Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Invasion of Chinese Buffets

About a year and half ago, Garlic Brothers restaurant closed and a Chinese buffet ("Tracy Buffet") opened in its place behind Food4Less (now FoodMaxx). This was a welcome addition to the eating scenery in Tracy. The Hometown Buffet was getting worse and worse every year and a little competition was in order.

Since then, two new Chinese buffets have opened and another is under contruction. The original Tracy Buffet appears to experience a squeeze. They gradually laid off additional waitresses and scaled down to original Chinese staff. When one of the newcomers offered a faux Mongolean BBQ, Tracy Buffet owners responded in kind, of which I did not approve. I prefer to travel to the real Mongolean BBQ to Sacramento. Also, this took some of the counter space.

But despite the setbacks, Tracy Buffet is still the leader. It might be not as glitzy as the upstart across the Tracy Blvd, but it's cheaper. It is not as cheap as the buffet behind the Blockbuster at 11th St, but it has sushi. I think it strikes a good balance for suburbia. I hope the yet unbuilt buffet in the Wal Mart zone does not deal the death blow to the brave pioneer of decent Chinese buffet in Tracy.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

TRASH@West: Recycling

The rotating topic about trash is here. West - recycling, East - garden waste.

Friday, May 27, 2005


Traffic is really getting bad on Corall Hollow between Grant Line and 11th in afternoons, both directions. It used to be that only 11th was jammed up with returning commuters. But now it just defies belief. Who are all these people? And at 3p.m.?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Population: 78,307

Saw it on a highway sign today: 78 thousand people live in the town of Tracy, California. I am wondering, how they come up to this number?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A warm day

Today is going to be warm, breaking into 90F (above 30C). Skies are very clear and very blue, little pollution.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The 5th Starbucks

We have five Starbucks locations in Tracy now: inside Safeway, ouside Safeway, inside Barnes and Noble, in the Home Depot plaza (the only one with a drive-through window), and now the newest one, behind In-n-Out Burgers. A developer built a small strip mall between the Clover and the freeway and the Starbucks is the first tenant. The place singularly lacks parking and Starbucks customers will have to borrow from In-n-Out. I haven't checked if they provide wireless.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

TRASH @West: Garden Waste

It seems a good idea to have a reminder for the alternating week of trash disposal. To place it into a banner or other leading element of the blog would be the right thing to do. Alas, such approach has a danger of leaving a stale information prominently displayed if the blog is not updated right. Adding a timestamp ("In the week of...") makes matters more confusing. Having a recurring post is better.

Tracy Bowl DDR update

Tracy Bowl (at the corner of Grant Line Rd. and East St.) has replaced the arcade vendor. The have a DDR machine again, but the new vendor installed it in the pool area. The reflections of ceiling lights in the screen are so bad that it is simply impossible to use the right side. The bowl employees promise to move the machine to its old location some time in the future, but until then it's the Fun Factory which carries the day (despite using tokens and being marginally more expensive).

Saturday, May 21, 2005

KFC protesters

A reliable source reports that a group of protesters demonstrated this morning against KFC at Grant Line Road. Apparently they thought that KFC "tortures chickens". We ought to visit the KFC more often.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Udon in Safeway

When we moved in back in 2001, Tracy was populated primarily by Mexicans. But in three short years its folk changed. Yesterday I went to Safeway and was delighted to find about quarter of an aisle to be occupied by various Asian foods. Familiar staples of Ichiban Kan were present: Australian udon, Sapporo Ichiban ramen, Kikkoman Miso soup. But also I spotted a few varieties, including shrink-wrapped udon. I do not remember what these foods displaced. They sit next to Mexican spices in a shorter section on the South side of the store, behind the deli island.

Way to go, Safeway. However, I am curious, how did they know to add these? They did not sell them before, so they had no market data. So, is this an experiment? Customer input?