If ever there was a restaurant that proved the recurring argument that San Diegans are content with mediocre food, Megan's was it, a breakfast/lunch place in San Carlos. My visits always left me underwhelmed and I could never understand why they had a line out the door on weekends. People actually put their names on a list to wait for what is marginally average food at best. Beats me why.
When the tanning salon next door went out of business many months ago, Megan's took over the space and morphed into the Mission Trails Cafe. Oh, and they began offering dinner Thursday - Saturday (maybe Sunday, it was dark and their banner wasn't illuminated). It's on the way home and I was flying solo for dinner this evening so I thought I'd drop in and see if dinner was any better than breakfast.
I'd like to be able to say dinner was great. Hecked, I'd just like to be able to say I ate there. The sign by the hostess station said "Please Wait to be Seated". So I waited...and waited... and waited some more. The hostess station is too tall and overwhelms the space. While it provides a shield for diners behind it, it blocks whatever view the waitstaff has of people coming in the door. A waitress did see me and told me someone would be with me in a minute and then proceeded to fill the drink order for the table she'd just waited on. That is the ONLY acknowledgement I got while I waited (and did I mention waited?), the rest of the waitstaff ignored me. So after almost 5 minutes of waiting with only a vague greeting from across the room. I left.
It wasn't a question of space. All their counter seats were open as were at least half the tables in the second room (the original part of the cafe). If a restaurant is going to have a hostess station and ask people to wait to be seated, shouldn't it actually have a hostess? Shouldn't it actually have someone to welcome customers and take care of seating? Why have a hostess station if there's no hostess?
So, is Megans cum Mission Trails Cafe packed because the food is good? No, it's busy because it's in an area horribly underserved by neighborhood bistros or even a decent sit down restaurant that isn't ethnic or fast food. It's the only game in San Carlos (and Del Cerro and Allied Gardens) offering cafe style dining options (and no, Brother's in Allied Gardens doesn't count, it's pretty awful too). Someone PLEASE open a decent restaurant in San Carlos where I can get a roasted chicken, great hamburger, juicy steak or niced grilled piece of fish without breaking the bank.
Will I go back and try the Mission Trails Cafe for dinner? Probably not. I don't like being ignored and frankly, my past food experiences there haven't been all that stellar. But I might try their new, about-to-open next door neighbor, Mountain Mikes Pizza. We don't have good pizza in San Carlos either. In fact, I'm about to nominate good old San Carlos for the culinary h*ll hole of San Diego.