Category Archives: City Weekly

#cityweekly – foods for fall

i love eating seasonally and nothing says tis the season like pumpkin bread and apple cider.
this week, emily and i decided to round up some great fall foods for your taste buds to enjoy this season in silicon valley and dc.



butternut squash soup @ bistro maxine (palo alto) – i was never much a soup fan growing up but then during college something changed. i began to love soup. maybe because it was so cold and it seemed like the only thing that would warm up my body besides hot chocolate. maybe i started to become less picky. maybe i never really gave soup in sunny southern ca a chance. whatever the reason i have come to love certain soups, butternut squash being one and french onion being another. bistro maxine makes both of these options exquisitely. the creaminess and flavor of the butternut squash soup is just divine and puts me in a cozy mood instantly. you won’t want to miss this soup when the weather starts to turn chilly!

pumpkin macaron @ chantal guillon (palo alto) – macarons are one of my favorite treats and chantal guillon provides the best assortment! i love this charming cafe that serves macarons with tea. now the pumpkin macaron is not officially out yet this season but i was assured by the shop owner that they will be providing them at their shop 10 days before halloween. mark your calendars for october 21! i know i will. i have yet try a macaron flavor that i do not like.  also note that a thanksgiving pecan macaron will be coming to the shop in november. oh my!

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fall cupcakes @ frost (campbell) – this cupcake factory won cupcake wars a couple of years ago so you know it will be worth every bite. frost is always creative and comes up with some of the most out of the box flavors for every season. this fall, frost introduced apple crumble, carmel apple and pumpkin spice cupcakes. yumm. i personally love the apple crumble for the extra streusel that is sprinkled on the frosting.

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pumpkin ice cream @ tin pot creamery (palo alto) – remember this #cityweekly about my favorite ice cream shops in the bay area? it is not only one of my favorites but is a finalist for the martha stewart american made contest! if martha and i are both in love with this shop it is further evidence that you better head on over to tin pot asap! this season, tin pot is offering pumpkin flavored ice cream which is delicious (but all of their flavors are perfection really). don’t forget to devour your pumpkin ice cream in a waffle cone for an extra sweet crunch.

apple pie @ palo alto creamery (palo alto) – my mom makes an apple pie every thanksgiving. it is probably my favorite of the 4 different types she makes. i love the flakey crust and sweet apples. i love when it is topped with vanilla ice cream. i love when the apples squirt out a little juice. although palo alto creamery is still not mom’s, it is a competitor and really hits the spot. it has all the great components and the diner atmosphere makes it feel that much more authentic and all american.

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don’t forget to head on over to 20somethingfashion to read about emily’s dc picks!

what are your favorite fall foods in your city?



#cityweekly – Best Pizza in Silicon Valley

#cityweekly is back. my apologies, for the random hiatus. emily and i have both been busy and then my blog was being reconstructed but it is all water on the bridge now. we are back and giving you the best of the best from coast to coast.

i recently read delancey, which is a great story about a recently married couple who opens up a pizza cafe together. the author goes into detail of the research process involved with opening up  a restaurant and how her husband went near and far to sample the best pizza around the country. she also talked about what her husband thinks makes a pizza highly rated. do you think it is the dough or cheese or sauce? he claims the dough. this got me on a pizza kick.

so this week we are talking best pizza in silicon valley and dc. i love pizza however, don’t eat it a lot because of the calories. but sometimes all your body wants is the comfort of fresh dough and melted cheese. sometimes there are days when calories should be thrown to the wayside.

below are my picks for the best pizza in silicon valley. don’t forget to check out emily’s blog for the best pizza in dc!

pizza list

delfina (locations in sf, burlingame and palo alto) – i have eaten delfina at  the burlingame location and palo alto location. both experiences were wonderful. i love this place. i love their menu. i love their staff. i love their decor. and i love their pizza. you can taste the freshness of their cheese and toppings in every bite. i have tried the margherita and prosciutto pie and really loved both for different reasons. i have also tried delfina’s chicken salad nicoise which is a great entree if you are not in the pizza mood. it was incredibly flavorful and filling. i would also recommend ordering an appetizer of burrata. oh my goodness their burrata is to die for and i crave it every day. the bread on the side of burrata is perfectly toasted and delfina soaks it in olive oil before serving. yummmm




blue line pizza (locations in mountain view, campbell, burlingame, san carlos and daly city) – another great pizza shop with multiple locations for all to enjoy! blue line offers both deep dish and thin crust style pizzas but be warned the deep dish takes a little longer to cook. some people claim it is the best deep dish in the bay area though so it may be worth your wait depending on your crust preference. their deep dish is a corn meal crust if that sways you. i really enjoyed the white pie and pesto chicken!

bibo’s (san jose)  – bibo’s is ny quality pizza! the slices are large. crust is crisp and thin so you can fold it in half.  the owner is from new york. what more could you ask for?  bibo’s has also perfected the sauce to cheese ratio to give you maximum flavor. i would recommend checking out bibo’s when you want a simpler pizza with 3 toppings or less. it is a smaller place so i always opt for pick up.

