Get ready for fried chicken on a potato bun at the Bay Area’s only Shake Shack.
You might as well get in line right now because hordes are no doubt going to descend upon Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto on Saturday when the first Northern California Shake Shack finally opens.
Yes, the wildly popular gourmet burger chain by New York’s Danny Meyer will finally open its doors in the Bay Area. It is right next to P.F. Chang’s in the ritzy outdoor mall.
Opening hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. And the first 100 people through the doors on opening day get a free Shake Shack travel bag.
Last night, I had a chance to get a sneak peek and taste when I was invited to a media preview party.
The Palo Alto Shake Shack in Stanford Shopping Center.
The menu boards.
The interior features reclaimed and repurposed materials.
The 2,491-square-foot former Wells Fargo bank building features outdoor as well as indoor seating, including tabletops made of reclaimed bowling alley lanes.
It’s also cashless. You place your order at self-serve kiosks.
Rice crackers and cheese puffs are among the treats inside this Bokksu box.
Elevated Snack Attack
Founder Danny Taing has elevated the snack box — big time — with his Bokksu subscription service.
Every month, he curates a selection of premium Japanese snacks, which — yes — can include such coveted treats as the newest Japanese Kit Kat flavor — that are mailed directly to you from Japan.
Recently, I had a chance to try a sample box. They come in two sizes, the $25 “Tasting” size and the larger $39 “Classic” size, which is the one I had sent to me.
Each month, there is a different theme for each box. For the November one, it was “Tea Story,” which meant everything inside — about 20 items — married well with Japanese tea. With every month’s box, there is always tea included, too.
Everything is tucked inside a custom box.
The snacks arrived in a sturdy, custom logo box, which is a nice touch if you’re giving it as a gift. Inside, there’s a pamphlet with a primer on tea (apparently, it originated in Japan in the 9th century by Buddhist monks as a religious practice), as well as descriptions of the items inside. That’s a handy guide, too, since much of the information on the actual packages is in Japanese. It even identifies possible allergens in the various products.
A two-fisted chicken schnitzel at the new Manresa Bread in Campbell.
If you already love the artisan loaves at Manresa Bread, then you are sure to go bonkers for the new downtown Campbell location that opened less than two weeks ago.
That’s because it features not only its already adored long-fermented loaves made with its freshly milled flours, but bread in so many other incarnations.
We’re talking chicken schnitzel breaded in the bakery’s own crumbs before being fried to a crisp and loaded into a fresh-baked bun with caper, mayo and house-fermented kraut.
Spaetzle made with a sourdough starter, and finished in a sauce of whey, butter and Pecorino.
And bone marrow matzo balls bobbing in bone broth, with the tender, moist dumplings actually made with levain bread crumbs.
Shelves of bread where you help yourself to loaves.
At 2,100 square feet, the Campbell locale is twice the size of the Los Gatos and Los Altos locations, enabling it to also operate much more like an all-day cafe, with hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thanksgiving is served — in a jiffy, thanks to Luke’s Local.
Did Thanksgiving sneak up on you? Are you little prepared? Dog-tired? Rather leave the cooking to someone else?
Look no further than Luke’s Local.
The San Francisco-based business not only has a market in Cole Valley, but also offers catering and delivery of not only prepared foods but flowers, bread, cheese and produce from local purveyors.
For Thanksgiving, Luke’s offers a range of prepared sides; wines; house-smoked turkeys or fresh birds from Branigan’s Turkey Farm, Mary’s and Willie Bird; and desserts from Black Jet Baking Company, Mission Pie, and Starter Bakery.
In short, it’s everything you’d need for a fuss-free feast, where the only heavy-lifting you probably need to do is carry everything to the dining room table and enjoy.
Cranberry & Cinnamon goat cheese for spiffing up the holidays.
One of the easiest — and tastiest — no-fuss treats for holiday entertaining is cheese.
Just unwrap, arrange prettily with crackers, baguette slices, and maybe some toasted nuts and dried fruit, and you are good to go.
Laura Chenel, the pioneer in artisan goat cheese in Northern California, makes doing so especially festive with her flavored ones. Recently, I had a chance to try a couple samples that are particularly perfect at this time of year.
Her new Cranberry & Cinnamon Medallion is new this year. The 3.5-ounce thick round disk ($3.99) is naturally tangy from the goat cheese, but with a touch of fruity sweetness and warmth from the dried cranberries and touch of cinnamon.