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Neto Caffe in Mountain View

k
Ken Hoffman Dec 3, 2006 11:36 PM

This apppears to be the first post on the month old bakery/eatery that has been a sensation since it opened on the corner of Castro and Evelyn streets in downtown MV. The location has been a bust to several incarnations of eateries but I think this one is here to stay.

What's so special? In Hebrew, NETO is an acronym equivalent to the English acronym, WYSIWYG. Their claim of additive free baked goods and prepatred foods seemed to stand up to our multiple tastings. We tried the giant rugulach that is in the shape of a croissant with a buttery,soft flakey crust (not the usual piece of sweet concrete) and a not too sweet filling that brought me back to the bustling bodegas of Tel Aviv. No coconut oil or shortening here. Just an abundance of genuine flavor, texture and taste. The chocolate croissant was equally unsullied.

They make their own pita and it is warm and soft and slightly chewy and supported beautifully the housemade hummus that reeks of garlic and cannot be put down.

The coffee drinks were also very fine and the Turkish coffee, though not superstrong, is flavored nicely with cardomum and served
in a tiny cup. There are lots of Middle Eastern favorites on the entree side that looked appetizing. The place is very busy and they are still trying to find a way to provide the most efficient service.
Takeout is available.

Welcome to the 'hood.

http://www.netocaffe.com/

  1. h
    Humbucker Dec 4, 2006 12:32 AM

    What's up with their prices?

    The place looks like a casual semi-self-service cafe but it's $10-12 for sandwiches. Those sandwiches better be damn good and/or gigantic.

    Yogurt and granola will cost you $7.25. That's more expensive than the yogurt and granola at Bouchon in Las Vegas.

    1. rworange Dec 4, 2006 03:22 AM

      Thanks for the report. The chocolate babka maybe with the hot chocolate flavored with orange rind is sounding good to me.

      I'm not that familiar with Mid-eastern food, but I don't think I've seen samboosak (turnover) before. Hope someone reports on how they taste.
      http://www.netocaffe.com/menuSamboosak.htm

      Don't think I've seen masbacha or nishnushim either. Know I haven't tried it.
      http://www.netocaffe.com/menuSpecialt...

      Do you know if they make their own bagels? They mention a Mediterranean bagel as a bread option.

      A bit of an eclectic menu though, eh? ... Panini, foccacia and ... schnitzel?

      Looking forward to more report.s

      1 Reply
      1. re: rworange
        ssfire Jun 18, 2007 09:50 PM

        The chocolate babka at Neto is excellent. It's different from regular babka: there is a very large amount of chocolate in the center - a bit too much; it'll squirt out the sides when you bite into it. So, I scoop out the excess, and it's perfect.

      2. n
        nsheth Dec 4, 2006 06:05 AM

        Stopped by here earlier today, actually. The pastries looked tasty. I tried an espresso sachleb. Not familiar with sachleb, and googling it returns the netocaffe site as one of the top results, but it says alternate spellings are "sahlep" and "saloop" . . .

        It's a thick, sweet, milky drink, mixed with espresso in this case. Anyway, pretty tasty, very rich - tough to finish the whole thing. Though, the price was definitely too high for what it was ($4.75).

        The people working there were very friendly, offering sample tastes and describing in detail many of the dishes I wasn't familiar with.

        I'd give it a shot for a meal if I find myself in the area . . .

        1. k
          katg Dec 4, 2006 08:01 AM

          thanks for posting this! i've driven by a few times and have been curious. seems like downtown mv is getting a lot more restaurants/cafes these days.

          1. k
            katya Dec 4, 2006 07:24 PM

            I don't see it on their online menu, but any chance they have black & white cookies?

            1. s
              sally r. Dec 5, 2006 06:07 AM

              I have visited Neto several times now, each visit I have found something new and pleasurable, giving me all the more reason to make Neto a caffe I will count on to get great quality food at reasonable prices, and to go! They serve WONDERFUL pitas that I have already brought several to go for my family. The desserts were exquisite, I find myself wanting to go back just to try another one of the many desserts. The coffee was served nicely and tasted very good! The falafel platter was set so beautifully and tasted even better! The focaccias I did not get to, however will taste at my next visit (AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!) I have been dying to have a caffe I can go to with high speed internet, beautiful surroundings, great staff, and wonderful food! amazing!

              1. j
                joyluvsbuber Dec 26, 2006 09:08 PM

                I had falafel at Neto on Friday, and it was excellent. Really Israeli style preparation. Loved the pita and the pickled cabbage in the sandwich. Also, I had a nonfat decaf latte (I know, why bother), and it was artistically delivered, creamy and delicious. Bought soufganiyot (jelly donuts) for the peole in my office, and we all loved them. Very bready, but so good. Will be eating breakfast there on my birthday, and really looking forward to trying their shakshoukah (tomato and pepper sauce with an egg poached on top - yummm!).

                1. c
                  Claudette Feb 23, 2007 09:06 AM

                  Everything looks beautiful, and while some things are extraordinary (like the baklava) some things look a lot better than they taste, such as the small fruit tart - not a good value at $6, even if it were to have some flavor.

                  1. k
                    kewlio Feb 23, 2007 10:41 AM

                    kind of expensive, their lattes are abject

                    1. z
                      zbenye Jun 16, 2007 09:47 PM

                      When I saw the ad for this place I thought that it was an Israeli restaurant so I hurried over to check it out. Lamentably, it is either not run by Israelis, or if it is then they've shamelessly Americanized the food. As an Israeli, I know what Israeli food is supposed to taste like, and that's certainly not what they serve up at Neto.

                      The Schnitzel was dry as rock. The batter was almost scorched. The seasoning was overwhelming. The accompanying fries were tasteless and tired. The salad was a mound of leaves - not a chopped tomato/cucumber/onion salad as served in Israel. Who eats leaves in Israel?

                      The lemonana was tasty but a tad too sweet, and while I liked the flavor of the nana, I would have prefered it if the leaves were strained out when pouring the drink into the cup.

                      The Sabarina cake was just a soaked sponge dough covered with whipped cream that may have been from a spray can. No hint of rum, nothing to write home about. Also tried the poppy-seed danish, which was dry and boring like all that came before it.

                      The food was definitely not worth the high prices. The total for the above few eats was just under $29...! I will not be visiting here again.

                      Unfortunately I will have to continue going to Los Angeles and New York for real Israeli food, short of going to Israel. It's really puzzling how there is not one single good Israeli restaurant in the SF area what with all these Israelis here.

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