terun pizza (palo alto) – terun creates neapolitan style pizzas just the way i like it. all their toppings are fresh and high quality. i am actually devouring the san daniele pizza as i type this. that is how much i love this place. the prosciutto and large shavings of parmesan cheese covered the whole pizza. i also love the hint of truffle oil i tasted in the crust. terun is the place you go if you want to feel like you are in northern italy again. viva l’italia.



pizzetta 211 (sf) – according to delancey, this is one of the top 3 pizza places in the bay area and i would have to agree! pizzetta offers tasty thin crust pizza with farm to table toppings. they switch up the menu weekly to ensure all the ingredients in the pizza are in season. pizzetta is also very creative with their toppings and offer a variety like I have never seen at most pizza places. farm egg and asparagus on a pizza? yes please.

and of course if you are in the city there is also tony’s, which is the most famous of them all. i have heard amazing things but am sorry to say i have not had the opportunity to go so did not include it in my post. it is on my list though so will let you know what i think when i go!

what do you thinks makes an award winning pizza?
what are you favorite pizza spots in your city?

linked to : local adventurer

#cityweekly: best farmers’ markets in the bay area

i know farmers’ markets may be winding down for some of you depending upon where you live but here, in the bay area, farmers’ markets are still buzzing and generally are available till december. some farmers’ markets are even available all year round!
and that is why we pay double the average us city rent.

this city weekly, emily and i  are rounding up the best farmers’ markets in the bay area of northern california and dc. b and i love checking out local farmers’ markets for flavorful fruits and vegetables, creative baked goods and homemade cheese.

here are my favorite farmers’ markets in silicon valley:


ferry plaza farmers market (san francisco) : this farmers’ market is probably the most well known of the bunch. it is situated around the ferry building, which houses many wonderful cheese, candy, ice cream and bread shops. the market is available on saturdays between 8am – 2pm as well as tuesdays and thursdays. i find the best assortment of vendors here and always leave with bags and bags of goodies. i especially seek after the amazing flowers and juicy fruits. this is where i tried my first white peach and nectarine. i am completely obsessed now. i love picking up lunch from one of the tents and then meandering through each vendor. this farmers market has the biggest selection by far and what can beat that view?

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palo alto farmers’ market (palo alto, peninsula) : this is the farmers’ market we visit most often. it has a nice array of locally grown vegetables and fruits as well as meats and cheeses. this farmers market is unique in that it usually has live music being performed. i love walking through the maze of tents while listening to the beautiful voices of the local musicians. the last time we went it was an elderly all male acapella group. it was the sweetest thing i had ever seen.
another thing i love about this market is the chocolate garage, which can be insanely crowded some saturdays but, offers a great assortment of dark and milk chocolate. i do love my sweets! the palo alto farmers’ market is available on saturday mornings from may to december.

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saratoga farmers’ market (saratoga, south bay) : this market is located at west valley college, which is already a great location because of the ample (and free) parking. i love the diversity of this market. there always seems to be something for everyone — from fruits to asian vegetables to fresh fish (packaged before your eyes) to homemade tamales. i recommend getting there when the market opens at 9am because this market can get fairly crowded and i always want to have first pick ha.

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okay, i know we usually do a list of 5 but for this edition i wanted to keep it short and sweet with 3. i have been to a number of farmers markets in the area and don’t think that the others compare with the assortment of produce, meats, cheeses and breads. often times those aspects are looked over and it is just a gathering of food trucks and people, which is not a real farmers’ market if you ask me.
i do hope to experience more san francisco based markets as well as the half moon bay market because i hear great things. i will keep you updated on my findings!

don’t forget to check out emily’s dc picks!

what do you think makes a great farmers’ market? what do you normally buy at your local farmers’ markets?

#cityweekly: best parks in silicon valley and dc

 b and i loving spending an afternoon in the park.
we try to go at least once a week. it is a great place to enjoy the weather and beauty that is all around us. i love reading, lounging, picnicking and flying kites in the park.  we even hosted b’s birthday in the park a couple months ago where we set up a picnic and croquet court. when you don’t have a ton of room in your apartment, a park is the next best economical option to host any type of gathering.

emily and i decided to showcase our favorite parks for this #cityweekly. be sure to check out her blog for the best parks in the dc area. and do take advantage of these next couple months in the park because winter and cool temperatures could be here before you know it!


golden gate park (san francisco) – did you know golden gate park is actually larger than central park? i had no idea there were so many sub areas until b took me on a segway tour of the park. sure, we looked like complete nerds with our vests and helmets but, it was a great way to see the entire park and learn the history all within 3 hours. my favorite areas were shakespeare’s garden, stowe lake where you can rent boats or feed the ducks and hippie hill. golden gate park is so vast and diverse. whether you are looking to lounge in the sun with jazz music echoing through the tunnels, partake in traditional japanese tea , dine with a view of the bay or broaden your horizons by attending the de young museum or academy of sciences. there really is something for everyone. golden gate park can be a little overwhelming because there is no way you can truly get a feel of the whole park in one day but, that is part of the reason i love it. i love that we find something new or learn something new every time we visit. don’t forget to grab a soft-serve cone from twirl and dip while you are there!

