Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Mar 28, 2009 08:45 PM

Late afternoon chow near Stanford Hosp

Lord willing and the creeks don't rise, hubby and I will be traveling to Stanford Hospital on April 6th for a consult. Our app't is for 1:00 p.m., so we will be leaving SLO Co about 7.a.m. to get there on time.

We'll stop for a good breakfast on the road, but will probably need to get an early lunch before the 2 hour app't and then a late afternoon meal before leaving for home again; wow, it's wearing me out just thinking about it.

Lunch--simple, comforting, quick meal

early dinner- basically ditto.

We'll probably not want to stray too far from the campus area. I know it's a tall order, but can you help, Penninsula 'hounds? I know there will be places in the Stanford Shopping Center, but hubs is put off by high-priced places oozing "bistro". Even a good Japanese restaurant with nice cooked dishes would be comforting. Spicey foods a no-go.

thanks so much

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Good japanese about 10 minutes by car - good if you go when they open (11:30) as they don't take reservations and it's pretty popular. A lot of food for reasonable prices but

    Gombei Japanese Restaurant
    1438 El Camino Real
    Menlo Park, CA 94025
    (650) 329-1799

    Have you thought about about stopping along your way home to break up the drive bacK? There are lots of places In San Jose (which isn't too far along your way) - but do you really want to eat so early with such a long drive ahead of you?

    1 Reply
    1. re: estnet

      Good recommendation. Cooked Japanese food, nice but not too fancy.

    2. I spend a lot of time over in that area. Cafe Borrone would be my first choice, followed by Cool Cafe and the Cafe at Neiman Marcus, and rounded off by Gourmet Franks and sandwiches at Schaub's Butcher.

      Borrone is really excellent, my go-to place in Menlo Park, and about a five minute drive from the hospital. Great food, what looks like a decent wine list, stellar baked goods. Has gotten many Chow raves. Would be good for lunch and dinner.

      Cool Cafe has the benefit of being within walking distance to the hospital and the setting is lovely. It is attached to the back of the Cantor Art Museum, so if you eat outside, there are lots of pretty trees, a nice lawn, and some striking Rodin sculptures. It features locally grown/sourced foods. It's always a dollar more than I really want to spend, but is quite tasty. Lunch only.

      Neiman Marcus Cafe might be too foofy for your husband just by virtue of its location, but the food is solid. Really good hamburgers and a great club salad (Can't remember the exact name - chicken, bacon, egg, tomato, blue cheese, avocado). I appreciate their generous portions, excellent service, and popovers. Also walking distance to the hospital or a very fast drive. Lunch only

      Gourmet Franks has good hotdogs with lots of toppings, grilled to order. Their fries, though out of a bag, are pretty tasty too. Outdoor mall seating. Lunch only.

      Schaub's is a butcher shop that also makes sandwiches, fresh and simple. They usually have a soup too. Lunch only.

      I'm not a fan of Max's or the CPK to-go place at the mall. There is also a cafe at Nordstrom - decent food, good soups, filling salads which you might like. Not too fancy and easy walking. Lunch or early dinner.

      Cafe Borrone
      1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025

      Schaub's Meat Fish & Poultry
      395 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304

      Cool Cafe
      328 Lomita Dr, Stanford, CA

      Neiman Marcus Cafe
      400 Stanford Shopping CT, Palo Alto, CA

      Gourmet Franks
      199 Stanford Shopping Ctr, Palo Alto, CA 94304

      Nordstrom Stanford Shopping Center
      550 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: YSZ

        nm's "club salad" sounds like the "Cobb Salad"" served at Hollywood and LA's grand old Brown Derby. Derivation of the name is interesting.

      2. I was wondering also if you would consider dinner further down the road. One reason, is to beat some of the rush- traffic which can get ugly in the commute hours. The further down the road the better.

        In San Jose, just off the exit of 101 is Sousa's Portuguese restaurant. Not brilliant food, but good and comforting.Nice caldo verde. Far from bistro, the Sousa's have been running the place for years. It is in the little Portugal section with a great little Portuguese bakery next door, Popular Bakery.

