By Dan Lieberman,
I have a first world problem; I love French food but lack the time, money and disposition for anything fancy. Thankfully, I work in San Carlos, and every day when I go to and from the Caltrain station, I pass La Cuisinett and their fast casual take on traditional French cuisine. Our group enters in the middle of the lunch rush, finding a colorful and crowded cacophony of customers. Since Californians are terrified by even the concept of rain, we grab a table outside under the heat lamps and overhang after placing our orders. Water and silverware was quickly brought to us as we watched the passers-by and eyeballed other tables to see if we had ordered well. Our food came quickly, and we wasted no time. The steak sandwich hit the spot, with thick-cut, yet tender steak smothered in peppers and onions and drizzled with harissa aioli and a handful of crispy thin-cut frites. The Quiche Provençale had a flakey crust filled with smooth, creamy eggs and well-seasoned vegetables, and was served alongside a decadently dressed salad. The filet of trout was served with a creamy mustard sauce, which complemented the crispy, flakey fish well, while the sautéed spinach with shallot confit gave me the appearance of healthful eating while delivering the butter I sought. Finally, the crème brulee was dark in color on top with a thick shell yielding with a satisfying crunch to the creamy center, giving the hint of the smokiness held within a toasted marshmallow. Amazingly, we ate well in under a half an hour, something that Jacques Pépin would clearly turn his nose up at. San Carlos has no short supply of wonderful restaurants, but if you’re waiting on a train and need a quick bite, La Cuisinett has got your number.
Chew Chew Train is a monthly blog feature highlighting places to eat along the Caltrain line. If you have a suggestion for a future restaurant, please email Public Information Officer Dan Lieberman at firstname.lastname@example.org.