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Best of Palo Alto 2012 (continued from page 39) go items, phone, catering and OrderAhead App orders — has eased the lunchtime crowding. On a shelf to the right of the entrance are some of the most popular items of the shop’s old gourmet lines, including Marie Sharp’s Hot Habañero Sauce from Belize, Palo Alto Firefighters’ Pepper Sauce, Vermont maple candies and the Cheese House private-label sweets. 157 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto, 650-326-9251; thevch.com

Gelato/Ice Cream Hall of Fame: Third Year Ice-cream champion Rick’s Ice Cream offers a wide selection of creamy ice cream that’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Serving Palo Altans for nearly 40 years, Rick’s boasts 48 flavors. Classics such as French vanilla and chocolate lie in heaping tubs beside quirkier offerings like rose and kulfi. The shop also carries elaborately decorated ice-cream cakes, cake pops, fudge and handmade waffle cones. 3946 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-4936553; ricksicecream.com Cool down with a sweet treat — Gelato Classico has a variety of frosty confections. Slightly removed from the chaos of central downtown Palo Alto, this little shop is the perfect place to pop into for a sweet afterdinner treat or a refreshing afternoon snack. Decadent flavors include chocolate hazelnut and intoxicating tiramisu, while lighter fruit fare and classic chocolate and vanilla are also available. 435 Emerson St., Palo Alto, 650-327-1317; caffeclassicofoods.com

Grocery Store While I tend to like a grocery store that’s one-stop shopping, what’s the point if what they have isn’t what you want? Not the case with Trader Joe’s, which prides itself on having an eclectic variety of affordable wines, cheeses, nuts, fresh veggies and fruits, pre-made salads and kosher meat. You may not find the exact brand of cleaning supplies, but you’re bound to score something truly interesting for dinner. Don’t forget to stop in the corner for free samples: That’s how I discovered rosemary-and-raisin crackers. 140 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto, 650-327-7018; traderjoes. com

Happy Hour Best Of voters cheer the happy hour at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, which also won for its savory steaks. See the complete listing under Steak.

Milkshake Hall of Fame: Second Year Can’t get enough. With locations downtown and at Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto Creamery Fountain & Grill takes the shake as a perpetual favorite. After winning best milkshake five years running, Creamery Fountain & Grill is in its second year as a Hall of Famer. It is not to be confused with Peninsula Creamery,

Readers dig Trader Joe’s, voting it Palo Alto’s Best Grocery Store. whose owners, the Santana family, are actually landlords of the 566 Emerson St. location, with a stipulation that it remain a ‘50s-style soda fountain. 566 Emerson St., Palo Alto, 650-323-3131; 2A Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650-327-3141; paloaltocreamery. com Back to the ‘50s. Step back in time at Peninsula Creamery at the corner of Channing Avenue and High Street, a family-owned Palo Alto tradition since 1923. Retro dinette tables and chairs sit atop red-and-white checkered linoleum floors; the counter is lined with bowls of 10- and 25-cent candy; and the milkshakes are the best in town. If you can resist the best-selling chocolate or “Old Fashioned” — vanilla with chocolate syrup — choose from an array of other ice cream flavors. 900 High St., Palo Alto, 650-323-3175; peninsulacreamery.com

New Food/Drink Establishment There’s a reason why Philz Coffee has long enjoyed a cultish following among the hip java-guzzlers in San Francisco and Berkeley. This driponly mini-chain has enjoyed a small but devout Palo Alto following for years because of its Middlefield Road location, a small cafe with a large courtyard and a wide selection of smooth blends and comforting pastries. With the recent opening of a larger Philz on Forest Avenue, the chain’s addictive brews, savory snacks, comfortable sofas, friendly service and abundant outdoor seating make this champion coffee spot a choice destination for the laptopcarrying set. 101 Forest Ave., Palo Alto, 650-321-2161; philzcoffee.com

Pizza Hall of Fame: Third Year Popular Menlo Park restaurant Applewood Pizza has certainly earned its place in the Best Of Hall of Fame. Applewood has served delicious pizzas to hungry eaters for years, offering specialized pies such as the Florentine (marinated artichokes, mushrooms, bell peppers and fresh tomatoes), the Athens (marinated eggplant, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and green onions) and the Los Altos (BBQ chicken, red onions, cilantro, pesto and fresh tomatoes). Applewood now also offers delivery, and its bar features 37 imported beers. 1001 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, 650-324-3486; applewoodpizza.com

rarely found in today’s world of online shopping: an old-fashioned open-air market. At Sigona’s you will find the best in organic and local produce, including tree-ripened fruits and veggies and gourmet specialty foods. The family-run business is dedicated to exemplary customer service

and supporting family farms. Many shoppers keep coming back for the market’s rare and fresh produce, but Sigona’s staff also makes finding the perfect meal easy and fun. While Sigona’s organic produce is its (continued on next page)

Should famous Chicago-based athletes such as Michael Jordan or Brian Urlacher ever stroll through Palo Alto, they may yearn for some authentic Chicago-style fare. And if pizza is their favorite, Patxi’s Chicago Pizza would be their destination. The downtown eatery scored with Best Of voters for its unusual and savory pizza. Patxi’s menu has four styles — Chicago “stuffed,” pan, regular crust and extrathin crust. Toppings include spinach and mushrooms, aged prosciutto and kalamata olives. And the filling pizza is enough to satisfy the hunger of Bulls and Bears alike. 441 Emerson St., Palo Alto, 650-473-9999; patxispizza.com

Produce Sigona’s Farmer’s Market offers a grocery-shopping experience

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Palo Alto Weekly 08.17.2012 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the August 17, 2012 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly

Palo Alto Weekly 08.17.2012 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the August 17, 2012 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly