I used to really love The Refuge in San Carlos, but I'm worried it might be going downhill.
I drive down from San Francisco to The Refuge about once a month, because I have really loved the food. I like it because it's so high-contrast --- soft versus crisp, warm versus cold, fat versus acid. I normally order a sandwich (often the Toasted Slaw) plus goofy fries and a glass of sparking wine.
But lately I have started to worry that the food is sliding, and I wonder if the restaurant is not handling its success well -- like, maybe the bosses are getting tired or complacent, or are focused on expanding the business rather than maintaining quality?
I say this because on my last two visits, the food has come out from the kitchen in less than five minutes, and has been pretty mediocre. I think the basic ingredients and techniques are the same as they always were, but the attention to detail has slid. The fries were limp, which takes the goofy fries from epically, beautifully high-contrast to just being a bowl of mush. And the sandwich seemed like it might have been preassembled -- it was room temperature throughout, and the toast was soggy on the bottom side.
This breaks my heart, because I have really loved The Refuge. And so, I'm curious to know what other people's recent experiences have been like..
963 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070