What Restaurant Do You Most Miss?

Restaurants come and restaurants go, but will always be missed. Tell us which ones you'd like to see come back to town.

When my husband and I first moved to the Peninsula 20 years ago, we celebrated the closing of our home by having lunch at what neighbors told us was a very special place in the Carlmont Village Shopping Center---The Pine Brook Inn.

Known for its authentic German fare, roaming accordion player, huge beer steins and friendly staff, The Pine Brook Inn quickly became the go-to spot to bring visiting family members and friends.

And being New Yorkers, we were thrilled to find a real East Coast pizza at Sal's on El Camino Real in San Carlos. Sal's was another one of those special places we would go to for comfort food and some real Italian hospitality.

Both The Pine Brook Inn and Sal's are long gone ---and some good restaurants have taken their place (Hola Mexican Restaurant is now at the Pine Brook spot and Applewood Pizza resides on Sal's old site), but we still occasionally "pine" for the Pine Brook Inn, and crave the eggplant and garlic pizza that Sal used to make.

Are there any eating establishments in Belmont and San Carlos that you'd like to see return? Any there any new ones that are particularly welcome additions?  Tell us in the comment section below.

Rick Donaldson March 26, 2014 at 09:09 PM
A couple more for the road- the Starlite Drive-in Theatre on Harbor Blvd in Belmont. My family watched countless films here up into the 1960's- and enjoyed the cuisine served at the snack bar. Especially those hot-dogs with re-hydrated onions, along with the Ghirardelli chocolate "flicks" in a tube - what happened to those? Not to forget the Redwood Drive-in Redwood City, which showed up a bit later. And Hillbarn theatre (plays) on El Camino in San Mateo, about where the Borel Shopping Center is now. I recall that it looked like an old church.
Phillip Bailey March 26, 2014 at 09:21 PM
@Rick: We did the tour of the drive in out by Coyote Point and also the Starlite. Drive-Ins are everywhere in the Midwest. Flicks are STILL around http://www.flickscandy.com/ I think the Hillbarn moved to Foster City and is still going strong. Did you ever put friends in the trunk on the way to the drive in?
Rick Donaldson March 26, 2014 at 10:18 PM
I think those were the Burlingame Drive-ins out by Coyote Point - built on land fill partly from the debris of the old San Mateo Bridge. Saw Woodstock there in 1970, among other films. Indeed, I did the Drive-in sneak in thing when I was at school up near Eureka. Also drove off with a speaker in the window on a couple of occasions. I'll have to check the Flicks website you provided- haven't seen those in decades - - That's a find. So Hillbarn is now in Foster City- I think they bladed the old place on El Camino when they built the 19th Ave Freeway - or whatever it's called now.
Phillip Bailey March 27, 2014 at 03:13 PM
The Original Borel Estates were a kick. We'd scamper through there and if we weren't careful the so called caretaker would shoot buckshot at us.... Also ABOVE Alameda de las Pulgas the was an estate named Count Marc De Tristan - and it was amazing how large of a piece of land it was. When they built Aragon HS they used part of that property. Located ABOVE that High School is what is now referred to as NEW Hillsborough.
Rick Donaldson March 28, 2014 at 11:52 AM
I remember the Borel property mainly because it was dense with trees and Alameda narrowed to two lanes in that stretch. Not familiar with the Tristan property, except my Wife did go to Aragon, so I know that spot. However, I am familiar with the Tobin-Clark estate - adjacent to CSM - and wandered around there in a Jeep in the early 1970's. Also there was a big chunk of land in the vicinity of the former (?) Borel's restaurant, which was sort of an unofficial off-road vehicle park for a while, known locally as "J-p Hill." Sugarloaf in Hillsdale was used for similar purposes. I have no idea who owned those pieces of open-space. I think Sugarloaf is relatively intact.


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