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5 Great Places to Get Breakfast in San Carlos.

January 15, 2014 Downtown San Carlos, Living in San Carlos Comments Off
Diner

Got Breakfast?

San Carlos gets a lot of attention for its seemingly ever-growing collection of upscale restaurants. Over the past decade, Laurel Street and the adjoining side-streets have been transformed from a sleepy, small town shopping district into a modern-day “restaurant row”. There’s no shortage of fine dining to suit just about anyone’s taste, and this has made downtown San Carlos a destination of choice not only for San Carlos residents, but for many people outside the community when they decide to step out for lunch or dinner.

But what about breakfast? Does anyone even “do” breakfast anymore?   The answer is a resounding “yes”, and San Carlos has some really cool spots to grab a hearty breakfast to fuel your day ahead.   Although I have lived on the Peninsula for most of my life, I originally hail from the mid-west where breakfast is ingrained in the fabric of life, so it’s just as much as a social event as it is a meal.  So just a fair warning that I have a soft spot for down-home hearty breakfast joints.

In this post, I will highlight five places that you can go in San Carlos to get your early morning fix. It’s by no means a complete list, so if you know of a great place that I have not covered below, please feel free to brag about it in the comments. That will simply make this post an even more valuable resource when you want to dash out and grab breakfast.

So in absolutely no particular order….

1- The Depot Cafe

Located at the San Carlos train station, the Depot Cafe has been a San Carlos institution for as long as I can remember.  When I used to take Caltrain every day  to college (many years ago), Friday morning breakfast at the Cafe before the train arrived became a weekly tradition.    It’s a cozy atmosphere, with small tables and hundreds of train photos throughout.   The food is great, and the service is fast — the latter being essential if you are going to service the commuter crowd — and it seems like the owner knows everyone who walks in the door.   Quintessential small-town diner feel..

There are about 50 different variations of omelettes on the menu, but if you can’t find exactly what you want you can simply design your own.   The country potatoes are off the charts, too.

Here’s their review on Yelp:  The Depot Cafe

2- The Omelette House.

If you’re truly a hard-core Midwesterner and miss the visceral sensation of eating in a old-school breakfast diner, then The Omelette House is for you.  The minute you walk through the door, you feel like you’ve been transported in a time machine from chic San Carlos back to a typical Ohio diner in the 60′s (minus the smoke, thank goodness.)    No frills here – just lots of booths and tables, and good food.

The menu at the Omellete House looks similar to the Depot Cafe in that they both have and entire page of omellete variations (you’d expect that with the name).   They also carry some of the more traditional midwest breakfast items, too.   It’s really fun to have a place like this in San Carlos.   The Omelette House is located at 66 El Camino Real in San Carlos — click here for the map.

Here’s their review on Yelp:  The Omelette House

3- My Breakfast House.

You can’t miss the bright red awning on Laurel Street that guides you into My Breakfast House.   In true diner style, this place is all about checkered tablecloths and good breakfasts.  No frills here either, which is a huge plus in my book.  It’s not as heavily omelette oriented as the previous two diners (although the omelettes here are excellent), so you find some great variations of french toast, pancakes and other fare.

Another plus for families with children is that they have a small play room off to the side to keep the little ones occupied while you enjoy a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast.   My Breakfast House is located at 1137 Laurel Street in San Carlos — click here for the map.

Here’s their review on Yelp:  My Breakfast House.

4- Sky Kitchen

If you’re looking for a unique location for breakfast, check out the Sky Kitchen at the San Carlos airport.   What the Depot Cafe is to trains,  the Sky Kitchen is to airplanes.    It’s still one of the best-kept breakfast secrets in San Carlos.  You can eat a great breakfast while you’re watching the planes take off and land from our own commercial airport.    The Sky Kitchen is smaller than the other 3 places, so plan your breakfast time accordingly if you don’t want to wait for a seat.    The Sky Kitchen is located on Airport Way in San Carlos — click here for the map.

Here’s their review on Yelp:   Sky Kitchen.

