3G's Cafe in Palo Alto: Bolivian: salteñas, Cuñape, pan de arroz
3G's Cafe in Palo Alto is a block away from California Ave: far enough off the main drag that I've never noticed it until recently. It's a Bolivian cafe that serves a few items that I recommend: salteñas, cuñape, and pan de arroz. The salteñas are like empanadas; I got one filled with beef stew, which is nicely spiced. It's worth trying once. Some other items are very addictive, and worth a trip:
The cuñape is a cheese pastry that is light and airy, yet simultaneously super-chewy. Made with yucca flour.
The pan de arroz is like a flattened biscuit: very savory and flaky.
Also recommended: a slice of the dulce de leche roll. It's even better than it looks.
This place is an inexpensive reprieve from the rest of Palo Alto: $4 each for the salteñas, and $2 each for the cuñape and pan de arroz. The Cafe is closed Saturdays, but open Sundays for the Farmer's Market crowd. You can get a 5% discount if you "check in" to that other website.
I'm glad to see 3Gs mentioned. It's a great little lunch place. Along with the baked goods, I also recommend the peanut soup. It's a lighter soup than other peanut soups I've had with a chicken broth base and, unusually, shreds of raw potato on top that then cook in the broth. I've not had the quinoa soup, I keep planning to, but I keep re-ordering the peanut soup.
I went last month to grab some items for a work lunch. I took home leftovers and ended up passing by again for more of the cunape.
The winner with my boys was the cunape. I have one GF child and he loved it! Much better than the Chebe mix (can't stand those) and on par with the better ones I have have. The Saltenas received good reviews, except my husband found them a bit sweet. He wanted a spicy condiment to go with it - maybe I missed that? Overall a real gem in Palo Alto I think.
Tried the chicken salteña, cuñape, pan de arroz and alfajor. of the 4, loved the cuñape the most. its cheesy in a very light way, and the yucca flour is soft and chewy inside giving it a good texture.
the salteña seemed to be on the salty side, quite yummy. also liked the pan de arroz and the alfajor quite a bit.
all in all, what a lovely little cafe hidden on Cambridge Ave facing the parking structure. they have a nice little patio in the back. the place is spotless with very friendly owners who are happy to explain the Bolivian specialties.
i went on two Sundays and it was kinda empty. Let's hope more of the farmer's market crowd discover them so they keep open on sundays!
Thanks for posting about 3G's. I spotted it a few months ago walking back to the car after lunching at Terrone. I talked to them about the style of salteña, mostly wanting to know if these were soupy/juicy inside. They promised me they would be if baked to order (instead of the ones in the hot box) or if I bought the frozen ones to finish baking at home. So you've reminded me that I've still got them in the freezer to try!
I also bought an alfajor. And it's not recommended.