Los Gatos’ PintxoPote is a sliver of a restaurant that has managed to survive this incredibly challenging year, despite not having the ability to provide either outdoor or indoor seating.
Instead, the Spanish-Basque restaurant has persevered, largely through the support of a loyal clientele that orders takeout, along with the fact that Chef-Owner Hector Figueroa and his wife Angie Lipsett have operated the restaurant all on their own without any staff, and without taking any salaries.
If you haven’t yet discovered this charming Spanish restaurant, it’s high time that you did.
Right now, the restaurant is open only on Fridays and Saturdays. The takeout menu for the week usually posts on Thursdays.
Figueroa, whose grandparents hailed from Spain, is a former tech engineer. When you pick up your order at the doorway, you can spot him in the kitchen, as Lipsett hands you your food.
This restaurant group, which was founded in 2003 in San Francisco, takes its seafood seriously, adhering to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’sSeafood Watch Guide for sustainability. It also partners with the Surfrider Foundation to protect the world’s oceans by reducing plastic use. And it recycles its fryer oil and composts food scraps.
I was invited as a guest by the restaurant last week for a sneak taste, albeit pandemic-style, with a chance to sample takeout dishes.
Pacific Catch offers seafood in every preparation imaginable — from ceviches and sushi to tacos and burgers. Your takeout bag comes complete with compostable utensils, chopsticks, packets of Kikkoman soy sauce, and even wet-ones, which is an especially thoughtful touch.
Fried calamari is always chancey to-go, no matter how short the drive home. The light tempura-like batter on the Cabo calamari ($13) didn’t hold up with full-on crunch by the time I got it to my dining-room table. But the tentacles and rings were very tender. I loved how there were thin slices of fried lemon in the mix, too, and fried rings of red Fresno chilies. The calamari were seasoned well, and a container of smoky-spicy chipotle aioli was irresistible for dunking into again and again.
If you’re sometimes at a loss as to what exactly to order for takeout, Taverna in downtown Palo Alto makes it easy with its new Family Meal Menu.
Founders Thanasis Pashalidis and Hakan Bala opened this convivial Greek restaurant after working at nearby Evvia in Palo Alto. Besides a la carte options, the restaurant makes it so convenient to enjoy its Hellenic cuisine with its all-in-one meals that serve 2 or more generously.
Choose from souvlaki, roasted chicken, lamb chops or whole fish “family meal,” priced accordingly. Each comes with tzatziki, homemade pita, chicories salad, grandma’s potatoes, and baklava.
We went with the Berkshire pork souvlaki ($55), six skewers of charred chunks of pork that were wonderfully tender, juicy and smoky tasting. Feel free to dollop the pork with a little of the sheep’s milk yogurt-cucumber tzatziki that’s so thick and creamy, and redolent of fresh dill.
The pita is flat and denser than others, without the characteristic pocket to open up. But what it does sport that others don’t (certainly not store-bought ones) is the great peppery taste of oregano.
Mel Canares doesn’t really have a name yet for his fried chicken sandwich joint — at least one that’s printable in a family blog (ahem), as evidenced by his Instagram handle. Cocina Canares, another moniker by which he sometimes refers to it, actually doesn’t even have a real bona fide structure, either.
Instead, Canares, a former corporate chef for Genentech, cooks and serves his fried chicken sandwich out of his backyard in South San Francisco.
He serves one thing, and only one thing — that sandwich.
I know I’m not the only one cheering that “Stanley Tucci’s Searching For Italy” has been picked up for a second season on CNN, even if every episode has sent me binging on carbs to high heaven.
So, it’s no wonder that after last week’s episode, I found my way to Terun in Palo Alto’s California Ave. Brothers Franco and Maico Campilongo, and their friend, chef Kristyan d’Angelo, all of whom hail from Italy, opened the doors in 2012 to serve authentic Southern Italian fare.
This place takes Neopolitan pizza seriously. In fact, it’s one of the few restaurants in California that is a member of the American Delegation of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, a non-profit that recognizes restaurants outside of Italy that meet strict standards and traditions of Neapolitan pizza making.
At Terun, the pies are cooked over wood in a blistering Marr Forni Neapolitan oven. There are 13 different pizzas available. Plus, you can add extra ingredients to any of them for an additional cost, if you like.