Los Altos - Breakfast and lunch at Esther's German Bakery?
- rworange Jul 6, 2008 07:36 PM
Nancy Berry mentioned in a long thread on another topic that Esther's opened a bakery/cafe.
From what I've read elsewhere they also have cakes.
Good for Esther's. They have unsucessfully tried to open a retail shop a number of times over the years.
Anyone been there? No menu yet on the website just the address ... 987 N San Antonio Rd Los Altos
There is a menu on the website -- it's just hard to find. Go to the website and click on "Stores" in the top menu bar. Then click on the chef's hat in the top left corner of the page. When you get to that page, click "page 2" on the top left corner of the page.
OR you can just go here: http://www.esthersbakery.com/menu_fil...
You will then see the Breakfast and Lunch menu which looks very interesting.
I was there about a week ago and bought some pastries (apple cheese bar and apple strudel) and they were very good. I also bought a bag of their excellent seeded pretzels -- great, as usual. But the menu includes real dishes like omelets, sausages, smoked pork chops, etc.
Another really nice touch -- they have a kid's playroom (totally visible throughout the restaurant) with toys, small chairs, etc. so that parents can have a nice breakfast or lunch with the possibility of a little peace.
I just went to the cafe yesterday with a friend. We ordered the Schlemmer's breakfast and a brat on a roll.
The Schlemmer's breakfast consisted of a plate of different coldcuts, a couple of slices of cheese, a generous helping of smoked salmon with caper, cream cheese slices rolled in herbs, soft boiled egg, jam, butter, and a basked with sliced brown bread and two white rolls. I basically liked the cold cuts (salami, ham, pastrami?) - didn't care for the sliced turkey, it was pretty bland. I love the combination of bread, butter, cheese and meat, so it was an easy sell. Didn't make it as far as the soft boiled egg.
I assume they are sourcing their meats from Dittmer's, but didn't ask.
I stole a bit of my companion's brat, juicy and plump, served with two pickles and some good mustard. It would have only been improved by some grilled onion.
The guy behind me ordered one of the premade vegetarian sandwhiches - it looked good, more of the herbed cream cheese, apples, lettuce, wholewheat bread.
We closed by ordering three slices of cake to go - apple cheesecake, black forest, and poppyseed babka (that's what it looked like, but I didn't get the official name). The cheesecake was fine, on that fine line between subtle and bland. The black forest had a very light chocolate sponge which would have been excellent in a jelly roll, unfortunately gloopy cherry filling, but real whipped cream. The babka was intensely poppy-seedy, so much so that we started speculating whether eating poppy seeds would really show up on a drug screening. Time for Snopes I guess.
The counter people mentioned that they have another bakery now by Trader Joe's in San Antonion Shopping Center with later hours and more goods than the cafe.
I think Esther's is going through growing pains, and those won't last long. Their standards are too high to permit more than a few start-up stumbles.
The newest place, in the San Antonio Shopping Center, was generally sold-out, the staff were worn-out, and the place looked, shall we say, unrepresentative of the food quality at the end of the day on Sunday. These were probably the results of lots of business in their first weekend since opening.
I did not see, either on display or indicated by signs, that this branch has more product varieties than the café two blocks down San Antonio Rd. (It has more parking!)
The Café on San Antonio, in Los Altos, is cute, cheerful, energetically staffed, and the vibe is "we want to please you." Add the carefully prepared food and the top-end baked goods ... a treasure for breakfast, lunch, and carry-out bakery.
The rear patio is shaded and comfy, would be a fine biergarten, but the Café closes at 3 p.m. Parking is challenging, with a few spaces in front and a few in back.
Workers in the two cafés told me that, on Middlefield, there is no retail nor restaurant, only bakery and offices.
Go soon. Esther's has opened two places and enriched our neighborhood. I think they deserve our patronage at both locations. See you there.