The winner of Palo Alto Weekly's Best Breakfast award for more than 20 years, Hobee's remains a Silicon Valley institution where night owls and early birds flock together over generous portions of home-cooked delectables in a cozy, casual atmosphere. Browse the menu for a breakfast of three sweet-potato pancakes ($6.75), any of six hash-brown varieties ($7.97), or the Hi Hat Ommie—a combination of diced ham and jack and cheddar cheeses, with country-style hash browns hidden inside like human dignity inside a San Diego Chicken costume ($9.75). Otherwise, prop up eyelids with a simmering cup of Hobee's famous cinnamon orange tea ($2.35) paired with its equally famous blueberry coffee cake ($2.50). Late arrivals to Hobee's can still tickle their taste buds with a bouquet of options such as the honey-pineapple teriyaki salmon ($10.95), the grilled chicken with tropical fruit salsa ($10.95), or the Very Gouda BBQ burger piled high with caramelized onions, rich barbeque sauce, and a Wisconsin's worth of gouda ($9.25).
The burrito sits steaming on its plate at Casita Linda Mexican Restaurant. Like a bomb-squad technician, the curious diner wants to know how this thing ticks, and cuts an intricate window in the fresh tortilla casing. Tender beans, rice, and pico de gallo nestle in tangles of shredded chicken. It could have been carnitas, asada, or tender al pastor. The staccato snap of fajitas against the scalding onyx surface of the skillet interrupts the quiet and draws eyes to the menu. In minutes, the kitchen erupts with individual tacos and chipotle-infused enchiladas crowded with fistfuls of pork and beef. Plates clatter onto tables, and the comfortable silence of a meal in full swing fills the eatery as the sun beats down outside upon the red-clay tiled roof.
Dream Dinners founders Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna want to help families gather around the table for delicious meals. Like many parents throughout the country, the two women tried to coordinate a family dinner, but their efforts were often thwarted by hectic schedules. As a dinnertime strategy, Stephanie began to prepare meals with fresh, raw ingredients and then freeze them so they could be quickly thawed and cooked during the week. This tactic became popular with her family. Before long, friends, friends of friends, and chimpanzee families that mimicked their friends wanted to learn her secrets. With help from Tina Kuna, she established the first Dream Dinners location, and the successful food-prep business has led to the creation of more than 90 stores in less than three years.
At each Dream Dinners location, customers find all the culinary tools to prepare a nutritious meal—everything from fresh ingredients to meal-packing materials. Each week Dream Dinners features a new menu of fix-and-freeze dinners that can be made for up to six people, providing customers with numerous options for planning quiet meals at home or dinner parties with friends. All ingredients are precut and measured to ensure an error-free fixing.
With more than 25 years of service in San Jose, City Diner continues to deliver a1950s diner experience with friendly service, a full menu made from local ingredients, and bread delivered fresh every morning. For breakfast, customers can try a short stack of fluffy pancakes ($5.99), which chefs can dot with sliced banana or chocolate chips to form intricate pancake portraits of James Dean ($6.99). Cooks seal the savory union of ingredients in the barbecue-bacon cheeseburger with a crispy onion ring set on top of a certified Angus beef patty ($8.99). City Diner also whips together 66 flavors of 1950s-style milk shakes, with flavors ranging from traditional vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ($3.99) to decadent butterscotch chocolate chip, peanut-butter Oreo malt, and pineapple chocolate strawberry ($4.99). Four-top tables and spacious booths keep vigil over the diner’s checkered floors, and pictures and movie memorabilia deck its white walls in old-time nostalgia, coming alive at night to dance the hand jive.
At Holder's Country Inn, pancakes for dinner is always an option—and the pancakes come in a variety of styles, too, from chocolate-infused to blueberry-topped. The restaurant serves its breakfast plates all day, a selection that also includes omelets, golden waffles, and corned-beef hash. For lunch and dinner, though, diners can choose from traditional options as well, including new york steak, pasta, and sandwiches such as the turkey avocado melt.