5- Broiler Express.

As far as location goes, you can’t beat Broiler Express.   They are on the prime corner of Laurel Street and Arroyo Avenue, in the hot part of the San Carlos downtown shopping district.  The comment that seems to resonate about the Broiler Express is that you get great food and it’s cheap.    There are a number of good breakfast options for under $5, which is something you usually won’t find at the other places.   Broiler Express is located at 895 Laurel Street in San Carlos – click here for the map.

Here’s their review on Yelp:  Broiler Express

Honorable Mention:  Stacks

No article on great breakfast spots in San Carlos would be complete without props to Stacks on El Camino.  It’s obviously a favorite for many folks in San Carlos, since it’s so close.  But technically they’re located in Redwood City, and I wanted this post to pay homage (or fromage?) to those places that are truly San Carlos institutions.

Got a Favorite?

Obviously, there are more than 5 places to grab a great breakfast in San Carlos.  I just highlighted 5 of the more established and traditional diner-style breakfast spots.   Do you have a favorite that everyone should know about?  Feel free to show them some love in the comments below!

Bon Apetit!
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What To Do With Your Old Christmas Tree.

December 31, 2013 Living in San Carlos No Comments
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Curbside Pickup.

Now that Christmas is over and the New Year is knocking on the door, it’s time for many to start taking down their holiday decorations, and to dispose of the old, dry Christmas tree.     Recology San Mateo County can’t help you with the decorations, but they certainly can help you get rid of your old tree.

Through January 31, all you need to do is put your old tree out on the curb next to the green bin on your normal recycle day.   Recology will pick up the tree and then compost it to prevent it from going to the landfill.    You simply need to make sure that everything is off the tree when you put it out at the curb (no decorations, stands, or grandma’s stale fruitcake,  please.)

But be sure to do this before January 31st.  First of all, keeping an old dry tree in your home for that long is a potential fire hazard.  Second, if you wait until after the 31st, you will then have to cut the tree into small pieces yourself and stuff it into the green bin.   That doesn‘t sound like fun.   For more information, see Recology’s site or contact them at 650-595-3900.

On that note, Happy New Year from the White Oaks Blog.   May 2014 be safe, healthy, and prosperous for you!
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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San Carlos 2013 Art and Wine Faire is This Weekend.

2013- Art Wine Faire

23rd Year of Vino and Fun.

The San Carlos Art & Wine Faire celebrates its 23rd year this weekend, October 12 and 13. Sponsored by the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce, this fun-filled, outdoor family event features a beautiful array of artwork, live entertainment, a classic and hot rod car show, some of the areas finest wines and micro-brews, delectable food and much more. Back by popular demand, mimosas will also be served on both days.

Taking place in the heart of downtown San Carlos, this much-anticipated fall festival offers two full days of enjoyment for people of all ages.  This includes a Family Fun Zone with a variety of children’s activities and live entertainment each day from noon to 4:30 p.m.  The Fun Zone features live children’s music, singing and dancing, the magic of Gerald Joseph, and Ballet Folklorico.  In addition, more than 275 artists will be showcasing their original work ranging from ceramics, pottery, watercolor and oil paintings, photography, wood working, jewelry and much more.

Musical performances on Saturday include Jazz by Design, which will play from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Caravanserai (Santana Tribute Band) from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the Downtown Park Stage.   Kickback (dance, Latin and soul) will play from noon to 2:30 p.m. and The Riptides (60’s oldies rock and roll) will perform from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the San Carlos Avenue Stage.

On Sunday, Inoahband (R&B, soul) will play from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Apple Z (dance band) will play from 3:30 p.m. to 5: 30 p.m. on the Downtown Park Stage.   Stompy Jones (swing) will play from noon to 2:30 p.m. and the Mersey Beach (60’s music party band) will perform from3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the San Carlos Avenue Stage.

