Ike’s Place has gotten plenty of hype lately. It’s been on the Food Network, it was mentioned on 7×7’s list of things you need to eat before you die, and now they’re expanding like crazy. So much so they actually ended up opening one in the Redwood Shores area. Close enough for me to visit during my lunch break.
I visited them on two occasions. The first time, I tried the “Name of the Girl I’m Dating” (#9). It’s chopped Halal chicken breast with avocado, pepperjack cheese and honey mustard, dressed with their famous dirty sauce (which is a mixture of mayo, garlic, and herbs). It was good, but way too over the top. It was total excess. It was not the kind of good you’d tell your friends about or dream about going back for. I felt like telling them, “Stop trying so hard!”
So I went back for something I usually crave: Chicken Fried Steak. They have a sammie called “Forty!?” that has chicken fried steak, dirty sauce, and cheddar cheese. Can’t go wrong, right? Wrong! The meat was greasy and flavorless. So greasy that the oils had soaked into the bread, mixed in with the oils in the dirty sauce, and became one big gloppy mess. It wasn’t worth ordering again, for sure.
So this is a classic example of hype over substance. There are far better sandwich joints in the area (Lorenzo’s), or even out of the area (Bakesale Betty, Roli Roti, Kitchenette). Now, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps I need to go to their flagship restaurant to get the true experience. But if you’re going to expand like gangbusters, you’d better make sure your product doesn’t suffer.
Ike’s Place – 555 Twin Dolphin Dr., Redwood Shores – Other locations throughout S.F. and the Bay Area