay. He probably feels people will believe it’s a win-win to get it for $30 after he haggles you to death. He did point me to a nintendo (console only) that was slightly cracked, for $80. I walked out around 2 minutes after.

This was my experience with many of the shops: Gem shops, antique shops, comic book shops, book shops … even used baby strollers were priced at $100. This is absolutely ludicrous.

We left after spending a $4 for parking and $2 for a slushie for the kid.