The Trails – San Diego’s Restaurant Impossible?

So, this time Food Network’s show, Restaurant: Impossible, motivated us to try out a new restaurant called the Trails, a neighborhood eatery, located in the San Carlos area of San Diego.  In this series, the brawny, ex-British Navy chef, Robert Irvine takes on the challenge of renovating an unsuccessful restaurant in 2 days with a budget of $10,000.  We were curious to see if media-hype could benefit a struggling restaurant, and we were excited to try out their cinnamon roll pancakes.


Once we pulled into the strip mall parking lot where the restaurant was located, our question was answered with a resounding YES!  There were several groups of people waiting outside the restaurant, and we had to put our names in to wait about 30 minutes for a table.  It was a nice welcome to see a dispenser of complimentary coffee available for the waiting customers on a table outside.

The star of our visit was the cinnamon roll pancakes for $6.99.  For $2 more, you can add 2 eggs and 2 bacon or sausage.  The 2 pancakes were generous in size, fluffy and rich, made of swirls of cinnamon roll filling topped with a drizzle of cream cheese frosting.  They did not disappoint.  Parts of the pancake were crispy with crystallized sugar, but the majority of the pancake was fluffy, oozing with gooey caramelized butter, cinnamon, and sugar.  It was everything you would dream of in a cinnamon roll.  We were glad to have the cream cheese frosting drizzled in moderation, as it would have been too sweet without it.  But don’t get me wrong, it was as if we were eating dessert for breakfast.

To contrast this sugar overload, we also chose the San Diego Omelet.  The omelet was filled with bacon, avocado, tomatoes, mushrooms, and jack cheese.  It was served with home fries, fruit or grits and toast or biscuit on the side.  Expecting a standard omelet, we were happily surprised with the cook’s ability to not mess up the eggs.  More often than not, the eggs in an omelet will come out overdone.  On the contrary, these eggs were light and fluffy.  And with the combination of the ingredients listed above, who could go wrong with this choice?

It was neat to have the owner, Stacey, who was featured in the show, seated us.  Since the wait for our food was a bit long, our waitress even brought us a bowl of fresh fruit to enjoy.  This was a nice touch since customer service can easily be overlooked when a restaurant is bustling with customers.

The décor of the restaurant matched what we saw in the show.  The color theme of the restaurant was blue, lime green, and black with accents of bright red.  Complimenting this color scheme, the paisley print wallpaper and the blown-up black and white family photos gave the restaurant a modern, retro country home feel.

All in all, we enjoyed our visit to the Trails and we would agree that Restaurant Impossible was successful in this challenge.

Food Network is re-airing this episode on Jan 1, 2012 at 1pm.  For more info, go to:

The Trails
7389 Jackson Drive
San Diego, CA 92119
(619) 667-2233

The Trails Neighborhood Eatery on Urbanspoon

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