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Oct 22, 2008 08:56 PM

Jack's Prime, San Mateo

We stopped in at the new diner in San Mateo, called Jack's Prime. It looked really new -- I loved the decor; both modern and dinerish at the same time.
We just had snacks. the teens had fries and sodas, we split a Wine Country burger, with a turkey pattie instead of beef. Nicely done. Goat cheese, and onions done in wine was interesting.... No garnish though.
However, we also had the sweet potato fries! Scrumptious! And now we don't have to go into the city for sweet potato fries anymore.
We're definitely gonna go back.

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  1. Have been 4 times and must say that this place opened with a lot of potential but has slid downhill fast. The service is horrible. A very young staff that doesn't seem well trained or managed. Have seen food sit on the counter, orders go wrong, staff members chatting while tables are unserved, you get the idea. I think the owner is not there much of the time and his young staff is phoning it in because it's a low paying, part time job for them. Sadly, the food is hit and miss, mostly miss. Some interesting flavors, but seriously lacking in execution. Cold buns, overcooked meat, undercooked fries are pretty typical. Had one good burger and good sweet potato fries on my first visit right after they opened. Since then, three strikes in a row, each worse than the previous. There are much better burgers for your buck in this area. Jefferey's, Marvin Gardens, Sneakers, Refuge.

    1. Hmmm ... sweet potato fries ... shakes using Double Rainbow ice cream and Clover milk ... Diestel turkey burgers ... Meyer Ranch Beef ... wine and beer ... and a website that is set up for 'locations'. Looks like someone who wants to be the next Taylor's and become an upscale burger chain.

      Jack’s Prime Burgers & Shakes
      3723 S El, Camino Real San Mateo, CA 94403

      5 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        He may want to be the next Taylor's, but Jack's is not even in the same league. Not even close. If they don't execute well, it doesn't matter where the ingredients come from. The shakes we had were very good, but we only had it once so I can't speak to the consistency. However, the burgers and fries are definitely hit and miss.

        1. re: Shane Greenwood

          We've been several times now, and have always found it to be good. What day or time of day do you go? We bring the teens in for a weeknight dinner mostly.

          1. re: Kim Cooper

            We went on weekday evenings around 7:30 or 8:00 pm. Haven't been back in awhile though.

            1. re: Kim Cooper

              Since this is a resurrection of an old thread, I will also add that I contacted the owner about the service and cleanliness issues back in January (after our last visit). He acknowledged the problems and told me that steps were being taken to improve. So maybe it's better now. Hopefully someone with recent experience can post.

            2. re: Shane Greenwood

              Ive been three times. I had a shake the first time which was not very good, but the burgers and fries were excellent. The second was right before closing, they only had wheat buns, which were good, but not what we wanted, and the fries werent nearly as crispy as they had been or should have been. I think they turned the oil off and were using residual heat. The third was perfect. Burgers cooked perfect, fries crispy and hot, service as you would expect from a place of the sort. Im happy with the place. I think it is apparent that they didnt deliver because of going in so late, which is not so great, but I forgive this easily. Im in the food and beverage industry, and if you have been at work since 12, and want to try to clean up a little early, its relatively excusable. I think its rude to go in 15 mins. before closing in the first place, but I didnt realize they were closing.

          2. On Monday I slid in at 8:55pm thinking that it stayed open until 10. No, it closes at 9pm on Sundays and Mondays I would learn later when my bill came. But the staff were welcoming and bid me sit down, giving no inkling that I would be the last customer of the day.

            I tried the Great with Beer burger . . . but unfortunately, no beer beverage for me as I had a long drive ahead. The Niman Ranch beef was medium-rare as ordered, shellacked with swiss cheese and topped with well-sauteed mushrooms.

            I liked the pale ale mayo. The egg bread bun's quite light and soft and needs a heavier toasting to give it some backbone.

            The other shortcomings were that the patty was a bit rubbery and the side salad I opted for instead of fries.

            The real reason to order this particular burger would be for the deep-fried pickle slices inserted as a garnish. They add a real flavor pop and satisfying crunch. I'd be inclined to come back for just these, served with Russian dressing.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I ate here last week too, coming back from a thing in SF. There was a special lamb/beef burger (they called it something greek like the Athens burger) which I found to be rather nice in every way. No beer for me either, but the patty was juicy, the taste of lamb wasn't overbearing, and the potatoes were good. I did leave saying "I thought this place was better last time I et here", but it was a pleasant enough experience. I'm starting to like Five Guys better, though.

              1. re: bbulkow

                Then I'm glad I mentioned it. The staff couldn't have been nicer, especially since it was the end of shift, one reason I decided to post, as service issues had been mentioned before. But yes, you are right, a $10 burger experience should deliver more on the food end.

            2. I've been tempted to go in because the decor (from the outside) looks fancy, unfortunately everytime I walk or drive by, I never seen any diners inside. Given I work down the street, I'll probably eventually give it a try.

              Food I have eatten at