I’ve been on a bit of a roll recently running regular 5k races with very respectable times that have provided a very nice balance to my Lick the Plate eating adventures. It also brought to mind Gordy Haskett, who owns Gordy’s Bakery in Encinitas and is the track coach at San Dieguito Academy (SDA) and our similar food and athletic contradictions.
With that, I thought it appropriate to revisit Gordy and a few of his athletes at the SDA track to talk track, food and music. Besides this column, my radio interview with them airs March 11 to March 15 on The Mighty 1090 at 7 and 10 p.m. or podcast on their website at www.mighty1090.com/lick-the-plate/. Besides Gordy, I spoke with a nice mix of sprinters, distance and field athletes including a pole-vaulter. Here are some highlights from our conversations.
I’ll lead it off with coach Gordy and some of his favorites. “After a day of baking and an afternoon of calling splits and timing 40 distance runners I don’t want to think about what to eat. A lot of times after practice (OK … I’ll admit it) I go to Panda Express. It’s quick, easy and brainless. Stand in line pick noodles or rice then point at the items you want. I’m fond of the Kung Pao Chicken. The Teriyaki Chicken and Orange Chicken are tied for my next favorite choice. KC Tandoor is another favorite with the Lamb Vindaloo (spicy of course) being my No. 1 pick. Of course my absolute favorite is when my girlfriend Ellen surprises me with some sort of roast with potatoes and vegetable when I get home. It’s a perfect way for this coach to end his day.” Hey, no shame in some Panda Express Gordy, we’ve all been there!
In my years of experience running and following track and field, I’ve found it takes a special kind of person to pole vault — one who is special athletically and mentally and usually a bit of a free spirit. Cameron Zamora vaults for SDA and kept it simple giving all his love to a pizza joint. “My number one place to eat is East Coast Pizza at Seaside Market. My friends and I go there a lot during lunch and we love it. They have some amazing pizzas that are probably as close as you can get to authentic New York-style pizza in Encinitas. Most of the time I go for the Hawaiian Barbecue or Meat Lover’s pizza, but sometimes I like to keep it classic with just a regular pepperoni pizza.” Thanks for the reminder on that killer pie Cameron, it’s my favorite place for a slice.
Next we’re taking it back to the track with distance runner Torrey Platenberg, who specializes in the 1600 for Gordy. “One of my favorite places to head for food while I’m in downtown Encinitas is In-n-Out. After the team comes back from a meet, we’ll occasionally get a small group together and head down for a quick post-meet meal.
It’s somewhat of a tradition and, while not always strictly followed, I really enjoy being able to hang out with everyone and enjoy a Double Double with cheese. When it comes to more genuinely local food, I prefer Besta Wan. I’ll go there with a small group of friends for my birthday, and it’s also somewhat of a tradition of sorts. The ambiance is warm and vibrant, and the food is amazing! I also love Raul’s — they have really good burritos, and it’s super convenient to be able to swing by and grab a bean and cheese while I’m out and about.” I am so with you on Raul’s, Torrey, and it should be noted that their chicken soup is right up there with the best around town.
Having been a respectable sprinter and still dabbling in it at the Summer Nights track meets, it was fun to talk food with SDA sprinter Dylan Lee. “After a hard practice or meet, one of my favorite places to grab a bite is Rico’s Taco Shop off of El Camino Real. Its close proximity to SDA, large burritos, and low prices make it a fantastic place to go if I’m really hungry. Their Surf & Turf and breakfast burritos are my favorite. Rosanna’s pasta shop is a great option for Italian food. I’ll often get a Caprese Panini or angel hair pasta, and it never disappoints. I’m also a big sushi fan, and in my opinion, Hooked on Sushi is the best place to go for that. A few of my favorite ones are the Dragon, Samurai, and TNT rolls. They’re other salads and noodle dishes are also very delicious.” I share your Rosanna’s love Dylan, everything on their menu is so good, we just need them to stay open just a little later!
I will close this out with another middle distance athlete Gabriella Glener who is focusing on Wahoo’s where she is somewhat of a regular. “My favorite food place of all time would have to be Wahoo’s. I go there at least once a week, and have not yet gotten sick of it. It is a perfect pre-run, post-run or really any time of the day meal. I get the same thing every time, the Outer Reef burrito with tofu. It is healthy and it doesn’t make me feel heavy after I eat it. It is a close distance from SDA and my house so it is easy access! All the workers there are super nice and are starting to memorize my order! It’s where me and my best friend go if we are hungry or we just want somewhere to talk.”
And there you have it folks, some fine Lick the Plate contributions from local high school athletes. If you have not been to the SDA track, it really is a beauty and you can’t beat the location. Make it a point to get out this spring and catch a home meet. Search “SDA 2019 track schedule” and it will come right up. And if you have not been to Gordy’s Bakery in Encinitas that is worth a visit as well.