The Refuge

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The Refuge is a welcome sight along the Penisula and apparently everyone knows about it because this place is crowded!  Also, they just opened up a second location in Menlo Park.  Its hard to find a good pastrami place.  While the Refuge is good, its no where near LA's  Langer's (see post HERE) or New York Katz's.

The Reuben is the most popular dish here, but honestly dish here with pastrami is good.  Apparently, there's a secret menu item where you can order a plate of pastrami (aka the pastrami steak), which I think I would order next time I come back.  The pastrami slices are thick and chunk like Katz's, but a lot less salty.  While the meat is juicy with amazing flavor, it is missing the crispy edges.  My favorite is still Langer's where its perfection from the bread to the meat.  The bread here is sort of an afterthought, it really is all about the meat here.

I hate place that offer different types of fries.  It just makes it that much harder for me to decide.  I spent most of my time debating between the porky papas (french fries with bbq pulled pork, onions, and house made ranch), or the goofy fries (garlic fries topped with chopped pastrami and melted cheddar cheese sauce).  The porky papas are oddly addicting even though the fries aren't crispy and the pulled pork isn't very flavorful or plentiful.  I do like the tanginess of the ranch dressing.

Even with a meal that's as filling as this one, there is always room for dessert.  I rarely get bread pudding for dessert, but after many rave reviews about it I had to see what all the fuss was about.  The bread pudding came out a lot larger than expected with all sorts of goodies to decorate it with - chocolate sauce, bourbon caramel sauce, and butterscotch ice cream (your choice of ice cream flavor, but the only flavors left for today were butterscotch and coconut).  After drenching the bourbon caramel sauce all over the fluffy bread pudding, I have to say this is some pretty delicious bread pudding.    Fluffy in all the right spots with a nice crispy outer edge.  Bourbon caramel sauce is always awesome in my book, but this one had an added bourbon kick.  Originally, I had thought the butterscotch ice cream choice would be too sweet, but it wasn't at all and paired nicely with the bread pudding.

Address:                 The Refuge
                                963 Laurel St.
                                San Carlos, CA 
Type:                       sandwiches/American

Popular chomps:     reuben
                                 bread pudding
                                 pastrami salad
                                 garlic fries            
                                 Porky papas   
Chomp worthy:        reuben
                                 bread pudding      

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