Thursday, August 30, 2012
Rate-A-Restaurant #278: Tin Leaf
Restaurant: Tin Leaf
Location: 6985 El Camino Real (Carlsbad)
Type of restaurant: Fast casual
We stipulated: Staying at a nearby hotel in Carlsbad, we wanted to carry out a fast but decent dinner to enjoy as a picnic..
They stipulated: Tin Leaf kitchen touts its "fast, casual, affordably priced, chef-quality food."
What we ordered: Sesame-crusted ahi plate ($12.95), which comes with two sides; we chose spicy Asian green beans and mac and cheese. Also: "Mom's meatloaf" ($12.95) with two sides; we chose sage stuffing and mac and cheese. Plus fresh-cut Belgian-style fries (order for two, $4.95) with two sauces: house spicy aioli and basil mayo.
High point: The fries sauces were homemade and great. The meals were also well-done for a fast casual spot and worth the expense. There was enough food there for the four of us, which meant we didn't have to order additional food for the kids (although Tin Leaf does offer a kids menu).
Low point: In a supreme screw up, they gave our order away to another person by mistake. Which meant I had to wait as they rushed a whole new order. Later, the other guy came back, and they gave him his much bigger order -- and didn't make him pay the difference. So he benefited from the inconvenience. Did they offer me anything for my troubles? No.
Overall impression: Right now Tin Leaf is just a single store, but I see potential in it opening other locations -- it's exactly the kind of upscale fast casual place you won't feel guilty about taking the kids to. And for lunch, the lesser-priced sandwich options look pretty good too.
Chance we'll go back: If we're back in Carlsbad (perhaps the next time we hit Legoland).