Every day, the aroma of smoky spices wafts from the imported, wood-fired tandoor ovens at Tandoori Oven’s locations. To a soundtrack of upbeat techno, reggae, and bhangra music imported from UK clubs, servers deliver plates of lamb biryani loaded with basmati rice, bell peppers, cashews, and secret spices alongside mango lassis blended with housemade yogurt. The healthful signature wrap is stuffed with chicken or lamb that’s been marinated for 24 hours in yogurt and spices and then baked in the tandoor oven and wrapped in soft naan with mint chutney and tamarind. Local athletes dine at Tandoori Oven, a sponsor of the TRIbe Triathlon Club, after workouts for meals made to order with lean meats and served in participation trophies.
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).
Of the 12 variations of eggs benedict here, the Benedict Oscar stands out—it’s made with crab, tarragon, scrambled eggs, and asparagus. The cooks also experiment with classic french-toast and pancake dishes to come up with inventions such as the Copenhagen pancake, a french pancake stuffed with raspberry cream cheese and smothered with sour cream, raspberry, and almonds.
At Southern Kitchen, guests may find themselves surrounded by fans in San Francisco Giants gear devouring old-fashioned breakfast and lunch food and chatting with the friendly owners, the Thompson family. Mike and Rose Thompson, both Giants fans themselves, took over the venue in 1993, recruiting their sons Mike and Ed to help them on the staff. Their down-home hospitality and comfort-food specials soon drew hungry groups to the roomy, semicircular booths, and amid the friendly chitchat, both Mike and Ed met their future wives.
This same neighborly vibe persists in the dining room today. To complement the quaint ambiance, the breakfast and lunch menus stick to delectably traditional cooking methods. Produce arrives at the kitchen daily, every egg is fresh off the farm, and baked goods—from biscuits to muffins—are housemade. Guests can indulge in chicken-fried steak and signature sausage gravy at any time of day as the kitchen never stops serving breakfast, and every weekday lunch plate includes a cup of housemade soup. Personal touches also speak to the eatery's down-home credo; for example, children can order their pancakes in the shapes of cheerful bunny rabbits or their favorite spherical planets.
Top This Pizza Co. just opened. But its menu reads like a list of pizzas that have been tried and tested, and have triumphed. To name a few, there are signature pies such as Minnie's Margherita, Michaels's Cheesy Madness, and Leo's Chickenlicious. There's also Miss Yovette's Pepper Pot?a piquant blend of house red sauce, Italian sausage, banana pepper, roasted red pepper, and and red onion. Impressively, the pizzas are made with speed, a testament to the staff's respect for its customers time and ability to toss dough simultaneous with all three hands.