After “coming soon” for over a year (admittedly during a pandemic), Drake’s finally opened this morning. They classify it as a “soft opening,” with only a small notice in their window and without an updated website. Officially, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as having a “happy hour.” However, it seems like a place that will most likely fill the niche of breakfast/brunch, for which there are only about five other breakfast places in San Carlos, not counting coffee houses. It definitely makes us reminisce about Vic’s (which closed 12 years ago), and maybe it will grow to occupy that place in the San Carlos dining psyche. But unlike Vic’s counter seating, Drake’s has a big bar in the middle of the restaurant, which they are clearly looking to perform double duty for both breakfast counter seating as well as serving drinks at happy hour.
Being named for the “Father of San Carlos,” the decor at Drake’s is all about the City of Good Living. The walls are covered with maps and photos of San Carlos (both past and present), many of which were apparently supplied by the San Carlos History Museum. The overall decor is very pleasant, with the two outside walls covered in brick and an upstairs loft-style seating area. The bar is the centerpiece of the lower level, with different types of seating around the sides, including regular tables, high tables, and even couches.
We went for breakfast for their soft opening, and it was overall a good experience. The breakfast menu was quite large, including standard fare such as eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc, as well as breakfast burritos, eggs benedicts, a few vegetarian/vegan options, salads, sandwiches (both breakfast and lunch sandwiches), and a kids’ menu. The menu features some clever names such as “Friends With Benedicts” and the “I’m Not Hungry” special on the kids’ menu. We ordered the avocado toast as well as the biscuits & gravy, both of which were sizable and satisfying (the lime-accented avocado and the side of potatoes with the biscuits were particularly appealing). Since it was their first day operating, there was some confusion among the host, waiter, and busboy on who was doing what, but those are things that will clearly be sorted out as the restaurant operates.
We were also pleasantly surprised to notice that when we received the bill, sales tax was included in the price (hopefully that wasn’t just a temporary, we’re getting our systems working, sort of thing). We wish more restaurants would do that (and even better, include gratuity as well). With such a large menu just for breakfast and lunch, it will take some time to sample and see what our favorites will be, but we’re excited to continue exploring. Whether it will replace Vic’s in our mind is still to be determined, but there’s definitely potential!