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elise h | Jun 18, 200101:08 AM    

Several friends and I enjoyed a friendly, delicious, and homespun brunch at Nini's in San Mateo. This is a place of real people, real food, and timelessness. Our waitress had been with Nini's for 16 years; the customers looked like regulars. So much of the Bay Area has a transient, franchise, flash in and flash out texture. This place feels like the real McCoy.

Nini's is located on the edge of a residential area, bordered by a few industrial businesses. It is unlikely that you would just happen to pass Nini's as there are few retail places nearby. Parking is easy.

We were greeted by Rick, who is the son of the former Nini. They started this restaurant in 1955 and the decor has the splendid feeling of the era, without looking contrived. Rick kept us waiting a bit, although there was an empty table. When we inquired, he said that since we were first timers, he was trying to get us a table in the pleasant patio section in the back.

The most popular dishes are the chicken cacciatore and the beef teriyaki, although we were in the brunch mood. Our omlettes and pancakes were uniformly good. The milkshake had both ice cream and whipped cream. Thanks to those chowhounds who mentioned Nini's in the Burlingame write ups!

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