Stacked is San Diego’s newest fast casual restaurant that brings technology and great food together. Since we work within the I.T. industry on a daily basis, we were pretty excited to visit a restaurant in San Diego that splices two of our favorite things together… technology and food. But did they really they satisfy both sides of the equation? Let’s find out….
Stacked is nestled into the middle of the Fashion Valley mall in Mission Valley. They are directly next to the valet parking area and across from the Burberry store (for those of you who know the mall layout). In fact, I’m pretty sure they took over the old Pizzeria Uno spot.
The outside of the restaurant seemed pleasant enough and a their logo seemed to match their name from the start. (Notice their “E” is stacked like a burger!) Just outside their main door you are greeted by their tagline: “Food Well Built”. It was time for us to verify this.
Once inside, we were greeted by a warm and welcoming host who promptly showed us to our seats. She was very nice and asked if we needed any help with the menu (based off an ipad) and explained how to get started.
The interior of the restaurant was great. The 5000 sqft space was wide open and you could tell there was a buzz about the place. We were lucky to be invited to the pre-opening and immediately noticed Channel 8 and KUSI news crews excited to get the scoop on San Diego’s latest restaurant and tech innovation.
The restaurant itself had several well placed flat screen TVs mounted up high. We could also see directly into the kitchen where the team of Stacked staff was busily putting the final touches on their opening and filling the first orders. Overall, the layout was very comfortable and spacious. It felt casual, but at the same time the atmosphere was nice and energetic. It is the perfect environment to stop by if you want some great food after a long day of shopping.
So here it is. The newest tech revolution for restaurants. Each table has one of these ipad based menus. The housing appears to contain some sort of extended battery or charging station to maintain the power on these ipads. In order to get started, you first need to swipe a credit card. This brings you to their main menu interface which presents a host of options.
For those less technologically inclined, they also have good old fashioned paper menus as well. The staff continually came by to check on how we were doing and to see if we needed any help.
The truth is that the user interface of the menu is a little less intuitive than we would have thought. We also encounted a glitch that rebooted the system and accidentally processed a drink order we didn’t select. However, the staff was great once we notified them of the issue and we started over. The more you play with the menu options, the more it actually made sense. Just remember, you are constantly trying to “stack” thing. Perhaps they could also provide a quick start tutorial for people who are new. Anyhow, the entire premise of this menu is selecting a base of food, and then pulling in (or out) the many options to satisfy your specific taste.
We both ended up getting burgers which was fun to customize. They also have some pre-configured suggestions if you’re not exactly sure what you want. This is good because the options can get overwhelming quickly and you may actually have an inclination to over stack! No matter, we love having options, and I suspect others will too. Once you have configured your meal (e.g. salads, pizza, sausages, etc.) you can submit your order directly to the kitchen. It took about 15 minutes for our order to arrive and we were eager to dig in!
I ended up getting a stacked burger with the brioche bun, lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions, fried onions, sauteed mushrooms, and a side of ketchup and honey mustard. The burger was fantastic! It was generous in size and perfectly cooked medium. The flavors of each layer were distinct and the burger itself was super juicy. (*Remember to ask for extra napkins!)
Another great surprise were the fries Darren got. They came out piping hot and were perfectly seasoned. More importantly, the fries had a great crisp on the very outer layer, but had an nice soft and “potatoey” texture on the inside (almost like a wedge fry). You can choose up to 2 sides for the fries. Ranch and ketchup are free, and if you want something more exotic like a chipotle BBQ or garlic aioli, it’s a small addition.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t save any room for my dessert!! The burger was too good not to finish. But, I’m coming back to try their custom stacked ice cream sandwiches soon. The great thing about these is that you can select your favorite cookie for either side of your sandwich, and integrate it with great ice cream flavors like mint chocoloate chip, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, double fudge brownie, etc!
BTW, they also have great looking shakes and malts too!
Overall, the cost for a burger was ~$8. Not super cheap when considering other burger choices out there. But, for us, it was well worth it. I’m always willing to shell out a couple more bucks for superior taste and quality. The technology at Stacked was novel and fun, but could use some refinement in the tech user interface. I’m sure subsequent versions will improve continuously. More importantly though, the food was delicious and fresh. The staff did a great job and we’ll definitely be coming back soon!
Closing out the check was super simple. Simply select the “checkout” option on the screen, select payment , and sign right on the ipad! Adding tip was also a snap with preconfigured percentage amounts based off the subtotal, or you can manually enter an amount. Finally, you may request a physical receipt, or in my case, I just chose to email it to myself and save the paper.
Food has always been a fun and gratifying part of my life. Rich flavors, spectacular colors, and seductive aromas all fuel my quest for the best food in San Diego! I've lived in SD for the past 16 years and can't imagine living anywhere else. Great food can be found anywhere (on a street corner, or the finest Michelin rated restaurant). Variety and balance is what I seek. I definitely have a sweet tooth (like much of my family), but I also enjoy the savory side just as much!
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SanDiegoFood.net is designed to chronicle our journey of San Diego Food. We have lived in San Diego for more than 15 years and love finding new restaurants and food to try. We hope this web blog can help give you a little insight, especially if you're new or visiting from San Diego.