What’s on the Menu?

This week’s walks were aimed at two new dining options, neither of which is actually in Redwood City, although both are mere steps beyond the city’s borders. On the way, of course, I encountered a number of non-food-related items worth remarking on; I’ll go over those after I get into the two main subjects of this week’s post.

First up, Noshery. This relatively new venture (their first location was in San Mateo) is located at 1754 Laurel St. in San Carlos, in the spot where the 3 Pigs barbecue restaurant used to do business. Although Noshery technically is a restaurant — it does have a small number of tables inside — it primarily caters to the pickup and delivery crowds. What makes Noshery somewhat is the fact that they’ve worked closely with a number of popular restaurants, and serve select items from each. Currently, the San Carlos store is serving items from five distinctly different places:

  • The Melt (burgers and fries)
  • Oren’s Hummus (a large variety of Mediterranean delicacies)
  • East Side Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches, bowls, and salads)
  • The Little Chihuahua (Mexican food)
  • Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Noshery uses recipes obtained from each of the above restaurants, and has trained its staff to correctly follow those recipes by sending them to work in the actual restaurant kitchens. Noshery’s “restaurant partners” then sign off on the end products, thereby ensuring that what Noshery is serving is of the same quality as what you’d get if you went to the partnering restaurant.

I should note that Noshery doesn’t always serve every item on a partner’s menu. If you want one of The Melt’s signature grilled-cheese sandwiches, for instance, you’ll have to get it from The Melt at Stanford Shopping Center; Noshery only serves The Melt’s burgers and fries, at least at this time. I do suspect, though, that Noshery’s list of restaurant partners and the menu items it serves from each will change over time as feedback comes in from patrons. Bolstering my suspicion is the fact that Noshery’s first location, which is in downtown San Mateo, has eight restaurant partners. In addition to the five currently represented in San Carlos, the San Mateo location also partners with:

  • Kasa Indian Eatery
  • C&C Curry House
  • The Pastry Cupboard

Plus, Noshery’s San Mateo location serves both the “Three Cheese Classic” grilled cheese sandwich and the “Kid’s Grilled Cheese” from The Melt. Thus, it may only be a matter of time before San Carlos gains some or all of these additional partners, and these and other additional menu items.

I have yet to give Noshery a try, although I understand its been open for about a month now, in soft-opening mode. If you are reading this in time, Noshery’s San Carlos location is having their “Grand Opening / Ribbon Cutting” on Saturday, August 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is advertising “games, good food, and prizes,” so you may want to check it out. Noshery in San Carlos is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; it is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Noshery has some of the characteristics of a “ghost kitchen,” although because you can walk in and order, and then sit down and enjoy your meal, it is something else. Noshery calls itself a “food hall,” presumably to reflect the fact that it operates a bit like a food court. For a true ghost kitchen, though, you have to head just south (and east) of the Redwood City border, as I did, to 426 MacArthur Ave. There you will find a ghost kitchen called Redwood City Eats:

Like Noshery, Redwood City Eats serves up food from a couple of distinctly different restaurants. Three, in fact:

  • The Counter (custom burgers)
  • Pamilya (modern Filipino comfort food)
  • Chicken Strips and Dips

Redwood City Eats is a true ghost kitchen, in that although you can pick up your order there (which you have to do if you order from its website) you must place your order either online or by phone, and it has no place for you to sit and eat what you ordered. Really, though, most people will order to have their food delivered, by placing their order either on the individual restaurant website or on the website of one of the popular delivery services. So, for instance, if you are in the mood for one of The Counter’s custom hamburgers, you can either go to The Counter’s website or you can go to DoorDash’s website, click “Burgers,” and then select “The Counter Burger.” However you do it, if you are in the area serviced by Redwood City Eats (as I believe all of Redwood City is), your order will be prepared in the ghost kitchen in North Fair Oaks, rather than at one of The Counter’s actual restaurant locations.

Thanks to both Redwood City Eats and Noshery, we now have a number of new dining options. They may not look like, or, in some cases, act like, conventional restaurants, but especially for those of us who prefer to pick up our food and eat it elsewhere, and those who prefer to have their food delivered, these two new ventures go a long way towards increasing our choices when it comes to dining.

