Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fraiche Yogurt Opens in Palo Alto

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' mercurynews.com Aleta Watson reviews Mandaloun (2021 Broadway, Redwood City), while Sylvia Ulloa considers 5 Spot Chivas Grill (869 S. First St., San Jose). ... MetroActive metroactive.com reviews Koji sake lounge. ... FoodNotebook.com notes the opening of Fraiche Yogurt (644 Emerson St., Palo Alto; www.fraicheyogurt.com) and reviews the Happy Hound (15899 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos), Top Dog (284B South 11th Street San Jose) and San Mateo's Kingfish. ... The blog also notes the upcoming opening of Basia’s Bistro, sometime this summer, in the former location of Nora’s Cafe, a creperie that suddenly closed earlier this year amid financial problems.

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Downtown Bars, Clubs Face Later Closings

IN THE NEWS: Bars and clubs in downtown San Jose could stay open later under a pilot program aimed at reducing rowdiness downtown at closing time, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports. The Planning Commission was to hold a hearing on the plan June 11 at City Hall, and the City Council was scheduled to take it up at a June 19 meeting in council chambers. The temporary plan would go into effect this summer. The proposal is to allow bars in part of downtown to stay open until 3 a.m. so that customers will leave in a more orderly fashion. The city already requires bars to stop serving at 1:30 a.m. That would be unchanged. ... A Florida-based restaurant chain is putting out feelers that it wants to greatly expand its reach, the Denver Business Journal reports. Earl of Sandwich, founded in 2004 and based in Orlando, says it's looking for franchisees around the United States, including Denver. Other cities on the company's radar screen include Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Atlanta, San Francisco (including Oakland and San Jose), Dallas/Ft. Worth, Seattle, Columbus, Nashville, San Diego, Cleveland, St. Louis and Sacramento. The company's president, Michael Grodi, said the goal is to add more than 100 locations a year. A former executive at Denver-based Quiznos, Grodi was named president and CEO of the sandwich chain in January. Quiznos sued Grodi and Earl of Sandwich in federal court in Denver in April, alleging Grodi would hurt Quiznos by disclosing their trade secrets about selling sandwiches to his new employer. Grodi left Quiznos in May 2006. He has denied Quiznos' allegations. ... Metro Active's Cheryl Sternman Rule reviews Green Elephant Gourmet (3950 Middlefield Road, Charleston Shopping Center, Palo Alto. metroactive.com ... FoodNotebook.com reviews Michael Mina's Arcadia in San Jose. ... The Mercury News' Aleta Watson reviews Sam's Chowder House (4210 N. Cabrillo Highway, Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay). mercurynews.com

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Monday, June 11, 2007

Diners Say: We Want Less

A survey of more than 4,000 diners finds that a substantial majority believes restaurant portions are too big. Fifty-seven percent said portions were too large; 20 percent said they were too small; and the 23 percent who had no opinion apparently thought they were just right. The results, reported in Nation's Restaurant News, an industry trade journal, were heavily skewed by gender and income. Sixty-seven percent of women believed portions were too large, while only forty-seven percent of men reached the same conclusion. Meanwhile, sixty percent of respondents making between $100,000 and $150,000 said portions were oversized. And that figure rose to seventy percent among those making more than $150,000. In contrast, and perhaps not surprisingly, only twenty-seven percent of those with incomes under $25,000 thought portions were too large.

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News' Aleta Watson reviews Onyx (374 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose). mercurynews.com ... Metro Active critic Stett Holbrook raves about chef Mike Miller's Trevese (115 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos). metroactive.com ... Blogger A Taste of the Suburbs tasteofthesuburbs.blogspot.com recommends fondue at Crepes Cafe in Menlo Park. ... FoodNotebook.com reviews The Palo Alto Creamery Fountain & Grill, "a Palo Alto institution formerly known as the Peninsula Fountain & Grill (which is still on the sign above the door). It has been downtown since 1923 and expanded a couple of years ago to a second location at Stanford Shopping Center. Great breakfust – that is not a typo as that is what they call it. All American breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not a place to go to for the latest food fad or seasonal cuisine as the menu proudly proclaims "Same Great Menu Since 1988."

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Chains May Need to Post Calorie Counts

The Sacramento Bee's Aurelio Rojas reports, "Over howls of "nanny government," the California Senate has approved (on May 31) legislation that would require chain restaurants with 10 or more locations to post calorie counts and other dietary facts about menu items. If approved by the Assembly and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, SB 120 would require table-serving restaurants to disclose the number of calories, grams of saturated and trans fat, sodium and carbohydrates for standard items. Because of space limitations, fast-food restaurants would be required to list only calories. Violators that do not comply with the requirements by Jan. 1, 2009, would be cited with an infraction, punishable by a fine not less than $50 and more than $500. The proposed legislation is modeled after a New York City law that takes effect July 1." sacbee.com

IN THE NEWS: The Mercury News Aleta Watson reviews owner-chef Michael Miller's Trevese (115 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos), while Tracey Kaplan visits Wooden Nickel Bar & Grill (1819 Freedom Blvd., Freedom). mercurynews.com ... MetroActive's Stett Holbrook reviews Hunan Taste (998 N. Fourth St., San Jose). ... FoodNotebook.com checks out Jeffrey's Hamburgers (42 S B St., San Mateo) and Gourmet Franks (199 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto).