San Mateo Prime Restaurant Review, San Mateo


San Mateo Prime

174 East 3rd Ave (Near Ellsworth)

San Mateo, CA 94401


San Mateo Prime Website

San Mateo Prime Exterior Decor

San Mateo Prime restaurant opened in late 2007 in Downtown San Mateo. They specialize in dry aged prime rib cooked with rock salt and slowly roasted. We have driven by many times and decided it was time for a prime rib dinner. San Mateo Prime is modeled after places like House of Prime Rib in San Francisco and Lawry’s The Prime Rib. Entrees come with hot corn bread, salad, popover, and choice of two side dishes.

San Mateo Prime Interior Decor

Decor, Vibe – Modern, cozy front bar area with stylish bottle wattle. Airy main dining room with high ceilings, clean trim decor, booths lining the walls. They had a meat cart in the back but did not wheel it around. Couples, friends, some families, mostly in their 40’s and 50’s were dining. More folks in the bar upfront enjoying cocktails and appetizers.

Menu (Click to zoom into any picture)

San Mateo Prime Menu

Website Menu


San Mateo Prime Prime Rib

Prime Rib 16oz ($34.50) – The San Mateo Prime Cut was a good sized bone-in portion in a perfect medium rare. Tender meat and a nice delectable bone. Nice au jus enhanced the meat flavor. They even asked if we wanted seconds.

San Mateo Prime Mixed Greens

Mixed Baby Green Salad with Balsamic Vinegar was a pretty simple salad that looked like it got poured out of a bag. Sides: Bake Potato was pretty mundane, lots of sides but not a lot of high end potato flavor. Creamed Spinach was too creamy and had lots of cream chunks in it.

San Mateo Prime Popover

Popover was like nice warm mini brioche, just a little less eggy.

San Mateo Prime Jr Prime Rib

Junior cut Prime Rib ($10.95) for kids 12 and younger was a good sized thin cut of meat. House of Prime Rib has an English Cut that is similar to this. The thinness lets it soak all the au jus up, making it really flavorful. Kids also get a salad with this making this a great value.

San Mateo Prime Garlic Fries

Sides: Creamed corn was not very creamy and more pure corn. Garlic Fries fried with real garlic and were good.

San Mateo Prime Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon ($38.50) Grilled and served with thick Bearnaise sauce was cooked to a perfect medium rare. Meat was thick, tender, and had good flavor. Did not taste like a long 21 day+ dry aged steak though.

San Mateo Prime House Salad

House Salad with ranch dressing with beets, eggs is a classic beef place salad. This one was a little lighter dressing wise and salty wise than most. Sides: Fresh Garlic Linguine was a nice sized portion, cooked al dente. Traditional Mashed Potato with Gravy was very creamy and perfect for accompanying meat.


San Mateo Prime Cheesecake

New York Style Cheesecake ($5.50) with fresh berries and Melba sauce was price reasonable and home made. Not as dense as most version, but a classic dessert for a meat eater.


San Mateo Prime had friendly and very good service. No need to ask for refills, etc. Food was very good but priced on the high end of San Mateo’s culinary spectrum making this more of a special occasion place. If you are seeking prime rib on the San Francisco Peninsula, give this place a try. We feel House of Prime Rib in San Francisco is a notch above this place and only a couple bucks more. Kid’s Menu available.

They have Happy Hour with drink and appetizer specials Monday – Friday 5-7pm. 2 page wine list with moderate markup, bottles from $24, glasses from $6, corkage $20.

San Mateo Prime on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Map:

San Mateo Prime Overall Rating: (Very Good 2.5)

Come Back?

Food Rating: (Very Good)
Service Rating: (Very Good)
Atmosphere Rating: (Very Good)
Value Rating: (Good)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Full Bar
Hours:Mon - Fri 11am-2pm, Daily 5-10pm
Prices:$18.50 - $38.50

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