        It is really on and off the highway, you'd beat most of the rush hour traffic, and depending on the time, would sit out some of the traffic at dinner. Here's the place record

        Town and Country shopping plaza is going through a renaissance of sorts.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          You're right, we ought to make tracks down the road, rather than lingering. We'll be taking 280 up from 85(?) across the south end of the SCV; I've been through there at 5:00, so I know what you mean. Thanks for the tip about the Portuguese area in SJ. I grew up in Willow Glen, but never ventured that far in my day. Would love to visit the bakeries someday.

          Maybe we could stop somewhere near the OSH headquarters off Blossom Hill Rd area for dinner. We used to like to stop at Sushi Boat; there are other places to eat in the area, I believe. Or, if we get through 280/101 at a decent time, maybe at one of Melanie's favorite spots in downtown Salinas.

        2. On Welch Road quite near the Medical Center is California Cafe ( I think then select the Palo Alto one). I think that it would be comforting for you to arrive there knowing it is only a few minutes from your destination. It usually has a fun bento box as well as other California cuisine or maybe you would want just a bowl of soup . Be sure and tell your waitperson you are on a schedule. I hope all goes well for you.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Giselle

            I second California Cafe & Nordstrom Cafe for sheer convenience/location. I think the Menlo Parks recs while good, may just take a bit more time. Perhaps you can have something more chowish on your drive back home.

            If you do have time, you should take a look at Palo Alto's Town & Country Village as suggested by rworange above. Hobees or Douce France may work.


            1. re: ceekskat

              I've never timed it with a stopwatch, but we go from the Med Center to Cook's and back, never feeling rushed, and get back to work before our friends who go to California Café. We like California Café for lingering-type Friday parties.

              Town & Country is tragically crowded when the Palo Alto High kids go for their lunch break ... a real negative for Douce France, which is a popular hangout. Outside of their swarming times, it is a great recommendation.

              OTOH, is Hobee's much better than Denny's? Haven't been back for years, I don't know.

              Palo Alto Creamery, in the Stanford Shopping Center, is another worthy spot. Wide choice of traditional American "Diner" foods and daily specials.

              Palo Alto Creamery
              180 Stanford Shopping Ctr, Palo Alto, CA

              1. re: ceekskat

                Warning that California Cafe can be very slow.

                Also, you can take the Marguerite B line to Town and Country should you wish. I don't think it is that bad at lunch, unless you want Jamba Juice. Last two times we were there the lines were reasonable at Douce France and Kirks. They were nonexistant at Calafia's Market a gogo, the Korean and Sushi places. Calafia and Mayfield restaurants were bussling, but reasonable and no high school kids. If you do an early lunch they should be fine. I am not a Hobees fan.

                Link's Cafe in the Medical Center used to be reasonably good, and there is a fun Thai Cafe (think Seinfields Soup Nazi) in the Psych building close to the Med Center. Catch the A line Marguerite that comes every 15 minutes for a 5 minute ride. I think it starts serving at 11. They serve noodle salads, soup and a daily curry.

                Sultana in Menlo Park would work for dinner and maybe lunch. Turkish food - think kebabs and rice, although they do have other things.

            2. About 5 minutes from Stanford Hospital, Cook's Seafood in Menlo Park for "some of" the best fish 'n chips in the Bay Area, un-fussy chowders and salads with crab or shrimp.

              Super-clean, quick, casual and 81 years of quality -- for lunch, dinner or both. Really, you might.

              Cook's Seafood Restaurant & Market
              751 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025

              1 Reply
              1. re: anyhow

                I always liked Cook's but don't eat much fried food so I haven't been in a while. But if you want fried seafood, it's terrific.

                I've always thought California Cafe was like a spruced-up TGI Friday's. Boring maill food.

                And I've always liked Cafe Borrone, they seem to really care about their food even if it is cafe food. Wonderful people too.