The peninsula has a shortage of higher-end, hip, sophisticated eateries. It’s just the nature of suburbia, and a trek to San Francisco is less than 30 minutes away.
That’s why Town Restaurant on Laurel Street in San Carlos is the hippest place to be on a Friday or Saturday night. They do a good job of combining family-friendly eatery (good kids menu and service) with hot nightspot and bar (after 8pm the noise level is overwhelming with all the crowding around the centralized bar). If you have kids, you’re only safe from 5:30-8pm.
That being said, I’ve never had a bad meal at Town. If you love a hearty meat and potatoes meal, this is the place for you. Portions are large, prices are equal to a joint in the city, and the cocktails are tasty. You should definitely go with one of their suggested martinis (love the pear flavored one w/Gray Goose vodka).
I’ve had the Chicken and Ribs, Meatloaf, and their Pork Chop on previous visits. But this time around, I had the newly added Bourbon Glazed Flank Steak. It was cooked a perfect medium rare and had a delicious sweet yet tangy glaze with bourbon and brown sugar. It was the best steak I’ve had in a long time. Juicy and tender, there was a great balance of flavors and it didn’t mask the flavor of a quality piece of beef. (My husband makes a MEAN steak so I don’t compare restaurant steaks to his :).)
If that wasn’t enough for you, the meal came with two hugely portioned sides. You can choose from a laundry list of enticing sides, which is half the dilemma when ordering, like heirloom tomatoes with bleu cheese, broccoli bernaise, garlic mashed potatoes or a fully loaded baked potato.
I went with the fresh buttered corn and the mac and cheese. Man, these sides were good! This is my kind of meal. The kind you’ll regret when you get home but it’s damn good going down. This is like “last meal on earth” good. I love how the corn was fresh off the cob, tender, still slightly crisp, and full of good buttery goodness. And the mac and cheese is now my favorite on the peninsula: creamy and gooey, but enough baked breadcrumbs on top to give it texture. LOVE IT!
It’s great to have a spot to go to where the food is always reliably fantastic and the scene is definitely hipper than the usual hole in the wall.
Sometimes suburbia needs a touch of the city life.
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