Wine tasting will be offered by Coppola Winery, Cuvée Wine Cellars, Domenico Winery, Perelli-Minetti Winery, Simi Winery and Wild Horse Winery. Sparking wines include Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs & Sonoma Brut, J Vineyards, Coppola Winery-Sofia, Mumm Napa Brut and Ruffino Prosecco and Moscato. Beers on tap from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company will be Pale Ale, Blonde Ale, Kellerweis, Torpedo Extra IPA and Northern Hemisphere Harvest.

Car enthusiasts will enjoy a Classic and Hot Rod Car show on both days of the Faire, put on by Let’s Talk Events, which will include prizes awarded for best of show. Those interested in exhibiting an automobile are encouraged to contact the Chamber at (650) 593-1068.

The San Carlos Art & Wine Faire takes place on both sides of San Carlos Avenue between El Camino and Walnut, and on Laurel Street from San Carlos Avenue to Arroyo from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Because parking in downtown San Carlos is at a premium during the Faire, the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce encourages Faire attendees to use public transportation such as SamTrans or CalTrain or to ride bicycles to the event. A convenient Bike Parking Corral is available at 1250 San Carlos Avenue to store your bike.
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San Carlos Healthy Cities Needs More Tutors.

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Help Needed!

Are you looking for a very easy and rewarding way to give something back to our community?  Something that will cost you nothing more than an hour or so of your time, but will make a HUGE difference to a child?  Then you should consider becoming a tutorHealthy Cities Tutoring is an outstanding local non-profit organization that’s dedicated to tutoring and mentoring children of ages 5-14 to raise their academic success and self esteem.  Established in 1996, Healthy Cities has improved the life of hundreds of local children…and now they need your help.

Right now, there is a great need for volunteer tutors to work one-on-one with students in our schools.   Tutors only need to contribute as little as about one hour per week, and it truly makes a huge difference to help kids improve and find greater success in school.  During the 2012-2013 school year,  175 volunteers from our community stepped to the plate at Healthy Cities and a tutored 196 children!

It’s very easy to help out — no prior tutoring or teaching experience is needed and scheduling is very flexible. Tutoring takes place before, during or after school and they are serving kids in all seven schools in San Carlos.

If you’re interested in helping out, please consider attending an orientation/training on Wednesday October 23. There are two sessions being offered: 8:30-10:30 am or 6:30-8:30 pm, and both are being held at White Oaks School in the Multi-Use Room.   For more information, email Donna Becht, or you can go directly to the Healthy Cities website to fill in an application directly.

There’s no better way to feel good than by doing good!

HealthyCitiesFallFlyer2013
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San Carlos City-Wide Garage Sale is Tomorrow.

garage sale

October 5, 9AM – 4PM.

The volunteer organization San Carlos Together has once again organized the San Carlos City-Wide Garage Sale, which will take place tomorrow all across the city.   If you haven’t registered your junk precious valuables for the sale, unfortunately it’s too late to get on the list.  But if you’re one of those that just dreams of spending your Saturday morning hitting garage sales, then this is absolutely your Super Bowl weekend.

The list of homes that have registered and are participating in the garage sale can be downloaded from the website.  There’s also an interactive map to help you navigate all of the bargains.

Happy shopping!
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Harmony Frozen Yogurt Closes Its Doors in San Carlos.

harmony

A FroYo Fave.

The loyal fans who embraced the tangy, organic frozen yogurt and the fresh toppings will be sad to learn that Harmony Frozen Yogurt on Laurel Street has closed its doors.   From the person I spoke with today, slower sales and increased competition from other establishments on Laurel Street took its toll on what was a mainstay of the downtown shopping district of San Carlos.   It’s probably not too much of a stretch to think that they lost a big chunk of business when Tutti Frutti opened shop on San Carlos Avenue.

This flies in the face of the common misconception that every business on the hot section of north Laurel Street is a guaranteed home run.    The more shops that open along this stretch, the more it creates competition for the established businesses, regardless if they are direct competition or not.

