Just got back from lunch at the Laurel Street Cafe in downtown San Carlos. It was last weekend's serendipitous discovery by a friend from Montreal. Those of us who have endured the cottonwooly watered-down pancakes that usually pass for crepes south of the Mission district finally have somewhere to go!
The buckwheat galettes and crepes themselves are very good--hankerchief thin, fragile and chewy at the same time. They are made on proper inch-thick cast iron crepieres, not in the flattened saucepans used by less authentic establishments.
The savory galettes ($3.95-$6.95) reflect the French owners'efforts at accommodating contemporary American tastes: in addition to the traditional ham-egg-cheese combination, there are a "Hawaiian" (with pineapple, of course), "New Orleans" (BBQ sauce), "Mexican" (salsa), and "Italian" (pepperoni and cheese), "New York" (smoked salmon), as well as a couple of vegetarian choices. There's also a Create-your-own option. All come with a small green salad on the side.
I must admit my galette prejudices err on the traditional side, and I was a bit concerned when I saw BBQ sauce and salsa. So I stuck with the "New York" and felt rewarded by my choice. The "Quebec" crepe, with apples, maple syrup, and walnuts made a delicious dessert.
The sweet crepes ($3.95-$6.50)encompass the usual favorites: banana-nutella, Grand Marnier, lemon & sugar, chocolate, etc.
Sandwiches, tartines (open-faced sandwiches), platters of charcuterie and cheese, and salads are also available, and range in price from $4.95 - $8.75.
The Laurel Street Cafe is small and new: the owners are still getting a feel for what hours to keep (currently around 8:30 a.m. to 8 or 9 p.m.), what types of crepe fillings to offer--even which brand of coffee to serve. But that is not to say that service was lacking in any way! The proprietors were friendly and clearly eager to please, service was quick, the place simple, but very clean. And, most important, the food was very good!
Laurel Street Cafe, 741 Laurel Street, San Carlos
tel. (650) 598 7613