Monday, November 05, 2007

Things I'll Miss Monday- The Food

I have been pondering a series of posts in which I show you the things I will miss once we are living in India. You see, I am not just some recent Valley transplant who came here in the midst of the dot com bloom or any other such Silicon Valley growing spurt. I have lived in the Bay Area for most of my life, since I was two and the Summer of Love was on the horizon. I remember the orchards, the greenhouses, the mobile home parks and taking the bus to the end of the line and back again on lazy Summer days- just because. So, this place is home. What will I miss?

Well, let's start with the food. ;)

Admittedly, there are few establishments that have been around since I was a kid, but there are a few, like

El Faro
No, it isn't necessarily the best Mexican food in town, though it is good. The decor leaves something to be desired- but I have fond memories of going there as a child, ordering corn tortillas with butter (fresh!) and trying to outdo my dad with eating chips and as much hot sauce as we could stand, my eyes watering as I smiled and asked for more.
Marie Callendar's
We used to go to the one on El Camino on Sunnyvale and it is still there. It was a real treat for us and I always loved the napkins that said "Apple Pie without some cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze." Still haven't tried apple pie with cheese, but mom got Thanksgiving pies there for years (we now make them ourselves and they taste much better- Mom just isn't much of a baker!)
Peninsula Creamery
This place definitely still exists and the long lines on any given weekend morning will attest to its popularity. Now, with that said it is a very different place from when I was young. This was one of our favorite hang outs when I was a young punk rocker art student in high school. We would hit all of the thrift stores in downtown Palo Alto (used to be tons!!!!), peruse the used record shops and then head to the creamery for a bite to eat. It's decor was sort of a leftover mish mash of 50's, 60's and 70's with evidence of years of greasy food on the decidedly off white walls. Our favorites? Tuna sandwiches, burgers, and the best milkshakes anywhere, made with real Peninsula Creamery ice cream (Emerald Isle, yum!) The grumpy old lady waitresses who called us all "Sweetie" were the best!

This is another still popular spot that has evolved into a chain, but I remember going to the first Hobee's, still there on Central Expressway and Rengstorff in Mountain View and all I can say is that they also had the best burgers and milkshakes. They were sort of the health food version of the all American burger stand and really my memory can recall none that bested them! My favorite booth to sit in had the picture of the card playing dogs hanging above it. Last time I ate there they still had the picture!

Falafel Drive-In
This is a more recent discovery for me since I have moved a little further South in the last 12 years, but it has been around forever, always has a line and is just really good, simple, and inexpensive food. Best. Falafels. Banana Shakes. etc. Yum.
La Costena
This grocery store with the burrito bar in the back is just the best, best, BEST place to get a burrito. I used to work occasionally across the street and I would walk over, buy an extra large burrito for a few dollars and it would be enough food for an entire day. Have to thank Peter Kirkeby for introducing me to this, but they are still here and still cheap!
Barefoot Coffee Roasters
No, they haven't been around forever, yet. But I couldn't let a post about local food stuff go by without giving them a mention. They are quickly becoming a South Bay mainstay- why? They are simply the best coffee house ever. I have never tasted a latte as good as theirs (and if you ever get one from Monica you will consider yourself blessed!) anywhere. I will seriously miss their coffee, both roasted to take home and their drinks, best enjoyed "for here".

Latte by Ariel

Now, before I forget- again- I wanted to let you all know that my dear husband has also started a blog. Go say "Hi!" and welcome him to the blogosphere!

Next up? Knitting and other fiber-y pursuits.


spinnity said...

Hey Snid -- Excellent choices, esp. Felafel Drive In. And don't worry -- all these things.. we'll keep 'em warm for you while you are gone. When you get back from the big adventure, you can have a grand reunification tour and visit them all again. said...

I will definitely give some of these places a try--I'm on the peninsula.

I found your blog while searching the net for knitting stores in Bangalore...I will be there in Jan or Feb for a month. This is what I found:

Pauline said...

I've lived here for over 30 years and there's still places to discover!

Count me in on the reunification tour!

Lynne said...

Wow - you are leaving the Bay area (and it looks like you are in South Bay) and we are moving there in six weeks! Weird, huh?
So now I know of a place for DH to get coffee. He doesn't think much of coffee in the USA - too much percolator/drip, not enough good espresso!
I shall have to read back through more bits and bobs - I presume you've done the yarn stores you['ll miss?

Bikerdude said...

Hi there,

Just thought id write in and say welcome to Bangalore. Lots of things in common between the two cities: Lots of geeks, gorgeous weather, a shifting cultural ethos, and a 50% english speaking population :)

Nevertheless, I'm sure you'll have a good time here. Try and live in the older parts of town and you might get to sample some vestiges of the old laid-back Bangalore culture :)


knitphomaniac said...

It's amazing how much value we steep into food, where and how we eat!