We were walking around our hotel on 5th street, and ran into Friar Tucks, and decided to stop by for lunch on a Monday, as Tommy Wok's was closed that day. On the front of the restaurant is a picture of a woman pushing the cook, who is pushing a live cow into the store, with a notation 'when freshness counts!'
Friar Tucks is a small quaint restaurant with several large windows, and booths for people to enjoy a good valued breakfast or lunch. They have a number of breakfast dishes under $9. Today we are here for their lunch.
We sit down in a comfortable booth with a window the entire length of the restaurant, overlooking 5th street, on the edge of downtown Carmel. From the ceiling hangs colored lanterns, baskets of hanging plants, utensils with the cathedral ceilings lined with photographs from Carmel's past, glass tiled pictures, and even a deer head trophy. Nostalgic times from the previous century.
I order their $6 special: a quarter pound hamburger with fries, while my wife, who lived in Santa Fe New Mexico for 18 years, orders the 'Mexican hamburger', with hot chilis.
Our orders are taken promptly, and we get our glasses filled with water right away, as there are only two other people in the restaurant. The cook/proprietor comes out and starts small talk with us. Friendly and congenial, to add to the charm of the place, and make us feel more at ease -the 'we treat you like family here' theme.
Our hamburgers arrive. The generous portion of fries are right off the stove, and too hot to touch, firm and tasty. My hamburger has lettuce, lots of raw onions, tomato, and a small paddy on a fresh kaiser roll -the quarter pound hamburger must have shrunk a lot during cooking. It tastes delicious, and my wife gives me a few extra raw onions off of her burger, before munching on it. She also gives it a thumbs up, which is pretty astonishing, as she is pretty strict on her standards of hot chili food in New Mexico.
I've been told that the cook/proprietor has been here for several decades, and that nothing has changed. This is a good restaurant to relax and wind down for breakfast or lunch, with terrific value without an attitude, amid the pricey and pompus restaurants of Carmel. We get out of there for $14 for the two of us for lunch, before tax and tip! And yes, they now take credit cards.
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