best breakfast in palo alto
I'm going to be in Palo Alto in mid-August for a wedding. We're spending most of the days surrounding the wedding in SF or road-tripping and I'm pretty organized in terms of eating for that. The big thing that's missing from my list is a truly good breakfast place in palo alto. I don't want anything chic - just excellent eggs, potatoes (preferably a good mid-west style hashbrown) and bread. I'd love suggestions!
I feel like a broken record on this one, but I like Dinah's Poolside Restaurant on El Camino, just S. of Charleston. Selling points for me are: 1) indoor & outdoor seating, 2) Excellent, fluffy, build-your-own omelettes with 10-15 ingredient choices, 3) real eggwhite omelettes (vs Hobee's etc which use the fake stuff, 4) real OJ, 5) country fried potatoes with nice pieces of bell pepper and onion -- you need to specify this, the standard potatoes are ore-ida-like hashbrowns. 6) family-owned. Service can be a little spotty, but it has improved. I've never gotten any hound feedback on this place; interested in other opinions.
None of these places are actually in Palo Alto, since I rarely go there for food, but they're all close:
Country Gourmet in Mountain View. Good, unfussy food.
Stacks in Menlo Park. This place is packed on weekends, so come early or be prepared to wait. I know many people who adore Stacks, but I like the food better at the other two places.
If you don't mind a bit of a drive, Buck's in Woodside is the best of the three. The place is surprisingly unfussy and fun for being in Woodside, one of the most affluent towns in the world. The service has always been excellent, and the food is great.
Country Gourmet Restaurants
2098 W El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94040
600 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025
3062 Woodside Rd, Woodside, CA 94062
Right across the street from Stacks (across El Camino) is Cafe Barone. They are much more reasonable than Stacks in my opinion. MUCH better coffee too. It's defnitely worth a try. They are very casual and you can sit outside and take your time, has kind of a European cafe vibe.
1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025
For a good basic breakfast I like Joanie's on California Ave. Consistently good eggs and crispy hashbrowns. You get a choice of a muffin or toast.
When I'm in the mood for something a little more adventurous like Il Fornaio. This isn't a "midwest" breakfast though. No hasbrowns -- polenta with gorganzola instead. French toast made with their italian bread and served with mascarpone cheese instead of butter.
The coffee cake is great, but at the Hobee's I go to they dump a ton of butter on it, so if you're like me and that's not appealing, you might want to ask for that on the side. And the coffee is nondescript, but the house tea is great, especially if you'rea caffeine person. I have no idea what they put in there, but it's definitely a wake-up call.