To maintain the authentic flavors in their Mexican and Salvadorian specialties, the kitchen staff at Olé Taqueria sticks to traditional cooking techniques and ingredients. They shape and bake their own tortillas for each dish, including burritos packed with marinated beef and tacos loaded with shredded pork. Their Salvadorian plates include tamales and quesadillas, as well as pupusas—thick tortillas wrapped around meats and cheeses, much like a last-minute Christmas present from a Mexican restaurant's chef.
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).
Shuffle up a deck of carbs stacked with premium meats and veggies on fresh-baked breads from Boudin Bakery in San Francisco. Lettuce Sandwich Shop's menu provides classic cold cuts such as ham or salami served on your choice of sourdough, sliced wheat, marble rye, and more. Likewise, expand your acronymic understanding with a B.L.A.T sandwich, composed of bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato on triple-decker toast. Vegetarians can opt for the Haight Ashbury, with cucumbers, avocado, and a choice of cheese. All sandwiches come with a slathering of special garlic sauce, but each creation can be customized to taste. Have a friendly sandwich wizard hold the sauce, or request the less popular—hold the sandwich.
Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too! has been a classic Italian eatery since 1956, from the family-style meals and traditional dishes down to the red-checkered tablecloths. The building that houses its original restaurant in Mountain View has been around since the 1920s, and it has vacillated from a speakeasy to a coffee shop to its current state as a friendly Italian restaurant. At each of the company’s five locations, chefs masterfully toss pizza dough in the air to create specialty pies such as the vegetarian fantasy or seafood ecstasy, piled with scallops, shrimp, clams, and high concentrations of euphoria. The intoxicating aromas of garlic and marinara waft through the air as families and friends enjoy meals of house-made meatballs, New York-style Italian sausage, and veal scaloppini.
Aromas of warm brie crowned with fruit chutney and garlic confit, braised lamb shank, and sautéed lemon garlic chili shrimp fill the air at B'zu Café. Servers deliver plates of Mediterranean fare during lunch and dinner, including traditional favorites such as falafel and herb-marinated chicken kebabs and twists on classic dishes such as Zucca's ravioli with butternut squash, lemon cream sauce, and dried cranberries. Behind the full bar, bartenders pour frosty brews, glasses of wine, and shake up cocktails to help train for Yahtzee tournaments.
The philosophy at Jazen Tea is pretty straightforward—use fresh ingredients to create refreshing and healthy drinks. Every day, the staffers brew their teas from high-quality Taiwanese leaves and infuse the concoctions with fresh fruits, never using powdered mixes. Inside the colorful shops, they also serve up fresh-fruit smoothies topped with housemade whipped cream and other invigorating elixirs, such as the Treat-N-Sip, a blend of iced milk, caramel, honey boba, and egg pudding.