By Dr. Ink
There are normally two reasons why I go to malls. Those being when my iPhone needs repair at the Apple Store, and on fewer occasions, to shop for things I don’t need with gift certificates given to me for Christmas. Neither provides social or spiritual fulfillment.
But exceptions can be made if cheap drinks are involved, particularly when I get to play bartender with a few taps of my finger.
Such is the case at Stacked in Fashion Valley Mall, where a simple swipe of a credit card allows you to custom-order your food and drinks from iPads while barely interacting with the wait staff.
For the technically challenged, staffers stand by ready to guide you through the colorful interfaces used for customizing salads, burgers, pizzas and other fare. Ingredient choices are displayed with appetizing clarity along the right side of the screens. In some cases, the possibilities are vast.
The process, however, is less complex during happy hour, when the specs for reduced-price appetizers and specialty cocktails are already pre-established as they appear on the screen. Although if you opt for a $4 well drink — or “simple cocktail” as it’s called here — you get to click onto various ingredients you want in the drink and then drag them over to a graphic of an empty glass.
Barton Vodka, check.
From a list of mixers, the choices span from sodas and tonic to water and a few different fruit juices. I chose diet cranberry.
Finally, you select a garnish — olives, lemons, limes, etc. For this summery concoction I built with ease, fresh orange wedges proved a fine fit.
Within three minutes my drink arrived, and with a looser pour on the vodka than some I’ve had in pricey drinking establishments.
Moments later, a trio of cheeseburger sliders I also ordered were brought to my table by a server who said nothing more than, “here ya go.” Those were only $6 — not bad, although the mini meat patties were too over-fried for my taste.
But overall I relished ordering items without any servers drowning me in cheerful platitudes. As a result, I tapped out another drink from the iPad, though only to discover that gin, Sprite and maraschino cherries taste rather clumsy together.