Friday, July 3, 2009

Stanford Shopping Center & Max's Opera Cafe

Andy asked Jonathan and I to come check out one of the local malls (of which there are TONS) with him. Most shopping centers don't stand out in my mind, but I do have my favorites (oh, Governor's Square, how I love thee!). I mention this one today because I really didn't like this mall.

Given that its name is "Stanford Shopping Center," and the fact that it's in Palo Alto, I should have assumed it would only have high-end stores... but I didn't. Given the fact that it's an outdoor mall (arranged similarly to the Ellenton, FL outlet mall), I should have seen it as a haven for moms and strollers... but I didn't. And these two problems were more than enough to disqualify it as a good mall in my book. I wasn't impressed with any of their "hip" stores... too much Abercrombie and Banana Republic for me (plus, if you don't have a Body Central or Body Shop, you lose), and there was just too much "family traffic" (I don't mind throngs of teenagers, but slow-moving families are only cute at Christmas time).

We had lunch at Max's Opera Cafe, which was incredibly unique. It's a local chain, and they modify the name for various locations, such as Max's Diner, Max's Restaurant, Max's on the Square, and Max's Market. They had all kinds of strange "rules" where if they ask "is everything all right?" you get a free drink, and if they ask "are you guys ready to order" you get a free dessert! Clearly, I'd recommend printing out the rules at home so you can learn them, then catch the server in the act! The menu was also HUGE, as in like 13 pages for the LUNCH menu alone! Andy and JB shared the Chinese Chicken Salad and a Reuben sandwich. The salad had peanuts, chow mein noodles, sesame seeds, hoisin, and some regular salad fixings. I had the "Outlaw" sandwich, which was a turkey-bacon-swiss on toasted sourdough. The turkey was Thanksgiving-style, and the swiss was pretty scant. So this made for an extremely dry sandwich, but with darn good bacon. At least the fries were scrumptious!

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