I had meant my walk to Noshery to be a relatively short one, but as is often the case when I get going, I kept thinking of other things I wanted to check up on. Thus, I ended up walking a good way into San Carlos, after which I headed out to Industrial Road and followed it back to Whipple Avenue. On the way, I spent some time watching the construction at 1091 Industrial Road, where the steel structure of a three-story life-science building is rapidly coming together:

There is still quite a bit of steel to go: this building will have a total of just under 140,000 square feet of office and lab space once completed.

From where I took the above photograph (at the corner of Brittan Avenue and Industrial Road), it was only a few short steps to check on the progress of the project that has recently gotten underway at 1030 Brittan Ave.:

This project, too, is to construct a three-story research-and-development space, although it will be a bit smaller, at only 96,000 square feet. Formerly this property consisted entirely of a surface parking lot; the equipment you see above is working on the beginning stages of the single-level subterranean parking garage that will lie beneath the new building.

After visiting the two San Carlos development projects, I next wanted to get some additional “before” photographs of some parcels just east of Highway 101 in Redwood City: the Century Park 12 theater site, plus the parcels immediately to the north of that. There are some significant housing projects in the planning process for this part of Redwood City, and since they seem to finally be moving closer to the point where they might win city approval, I wanted to have some images for use when they get to that point. Given their location, I had to cross Highway 101 at Whipple Avenue, something I never like doing. As I did so, though, I was interested to see that someone is living on the small triangle of land between the freeway and the southbound onramp to the freeway from Whipple Avenue:

There’s only one tent, and the occupant (or occupants) seem to be keeping the area immediately around the tent clear. But although I can’t prove a connection, nearby on that same parcel I also observed this:

Unfortunately, trash piles like this seem to accompany many of the tent encampments around our city. After I finished photographing the properties I was interested in, I crossed over Redwood Creek in order to check up on the projects going on just south of that body of water. And as I did, I couldn’t help but see this:

Again, I can’t prove a direct connection between the tent (and the others just beneath the freeway here, not visible in the above photograph) and the rather large pile of trash nearby, but…

After checking on the progress of the Blomquist Extension, I followed Maple Street up and over the freeway. On the other side, I happened to notice a fair number of vehicles parked behind the seemingly empty Kmart building:

Although I still don’t know exactly what is going on here, from checking the recent building permits for the property it is clear that the building is being converted to some sort of office or factory use. The building has recently been given a new roof, and there is a pending permit application for “Installation of new fire alarm system. Full building remodel.” But the most interesting permit is one that was granted some time ago, and has yet to get final sign-off, meaning that work on it continues: “Demo of selected non-load bearing partition, new restroom, conference room & entry lobby.”

Given that the building consists primarily of one large open space, dividing it up with “non-load bearing partitions” makes plenty of sense. But when you also consider that it has very few windows — mainly, just the ones on the front and the few high ones on the side facing Maple Street you can see above — it doesn’t seem likely that the entire building is being converted to offices. Rather, I’m guessing that it is being refitted for a tech company of some sort that will be developing and/or manufacturing some sort of hardware product. Perhaps Joby Aviation, who once had a presence in Redwood City but moved to a larger space on Industrial Road in San Carlos — into a building that will be torn down if the massive Alexandria Center for Life Science project is approved — is looking for a new home. Or perhaps Dexterity, Inc., a robotics company currently operating out of the old Kohlweiss Auto Parts space in the Veterans Square shopping center (just across Maple Street from the Kmart building) is growing and needs much more space. Whomever the remodel is being done for — and I can’t imagine this project is being done on spec, particularly given that the “For Lease” signs have been taken down — we’ll find out soon. But know that not only is Kmart long gone, that building doesn’t have a future as a retail space.

That’s about it for this week, but allow me to share some photographs showing the latest progress on the county’s office building project on Marshall Street:

The progress to note here are the glass panels that are starting to clothe the building. The four slightly angled tips of the “H”-shaped building will be almost entirely glass, as you can see here. As for the rest of the building, though, except for on the ground floor, where concrete and glass are being used, much of it will be covered in glass panels that are deeply inset into metal frames. Here’s a closeup of some of those frames (just above the concrete panel, where the two people are working):

This truly is going to be one interesting building. I for one can’t wait to see it with its completed exterior.

1 thought on “What’s on the Menu?

  1. My grandson and I, two weeks ago, were trying to find the “Korean Pop-up.” Turns out, it is connected to what I just learned from you is a ghost kitchen. It’s a big building called DoorDash. No one goes inside, but we were able to order from a little kiosk outside and wait for our food to be brought out. Mainly, of course, there was a stream of DoorDashers picking up food ordered from many different restaurants.

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