Thursday, July 2, 2009

Munching down Middlefield

Palo Alto is smack in the middle of food heaven, but the town itself is a little thin, especially at the low-cost end. I recommend Tofu House (my favorite resaurant in PA) on El Camino and Mediterranean Wraps on California Ave. Downtown we now have Patxi Pizza, which is very good indeed, although hardly a budget meal.

So let's drive south on Middlefield Rd., which runs roughly parallel between El Camino and 101. Toward the southern limits of PA you'll pass our fine local grocery store, Piazza's, and soon cross the border into Mountain View. Bear left after the Toyota dealership onto Old Middlefield Rd., which passes through a typical ugly CA landscape of small warehouses and light-industry businesses, punctuated by a string of cheap eateries. At the corner of Rengstorff, we have three quite good Mexican/ Latin American establishments: La Costena, famous for made-to-order burritos, the reliable Los Altos Taqueria, where you can get a hearty bowl of homemade soup along with the usual fare, and the greasy but very tasty La Bamba, featuring a nice pupusa.

Until tonight I had heard good things about but never tried Uncle Frank's BBQ, at the back of a dive bar called Francesca's. I am not a BBQ expert by any means, but I found the food very fine and the portions, well, bordering on excessive. I recommend it.

A sad moment in Old Mid food history was when DeeDee's chaat buffet and Indian grocery, just past Toyota, closed and was bulldozed to make room for... say what?... an overgrown vacant lot! But you can still eat very well for not much on Old Middlefield.

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