The owner of Athena Gyros got his start in the restaurant business at age 18. Before immigrating to the US, he learned to cook Greek food while helping out at his grandfather's restaurant on the Mediterranean. After refining his skills at hotel restaurants and, later, his own establishments, he opened Athena Gyros. Today, chefs carefully re-create his recipes for dishes such as roasted lamb, which is slow-cooked for seven hours before being draped over rice pilaf. Diners may crunch through layers of honey-coated baklava or bring catered dinners home to serve at parties or eat secretly while living inside someone else's chimney.
Making a good sandwich, like removing a child’s head from between stair balusters, requires delicate handling and a lot of mayonnaise. Marvel at skilled condiment usage with today's Groupon: for $7, you get $14 worth of sandwiches and bagels at Izzi's To-Go East-Coast Bagels & Smokehouse in Redwood City.
Tossing crisp vegetables and savory meat and seafood with fiery exotic spices and subtly sweet notes, the culinary experts at Karakade craft authentic noodle, curry, and vegetarian Thai dishes. Karakade's menu teems with platters, such as grilled salmon swaddled in banana leaves ($13.95) and gai yang—barbecued chicken breast and steamed vegetables soaked in garlic-chili sauce and sprinkled with Thai seasonings ($9.95). Savor herbivore-friendly selections such as vegetarian pad thai ($7.95 for lunch, $9.95 for dinner) or crisp basil tofu mingling with garlic, basil, and bamboo shoots ($8.95). Bold purple-and-canary walls brighten Karakade's warmly lit interior, where diners slurp spicy noodles with wine brought from their own multi-level cellar or stolen from the trunk of Dionysus's Range Rover (corkage fee not included in this Groupon).
“Hueco” translates roughly to “little cave,” a tribute to the Peruvian hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve ceviche and charcoal-roasted meats at any hour of the day. El Hueco attempts to capture the feeling of a hangout in the little mountainous country with traditional dishes crafted by lauded chef Jaime Laos. “Laos,” the San Jose Mercury News noted in an article, “has come a long way since his grandmother taught him to cook in a one-faucet house they shared with eight others in Lima.” He now creates a full menu of traditional small plates and entrees, which rely heavily upon the seafood, South American chilies, and sweet potatoes that make up the bulk of Peruvian cuisine.
From the steaming vats of beef stew cooked in a corn-beer sauce to the pan-fried chicken cooked in a blend of porto butter and chocolate, Laos introduces clients to the ancient flavors of Peru. Guests experience how Peruvian chefs prepare mixed vegetables and quinoa. The soft grain was cultivated by Incans hundreds of years ago, but is now becoming popular in North American health-food stores and slapstick movies about people falling into vats of different things. After bowls of ceviche, traditional desserts at the eatery pair root vegetables with a splash of sweet molasses.
Harvested from more than two dozen sites around Woodside, some of the grapes that transform into Woodside Vineyard's wines grow plump on vines that have thrived there since as early as 1884. Back in 1960, the winery's founder Bob Mullen began crafting small batches of wine in limited quantities. Today, he works with the head winemaker Brian Caselden, and together, they produce more than 3,000 cases annually. On weekends, guests travel to the picturesque winery to visit the tasting room, where they can sip up to five varietals, from Chardonnay to Port.