There’s no word yet on what will take over this prime spot on Laurel Street, or if any of the other Harmony locations will be impacted.   But it certainly is a bummer to see something so uniquely San Carlos quietly slip away.
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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Artificial Turf Appears to be Off the Table at Crestview Park.

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Turf Wars, Part II

On the heels of the decade-long battle to renovate the Highlands Park playing surface with artificial turf, there has been another face-off brewing between the pro and anti-turf camps in San Carlos on how another popular park should be renovated:  Crestview Park.     The City of San Carlos had originally proposed replacing the aging pitch at Crestview Park with an artificial surface similar to the one that’s now in place at Highlands Park.   Because of park’s limitations in size and shape, it would only be lined for soccer use (similar to how it’s being utilized today).

Much as it did with the Highlands Park decision, the City of San Carlos took a close look at the long-term cost tradeoffs between turf and natural grass.  The installation cost for turf is much higher than grass, but that cost is recouped over time because turf requires very little maintenance.  Grass fields are cheaper and easier to install, but require the normal constant maintenance — watering, fertilizing, mowing — that any lawn would.    The City is also took into account the increased playability of artificial turf, which would allow more games to be played than on a natural surface, which needs to be closed periodically for rehabilitation.

Organized Opposition.

And just like with the Highlands Park conversion, there was a very well organized and vocal opposition to the proposal to replace the grass at Crestview Park with turf.  Save San Carlos Parks is a grass roots community group that is strongly opposed to artificial turf at Crestview.    They successfully raised the attention of the issue to community members, emailed City Council members, and attended the various Park and Rec meetings to voice their opposition.    Their presence was far greater and more organized than any pro-turf contingency at these meetings.

Even many in the local soccer community, who stand to gain the most by gaining more field hours, are in favor of keeping the surface natural at Crestview.  They point to the recent joint venture between the City of San Carlos and San Carlos AYSO where the pitch at Heather School was redone with natural grass as a model of how it can be done.

Park and Rec Recommendation.

In this coming Monday night’s City Council meeting (July 8th), the Council will be presented with the Park and Rec’s recommendation to remove artificial turf as an option for Crestview Park, which has to be viewed as a huge victory for the Save San Carlos Parks contingency.  But in the spirit of leaving nothing to chance, the group is still recommending on their website that supporters attend the Monday meeting and drive the point home with the City Council during the public commentary section of the meeting.

Here’s the recommendation in its entirety, from the public agenda:  Crestview Park.
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1000 Posts: A Milestone.

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# 1000.

This past week, another milestone was achieved on the White Oaks Blog that I would have thought was unfathomable when I started this site:  Blog post #1000.   1,000 different articles on life and real estate in San Carlos!  And when you consider that the average blog post is at least 600 words, that’s over 600,000 words typed on the site!    It’s no wonder that I’m already on my second computer, and #3 is probably not too far down the road.

In some respects, writing 1,000 different articles on a city with a population under 30,000 would seem to be a daunting task.   But when you dig below the surface, there’s a lot that goes on in our little city — there’s the downtown, the schools, the parks, the outsourcing of public services, and of course the one topic that seems to be of prime interest to just about everyone:  Real Estate.    We are lucky enough to live in a amazing little slice of the world, and in one of the most dynamic times in our history.  So finding material to write 1,000 articles about was actually much less difficult than finding the actual time to write them.   Thank goodness for mobile technology, because it has enabled me to capture the lightning in a jar before I could forget it.

I hope that there are another 500 or 1,000 ideas rattling around in my head, and that I have the time and desire to write them down.  It has been a ton of fun creating this site and watching it grow to where it is today.    I have met a lot of great people from the site, and it has become the core to my real estate business.  It has also served as a great way to indulge one of my lifelong passions — writing.

So a huge thank you to those that have followed the blog and have taken the time to comment on the site over the past 1,000 posts.  As I’ve said before, the direction of the site is far more influenced by what you say, rather than by what I write.

Now, it’s off to the second thousand set of posts!
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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Which are your favorite sushi restaurants in San Carlos? (You can vote for 2)

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