Rengsdorf Pho & Goldilocks - MV [Mountain View]
Two restaurants near the Costco in MV, across from the In n Out.
I poked my nose into Goldilocks, and found they are a Philipino-oriented steam-table joint. They have sisig, other dishes. They also have cakes, but I was hoping for a pastry and coffee. There is no coffee obvious.
I ended up next door at Rengsdorf Pho. This replaced a small grill, which was a little faded but had some dishes I liked, such as the Greek Cheesesteak (maybe you'd call it a Doner Cheesesteak).
I considered not writing because I don't really "get" pho. I like pho, but the subtleties of the broth are often lost on me. I got a lot of star anise, a decent broth-y taste, and as I was paying I saw attention paid to the huge stockpots on the stove. These guys are clearly the "real deal" in terms of making their own, and they taste as good as other Pho I've had, if not a little better.
The place isn't a general purpose Vietnamese place (unlike a lot of Pho restaurants that have a wide selection including those Bahn Xeo). They do have some Rice Meat Plates, but only a few. It's all about the Pho.
Remodel was good. The place is a little generic, but they upholstered the booths and put in a new floor and such. Pleasant place to hang out.
Thanks for the update! Sounds like a couple of intriguing possibilities in that mall now. Note that the name of the Pho place is Rengstorff Pho (www.rengstroffpho.com). Goldilocks turns out to be a chain that has branches in the USA, Canada, and the Philippines (www.goldilocks.com).
I don't seem able to change the title to add an extra F.
Regarding cheap decent food in that area:
Hanabi Sushi - I've eaten a couple of meals here, but it's pretty mediocre. Not good for growing boys who want to eat a lot.
Samovar - around the corner but still in the same block as the costco. I've had food that co-workers have brought out. Stick to your ribs, perogis and such. Not sure if they have seating.
The complex by BestBuy/REI has chain favorites: Erik's, L&L, Chipotle
You only have to go a short block to Old Middlefield to get to what I call Burrito Corner, which has La Costena, La Bamba, Los Altos. I personally like La Bamba best. La Costena is probably the best burrito, but I like to hang out and eat. Los Altos has good food but I have gotten crispier more interesting Al Pastor at La Bamba. I don't think you could go wrong at either of the 3.
Further up at True Middlefield is the big La Bamba (very nice sit down, good food, name "La Bamba Ay Carumba"), the little thai place. I've eaten a couple of times at the Thai place, and it's OK but a little americanized, but not the best bang per buck if kids are involved.
Other options are francesca's, which isn't where I would take kids and doesn't have good food anyway, Bajii's, where I was hopeful about the burger but was really thin and dry.
Roundup: honestly, getting your brood a large pho each is about $8/bowl ($10 tax & tip). That's a bit more than a burrito, but not much, and healthier than most options.
For a treat, consider taking your kids over to the Lakeside Cafe. It's right by the edge of Shoreline, which is really just a few minute drive. There are geese and boats to watch. The burgers are decent, and I think they do fish n chips as well. ( There's a Mike's over there, but that's high end ).