There are times when people go out to dinner with the hopes of trying something new, or unexpected. That can be fun, but there's also something to be said for the comforting and familiar. Archie's American Diner gets this. The diner packs its menu with all the staples one would expect, unless of course this is your first visit to a diner, or the planet Earth. Hamburgers and patty melts, chili and clam chowder, BLTs and grilled cheeses?this is comfort food at its most classic. To switch things up, daily fish specials are offered along with fish 'n' chips, calamari sandwiches, and fish-taco wraps.
From a business started in 1979 inside a tiny house on Mission Street, Saturn Cafe has grown into a green-certified restaurant filled with decorated tables, colorful booths, and a retro feel. Every night chefs whip up local and organic ingredients into vegan and vegetarian versions of traditional American diner staples.
In the kitchen, cooks prepare award-winning fries in trans-fat free oil that they recycle into bio-diesel fuel, and craft a BLT on sourdough with fakin' bacon. Skilled hands assemble omelets with organic eggs, red onions, and red chard, and whip up vegan and vegetarian milkshakes to wash down wheat- and gluten-free bites.
Center Street Bar & Grill's airy interior blooms with the aroma of classic American fare, with a subtle nod to Asian cuisines. Center Street Bar & Grill's dinner menu sets the feasting at a fever pitch with robust plates such as the grilled skirt steak with blue cheese ($17.95) and the fiery southwest chicken pasta, corralling corn kernels, red and green peppers, and onions doused in a creamy chipotle sauce ($14.95). The loaded lunch menu, which shares many items with its dinner counterpart, coaxes taste buds into a trot with a starter of calamari fritti ($10.95) or one of seven salads, such as the ahi tuna with capers, frolics, and kalamata olives ($13.95). For the main attraction, five gourmet pizzas and nine lush sandwiches sandwich an eclectic selection of entrees, such as the lemon oregano chicken breast ($13.95) or the spinach-ricotta ravioli ($12.95). The restaurant also sports wireless Internet access and a remodeled garden patio shaded by umbrellas and jealously hovering clouds.
In 2009, Guy Fieri visited Santa Cruz Diner for an episode of Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and even he was surprised by the diner's diverse selection. The kitchen staff prepares everything from American favorites such as burgers and meatloaf to Vietnamese dishes such as pho and spring rolls.
Committed to providing fresh pours, the winetenders of Gather Wine Bar uncork only 25 to 35 of their carefully curated central-coast wines each week. Knowledgeable staff can recommend a bottle for customers to pair with charcuterie plates, flatbread pizzas, and gourmet pub snacks such as bacon-wrapped dates. Alternatively, themed wine flights can provide a cross section of a single varietal or eclectic tastes from an array of vines. Live music acts and singles events create an upbeat atmosphere on many nights, and catered parties can gather small groups around a fire pit or feed 100 or more people with unlimited appetizers from the bar.
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).