Burgers and Trivia at Nicky Rottens Coronado


Television and celebrity gossip. If you were recruiting me for a trivia dream team, that's what I bring to the table. I mean, the first website I check every morning is People.com. Sad? Almost definitely. But my weakness for celebrity gossip becomes my greatest strength at Trivia Nights. It's where I finally feel appreciated for who I really am.

All kidding aside, Ryan and I have often discussed trying to find a fun trivia night to go to and last week we may have ended the search after a great night at Nicky Rottens Restaurant in Coronado.

After a particularly rough day at work, I was in serious need of some levity, a warm atmosphere and some delicious comfort food. Because also, when don't I need those things!?

Since I'd recently been invited to check out the updates to the Nicky Rottens menu made by the new management and since I can't resist the siren call of a Trivia Night, I suggested to Ryan that we head there after work for a nice, casual night out. He met me at work a half hour later, I packed up my laptop for the night and we headed over the bridge to the little city of Coronado.

When we arrived I knew I had found just the place to lift my spirits: there was a lively and enthusiastic crowd settling in for trivia and the food at the tables around me looked amazing.

We sat down and mulled over the drink menu for a bit. Initially I debated ordering the Cavner Mule, a signature cocktail that is named after a local Navy Seal who passed away in 2013. Not only do proceeds from this drink go to the Navy Seal Foundation, but it's also a touching effort made by Nicky Rottens to keep his memory alive in the community where his friends and family still live.

Ultimately though, I wanted something a bit lighter and ordered their Elder Coronado instead. This is a delightfully refreshing champagne cocktail with Elderflower liqueur and the best part? It comes in a full wine glass, not a champagne flute like you'd find in a lot of restaurants. After the day I'd had, the extra sips were definitely appreciated!

Ryan ordered a sweet and spicy Jalapeño Margarita, featuring their house-infused jalapeño tequila, fresh lime and agave nectar and Triple Sec, and we started with a plate of soft pretzels and beer cheese to share. Then I began putting my trivia knowledge to the test.

Trivia at Nicky Rottens is more complex than your average trivia scenario, which is part of what makes it so much fun. In addition to simply answering questions, there's a wagering aspect to the game that has participants betting on how confident they are in their answers.

While the questions on this particular night only confirmed my suspicions that I spend too much time reading celebrity gossip blogs and binge watching television, they also exposed the weak spots in Ryan's and my collective trivia knowledge.

For the record, if you know anything about sports, movies, or stock trends for public companies, we are recruiting for our team!

When it was time to order our entrees, I knew I was going to try one of the burgers Nicky Rottens is known for.  It turns out, they're not only known for their burgers... they're also known for their Burger Challenge: finish a 2 and 1/2 pound burger in 30 minutes and not only will the burger be free, but you'll get your name engraved into a plaque at the bar and receive a coveted t-shirt as proof.

I was really hungry so this challenge was actually tempting, but it's a good thing I didn't let my competitive spirit get the best of me: as it turns out, I could barely finish their normal burger! I ended up ordering their super yummy Chili Cheese Burger with a side of Fried Zucchini Slices on the side. That meal was like a little hug on a plate... it made me feel so much better for the first time in my day.

I also loved the healthier option of the zucchini slices as a side. Next time I may even try substituting the patty for one of their Basil Turkey burger patties!

Meanwhile Ryan went the more traditional route, ordering their Peppercorn Burger with Swiss Cheese, Sautéed Onions, Mushrooms, Topped with Spiked Peppercorn Sauce and a side of regular fries.

After our delicious meal, I was so stuffed, I couldn't even fathom dessert. But the manager, Aaron, who is seriously a genuinely awesome guy, had a surprise Cookie Bomb delivered to the table.

The Cookie Bomb is a ridiculously good homemade chocolate chip cookie baked in a cast iron skillet and smothered with ice cream, fruit, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Talk about comfort food!

It wasn't hard to convince my stomach to make room for a few bites of Cookie Bomb before were packed up our leftovers for the night. And boy was it worth it!

Between the food, the service, the view of San Diego's downtown skyline and the atmosphere, Nicky Rottens manages to epitomize the vibe of San Diego in it's sweet Coronado restaurant location.  It's a friendly, warm microcosm of locals and tourists alike with some of the best burgers around.

See you at Trivia Night?

Nicky Rottens
100 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118
Phone: (619) 537-0280