Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Downtown Palo Alto for Dinner

The first time that Jonathan was out in the Silicon Valley area, he had this "great Chicago-style pizza" that he talked about on multiple occasions. Well, after much ado, we figured out what it was called, and headed down there for dinner on a Saturday night.

We got into downtown Palo Alto pretty easily, and traffic wasn't too bad. Parking was a little hard to find, but there were a few spots available within a block or so of our destination: Patxi's Chicago Pizza. It's pronounced "pah-cheese" in case you were wondering... it took me a while to understand it, hehe.

We ordered a pepperoni and red bell peppers pizza (Chicago style, although they also have NY available), and it took about half an hour to make (they tell you in advance to expect it to take 30-40 minutes for Chicago, and 20-30 for NY). In the meantime, we shared a small caesar salad, but it was pretty decent size. Jonathan enjoyed it quite a bit... I thought the croutons were too "airy" if that makes sense, and the dressing was a little light (no anchovies in the dressing, so that changes the flavor).

When the pizza arrived, I was a bit let down. Mostly because all you could see was sauce and crust, and I had my camera ready to take a sweet picture of the crazy-deep pizza. In case you're unfamiliar with Chicago pizza, it's a thick crust, then the cheese and toppings, then a regular-thickness crust, topped with (sometimes cheese and) the sauce. It's not my preferred style of pizza (and as my mother will tell you, I've never been a fan of sauce. when I was a small child, my parents would order pizza without sauce, and this was a good decade before "white pizza" was cool), but Jonathan loves it. He thought this specific pizza was pretty amazing. After I scraped the sauce off of mine (there were a few tablespoons' worth on just one piece!) and added some parmesan, I liked it too.

The place isn't too big, and the seat-yourself atmosphere means that sometimes a couple with a preschooler will choose a large booth instead of a small table, and a wait line soon forms. The tables are also very close together, and we heard every word of the conversation that our neighbors had... they were weird. The service was kinda hit-or-miss... our waitress wasn't the most attentive, but many of the other servers were more than friendly, and recognized repeat customers. Overall, I'd recommend the place.

Driving back through downtown on the way home, we saw a frozen yogurt place having a grand opening. L'Amour is a non-chain, and really uninteresting. It's your standard California FroYo place, meaning you get a cup and fill it yourself, then they charge you 47 cents per ounce. Yeah, that's high. But the flavor choices were so boring, I didn't even sample any! JB tried the Butter Pecan, and said it was the worst he's ever had. They had 10 flavors... all nonfat except NY Cheesecake. Vanilla, Chocolate, Eurotart, Organic Plain, Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Pomegranate, and a few others. It may be the very first time I've ever walked out on a dessert place. And to add insult to injury, their frequent buyers card canot be shared, and you have to purchase $4.50 to even get a stamp! booo all around.

At least we were able to see part of Stanford before jumping back on the freeway!

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