One-eighth mile street drags are returning to the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot Friday night as good folks from RaceLegal hold their regular meets. From the group’s website:, the safer and sanctioned track alternative to illegal street racing, was developed with one goal in mind. Saving the needless loss of young lives to an illegal street race gone bad is’s mantra. To that end we have been remarkably effective. The concept was one of providing a youth oriented environment in a neutral and centrally located location where we could replicate a street environment, but with safer and sanctioned conditions that insured the safety of our racers and their fans. The under pinning is one of skillfully redirecting illegal street racing behavior to the safer and sanctioned sport of drag racing in a youth oriented setting. As stated above, the results are impressive.

Bring your own hot car or hang out and watch. It’s a great event. $30-$40 to race, with prizes; $10 to watch. 6 p.m. to midnight.  More info.

Check out this story from Fox 5 San Diego. It was bad enough that the county booted out Cajon Speedway in 2005, the land is still sitting empty and might not be developed for another five years… or ever!

According to this story, the county has “environmental issues” and is trying to get $32 million to build Gillespie Field hangers and pave the area so 100 rich guys can park their planes there. Hey, if you can afford an airplane, more power to you, but this raceway was family entertainment in East County for four decades. And the guys racing weren’t exactly rich, neither were the adults and kids that came out for the races.

If memory serves, the county originally saw dollar signs in the property because they wanted to build hanger-condos there, similar to the ones that were built in other parts of the airport. After Sept. 11, the notion of having people actually living at an airport didn’t go along with the paranoid security folks.

I know things sadly went bad for the Brucker family that ran the track, but to just have bulldozed the place and let it sit was horrible. Maybe that $32 million could go to rebuild the track…

One of those great little spots has closed. Our webmaster Geoff came back from lunch the other day and said the European Deli, on Park Boulevard north of Polk.

Although the name was “European,” it was a Greek cafe, probably because a Greek woman named Sophie ran the place. She seemed to know all the customers and on my last visit, a couple of weeks ago, even remembered me, even though I hadn’t been in for months. I usually had the Gyros salad with no olives. I don’t like olives and she’d always complain that I should have them, that they were the healthiest thing in the salad.

Sophie had sold the place a year or so ago, but seemed to always still be there. She didn’t say anything about closing when I visited; if so, I’d have eaten there every day until the end.

Something else is going in; I wish them luck, but we’ll all miss the European Deli.

In the rush that was this summer I somehow missed the passing of Fred Spenner and the Sausage King, one of the really great spots in San Diego. A little shop on Washington Street in Mission Hills run by Fred and his wife, Charlotte, put out what were arguably the best German sausages in the country

I would stop in from time-to-time to pick up some bratwurst, knockwurst and a few other goodies at what was a butcher shop/deli. No tables here, it was all take out. Always enjoyed talking with Fred or Charolotte and the wonderful smells from the smokehouse.

Drove by last week and saw the place boarded up. So sad. Check out this story from NBC San Diego from June 27. And another good story, a blog post on San Diego Foodstuff from 2007.

I was by there shortly after the Super Bowl was played here in 1998. I had recently visited Milwaukee, the acknowledged sausage capital of the US. I chatted with Fred about Usinger’s, the famous Milwaukee sausage house. Fred smiled and told me that a food writer from Wisconsin was out for the Super Bowl and said his sausages were better than Usinger’s. I’ve eaten both and can tell you that was true.

So, farewell Sausage King. You will be missed.

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