Dish It Up: Little fish in a big pond

Tom Logsdon

Tom Logsdon of The Balboa and Sister Ray’s.

(Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Four years ago, when he first opened The Balboa in Bankers Hill, Tom Logsdon never dreamed his small burger restaurant would go viral. But San Diegans love their burgers and hungry eaters, especially those in the Facebook group Eating and Drinking in San Diego, soon caught on and The Balboa Burger joined ranks among the top in town.

Now, with impending expulsion from its Bankers Hill location (thanks to the building it occupies being razed in coming weeks or months depending on permitting), Logsdon looks toward opening a new location in Chula Vista and figuring out where possibly to relocate the original spot.

I suppose it’s no longer the centennial year for Balboa Park, but that better not mean this 2/3 pound, no frills double cheeseburger isn’t here to stay put. By and far, it was the most exciting party favor to come out of the park’s year long, 100th birthday celebration. 1863 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. (619) 955-8525 (/ Amy T. Granite)

In addition to the popular burger joint, Logsdon also recently partnered up with longtime restaurant owner Luigi Agostini (Pizzeria Luigi) on another venture. The new spot, called Sister Ray’s, is quickly making a name for itself in Sherman Heights for such offerings as chili (on everything) hot dogs and fried pickles.


Logsdon had a lot to talk about with podcast host Edwin Real including: 

  • Opening Sister Ray’s
  • Jobs leading up to opening The Balboa
  • Dude’s Foods bike deliveries
  • The Balboa as a viral restaurant on Eating & Drinking In San Diego
  • Former years of music at The Balboa to keep Tin Can legacy going
  • Choosing Chula Vista for 2nd location of The Balboa
  • Original location of The Balboa being raised
  • Big city vs. little town when it comes to opening business in Chula Vista
  • What does 3rd Avenue in Chula Vista need?
  • Chula Vista as a beer community
  • Chula Vista is really like three cities in one
  • Mayor Mary Salas as a cheerleader for West Chula Vista
  • What’s the future look like?
  • Mainstreet USA dream

Dish It Up is a collaboration between PACIFIC and Facebook group Eating and Drinking In San Diego. 

Listen and subscribe to Dish It Up and sister podcast Kiss My Glass on Apple iTunes, Google Play and Soundcloud. And, if there’s something you want to hear about in an upcoming podcast, whether it be a food-related topic or specific guest, please feel free to let us know at


Keep up

The Balboa

1863 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill, 619.955.8525,

Instagram: @thebalboasd

Sister Ray’s

549 25th St., Sherman Heights,

Instagram: @sister_rays


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