There is comfort food. And then, there is comfort food with panache — heady with loads of allspice, ginger, and garlic.
That’s what Back A Yard serves up in spades. And for those still indulging in takeout, you’ll be glad to know this Caribbean fare travels well, too.
The plates come complete with a starchy mash of rice and red beans, and thoroughly addictive sweetly caramelized plaintains. You choose a main or a combo of two. The jerk chicken plate ($10.95) includes three pieces of tender dark-meat poultry, seasoned in a moderately spiced jerk rub redolent of fragrant cloves and allspice. You could also get all-white chicken for $11.95, but why? The dark meat is where it’s at.
The oxtails ($14.95 for a plate) are fabulous — fall-apart-tender in a sticky, reduced sauce, and with that fatty, meaty unctuousness that can’t be beat. It’s a rendition you’ll be craving anytime the weather turns chilly.
Pizza Antica, Santana Row San Jose, Lafayette, Mill Valley
The original Pizza Antica at San Jose’s Santana Row has been a huge draw since it opened its doors in 2003. Even in the midst of a pandemic, with only takeout and outdoor dining on the Row available, it remains ever popular.
When I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant last week, I found the takeout system easy as can be. There’s plenty of parking at Santana Row these days, so once you find a spot, just walk to the restaurant’s front doors to pick up your to-go food that you can order ahead of time online.
You can never go wrong with pizza here. The thin yet pliable crusts sport those lovely charred leopard spots from the oven. The Margherita ($17) is a solid, classic rendition with sweet tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella and fresh basil leaves on a crust with a noticeable yeasty, developed flavor.