Most San Carlans know that without leaving our little hamlet, we can find almost any type of food. For a suburb that has cuisines as varied as Afghan, Korean, Peruvian, Hawaiian, Burmese, and Creole, could we possibly be missing anything? The City of Good Eating surveyed our dining panel (our family), and in addition to bringing back Vic’s, two types of restaurants stand out as ones we’d love to see in the City of Good Eating.
Poke Bowls – Maybe we’re jumping on the latest bandwagon, as Poke Bowl places seem to be popping up all around California and the rest of the country. But what’s not to like — a combination of multiple types of raw and cooked fish with rice, veggies, sauces, and other interesting toppings that you customize. Most of these places operate on a factory line style where you instruct the servers behind the counter for your base (salad, rice, etc.), proteins, toppings, and sauces. The best ones have multiple varieties of tune poke, salmon, shrimp, and other fish and even tofu. Some are fairly fancy and modern, while others are simpler. It seems like every city has them (including San Mateo and Redwood City), but San Carlos has been left out of the trend. Although there are certainly a number of places in San Carlos to get Poke, it would be great to have a dedicated place to make custom bowls (as each member of our family would craft a different combo) that are a hearty yet reasonably healthy meal. San Carlos does have something similar in The Toss, which is a popular newcomer on South Laurel which has a similarly-organized operation for custom salads. They already have lots of veggies and proteins as well as the general process honed — would it be a big leap for them to add poke?
Ethiopian – This one may seem a little outside the box, but Ethiopian is one of our favorite cuisines. The food is traditionally served family-style with a number of meat and vegetable stews (called Wat) served on a bed of Injera, a sourdough spongy flatbread. Another typical preparation is Tibs, which is sautéed meat and/or vegetables. Some of the dishes are spicy, but all seem to have really bold flavors. It’s an added benefit that you’re allowed (and expected) to eat with your hands, using the Injera to pick up the food. There does not appear to be a single Ethiopian restaurant between San Francisco and San Jose, so when the urge is upon us, we’ll make the trek down to San Jose to a couple of great places that we’ve discovered. We’re guessing there isn’t a big Ethiopian-American population on the Peninsula (or in San Carlos), from whom the cuisine expertise would likely originate. But perhaps some entrepreneurial experts in Ethiopian cuisine will discover the sizable business potential in placing such a unique place in a location halfway between two major cities and in a town known for its great food. We know that we’d be there on opening day!
Please let us know below of any places you’d like to see to come to San Carlos!