Dinner and a Movie: Two Reviews for the Price of One!

Sorry for the delay in getting this post up… I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, feeling tired and not really motivated to do much. One thing I know about being in a funk is I tend to eat a lot, and sit around watching TV or DVDs. Since that wouldn’t make for a very good blog post, I decided to review a local restaurant and a movie in theaters! See, it’s kind of different.

At least, it requires going outside. That’s an improvement, right?

The Restaurant: Wee Shack Burger Cafe in Morro Bay

This small, out-of-the-way, cozy little restaurant is tucked into the trees along Main Street in Morro Bay, just next to Old Morro Creek. Boy, it is home to some of the best burgers you will ever try!

You may recall that I interviewed the founder and co-owner of this restaurant when it was still under construction. Well, Wee Shack Burger Cafe is now open for business, and it was worth the wait! Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Wee Shack specializes in original burgers like the Wee-Man Burger, which is served with a jalapeño bacon that gives just the right amount of kick without being too spicy; the Beach Bum Burger, served with avocado, Swiss cheese, and mayo; and the Chic Burger, a chicken sandwich with red onions on a whole-wheat bun. Their K-9 hot dog, which comes with onions and cheese, is just an absolute delight. But my most recent discovery was the Chipotle Sliders, served with their same  jalapeño bacon plus a delicious Chipotle sauce.

I’m making myself hungry!

And I haven’t even mentioned the best part: fresh-cut, never-frozen french fries! Did I mention they also serve pastries such as cinnamon rolls, muffins, and brownies all day? Or that everything on the menu is less than $10?

Can you tell that I like this place?

Not that there aren’t still a few kinks to work out, as is common in any new restaurant. For example, they don’t have a menu on the walls, you have to read your order off of a paper menu. But I’m sure as this place gets more established these minor issues will be resolved. It’s a great place for lunch, or for an early dinner on your way to a movie!

The Movie: The Grey

The Grey is an independent film from director Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team) and starring Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Batman Begins, Taken), filmed primarily in Canada. It took top place opening weekend, earning $19.7 million. And for good reason. It is one of the best movies I have seen in months, and certainly the best indie film since Winter’s Bone to have attracted my attention.

The movie has a pretty basic set-up. Neeson plays an Irish sniper hired by an oil company to protect their workers in the Alaskan wilderness from dangerous animals, particularly wolves. While on his way home, his plane goes down in the middle of nowhere, leaving only a handful of survivors. Before long, they make the unpleasant discovery that they crashed near a wolf’s den, and the pack is not happy about their presence on their turf. Neeson’s character must keep the survivors alive with his wilderness survival skills and his knowledge of wolf behavior.

It is kind of hard to classify this movie – parts of it seem like wilderness survival stuff, but some parts seem more like a horror movie and others seem more like an action movie. Whatever it is, it is very much guy territory. This is a movie made by men, for men.


Neeson is at his best in these kinds of roles (witness his amazing performance in Taken); his age, his scars, and his facial expressions convey “I’ve been through hell and back again, many times. I can get through this.” Not to mention he has a great cast to work with in this one. Plus, director Joe Carnahan is definitely in his element. One of my favorite movie critics describes him as “What Michael Bay could be if he was actually good”, and I think this really shows in this movie.

Yeah, disclaimer, I’m not a Michael Bay fan, if you didn’t know.

Oh, and it’s nice that the characters’ decisions in the movie make sense. I’m kind of tired of movies where the plot can only move forward if somebody does something stupid or the characters know something they can’t know unless they have read the script.

Be warned, though, this film is by no means perfect. The CGI wolves are clunky, the animatronic ones are even clunkier, and the ending, not to spoil anything, but it’s kind of a let-down. However, this is all-in-all an entertaining ride and the pros far outweigh the cons. Definitely recommended. A 4 out of 5.