Review: Cafe 400, San Mateo, CA

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | September 25th, 2008 | Restaurant Reviews

Another business day in California means another day of looking for a place to grab lunch.  As I had a quiet afternoon scheduled for Wednesday, I decided to work from the public library for that portion of the day.  Searching the internet for cafes in downtown San Mateo, I came across Cafe 400.

Reading the reviews for this cafe, many customers raved about it.  One comment that I saw repeated by different authors was the delicious turkey sandwich served on Tuesdays.  Sadly, I wasn’t going to get to experience that.  However, I do like a good sandwich, and this cafe is located around the corner from the library, so it was a perfect fit.

Cafe 400 is named for its building number on South El Camino Real.  Luckily, I had read that this cafe was located inside an office building, as it wasn’t immediately apparent that there was a restaurant inside.  However, as I got closer to the building, I did notice a small sign directing people toward the cafe.

The cafe is small with four tables inside and five tables outside.  However, the menu was very large.  With more than twenty sandwiches on the regular menu and half a dozen on the specials board, it was hard to choose.  Plus, you can choose toppings (most for free, though a few have a minimal charge) and type of bread.

I decided to go with the cafe’s namesake, the Cafe 400, which is on the Special Sandwiches list.  This sandwich consists of a chicken breast with jack cheese, carmelized onions, pesto sauce, lettuce, and tomato on a toasted roll.  I opted to have mine served on a whole wheat wrap, which was an excellent choice.  The wrap was filled with ingredients, and the addition of a heavier bread would have made it too filling for me.  Served with a garnish of shredded lettuce and some tasty pickle slices, it made a delicious lunch.

Beside the great sandwich, Cafe 400 offered excellent service.  My order was taken promptly at the counter and was ready within minutes.  Additionally, although the food is served cafeteria style, a staff member, possibly the owner, took the time to check that I was pleased with my sandwich during my lunch.

Another day in San Mateo, another great lunch!

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