The winner of Palo Alto Weekly's Best Breakfast award for more than 20 years, Hobee's remains a Silicon Valley institution where early birds, lunch larks, and dinner ducks 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 loaded hash-brown varieties ($7.50–$7.95), 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 ($9.50). Lunchers can demolish the soup bar and salad bar ($8.95) or a plate of the Hawaiian-style Shaka fish tacos, filled with mahi-mahi and accessorized with shredded cabbage, tropical fruit salsa, and cilantro ($10.95). Dinner arrivals can still tickle their taste buds with a bouquet of options such as the honey-pineapple teriyaki salmon ($11.95) or the Very Gouda barbecue burger piled high with caramelized onions, rich barbecue sauce, and a Wisconsin's worth of gouda ($9.25).
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.
Almost anything could happen to a chicken wing in PS Eatery’s kitchen. The culinary team could crisply fry it and dunk it in buffalo spices, or prepare it Asian-style, tossing it in fish sauce. The eatery specializes in comfort food with a twist, adding flavorful touches and Asian influences to its classic platters. The mac and cheese, for instance, comes crowned in Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs and mixed with spicy tuna. Grilled pork loins arrive sided with tasty tangles of spaghetti chow mein, and even the humble veggie burger is reinvented with six layers of yellow squash, eggplant, and zucchini, rather than the standard autumn leaves.
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.
Center Street Grill's airy interior blooms with the aroma of classic American fare, with a hint of Mediterranean and a subtle nod to Asian cuisines. The dinner menu coaxes taste buds into a trot with a starters such as the applewood-smoked-bacon-wrapped shrimp ($12.95). For the main attraction, five gourmet pizzas and five lush sandwiches sandwich an eclectic selection of entrees, such as the tofu curry with sweet potatoes and garden vegetables ($12.95) or the half-rack of baby back ribs, slow-braised and fast-served with coleslaw and fries ($12.95). Entrees also include 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 restaurant also sports wireless Internet access and an outdoor brick patio shaded by umbrellas and jealously hovering clouds.