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willow street frank bramhall park (willow glen, san jose) – the trees in this park are unreal. i have never seen so many different types in one place. there are cork oak, cedar, redwoods and red maple to name a few. the trees paired with the rolling hills (that they make into an amphitheater for various festivals) make this park a stunner. willow street frank bramhall also provides tennis courts, basketball courts, a baseball diamond and onsite bathrooms. do note it is fairly busy and parking may be hard to come by on a sunny afternoon.

cooper park (mountain view): cooper park may be our favorite close to home park. it is located in a lovely neighborhood on the border of mountain view and los altos. cooper park is spacious and offers plenty of room to spread out, a playground, tennis courts, many trees and a baseball diamond. we especially love this park because it is quiet and tucked away. b and i stumbled upon the park accidentally when we saw some beautiful homes from the main road and wanted to further investigate the neighborhood. often times b and i will walk around a ritzy neighborhood and fawn over each house. we imagine what life might be like for the current residents. this activity usually leads us to amazing parks!

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washington park (burlingame) – any park with a rose garden will be at the top of my list. washington park is a lovely space with easy to reserve picnic areas (i hate having to go through the city to reserve), two separate play grounds depending on age, a bocce ball court and large trees lining the perimeter. it is quite dreamy and only a couple blocks from the train station and downtown area. i only wish it were a little bit bigger.

cornelis bol park (palo alto) – this is another lush and beautiful park tucked away from the buzzing streets of el camino street in palo alto. i love this park for the walking trail around the perimeter. it is a great way to unwind and clear your thoughts. one thing that makes this park unique is there are donkeys to feed and pet near the fence. it’s like your own free petting zoo! don’t worry it is still very clean and fresh smelling;)

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 what do you think makes a great park? what are your favorite parks in your area?
check here and here for more silicon valley and dc gems!

#cityweekly – charming neighborhoods

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this week, emily and i wanted to stray a little from food and hop on over to the best neighborhoods to live in silicon valley and dc.  so for those of you looking to move to either area, this post will give you a little insight as to where to dwell. also note, that i am focusing more heavily on the peninsula and south bay when making these recommendations. i am sure east bay has some lovely neighborhoods to settle in but, that is not my expertise.

what makes a great neighborhood to you? for me it is location, restaurant/shopping access, parks, school districts (even though we are not in that stage it is always nice to know), and proximity to beautiful cities to explore.


Palo Alto (peninsula) – i have worked in downtown palo alto since april and fall more in love with it everyday. palo alto is home to stanford, venture capital firms and a bustling yet relaxed downtown. the public schools in the area are rated a perfect 10. are you now understanding why this is one of the most expensive places to live in the country? the neighborhoods along Embarcadero Rd are completely swoon worthy. Each house is unique and has a perfectly well kept garden. i can’t get over how many gorgeous trees line the streets of practically every sub neighborhood in palo alto.
i always tell b this is where i need to live when we settle down. every corner is another stunning home/view. you will be paying high prices to live in this picture perfect city. according to the sf business times, average rent for an apartment in palo alto is $3,000+. b and i are pinching our pennies to one day live in a dream land like this.

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Marina (San Francisco) – i have not lived in the city (b is not much of a city person), but i do have many friends that live there  and call the marina their home. I thought SF gate described the marina district perfectly by saying “the apartment buildings, shops and restaurants seem to be bursting at their seams with beautiful, young and fit 20- and 30-somethings. The singles scene is hopping on Friday and Saturday nights, with lots of fresh-faced postgrads with cocktails in one hand and cell phones in the other. Union is arguably the best street in the city to window-shop the hours away on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and, a few blocks down, Chestnut has an incredible variety of high-quality restaurants catering to every palate.”

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Sunnyvale (south bay) – this is where we have lived for the past year and a half. we originally picked this location because it a little less pricey and is in great proximity to san jose, mountain view and palo alto where we have worked. the more north you live on the peninsula, the less traffic you usually face when commuting to your job. b works in san jose so he is driving a reverse commute and can get to work in less than 10 min. score! i used to have the same reverse commute when working in santa clara, but now head north to palo alto where i am in the thick of it. thank goodness i am only 10 miles away.
living in sunnyvale has also made it easy to go on day trips in the city and santa cruz / monterey (we are less than a hour away from both). i love how easy it is to explore all that is around me. i love the quaint downtown area that host farmer’s markets on Saturdays and live music on Wednesdays. i love the local restaurants and family oriented atmosphere. sunnyvale schools on average are rated a 7/10, which is pretty good in the school districts around here. i love how it always seems to be a little sunnier than the neighboring cites (hence the name maybe). we love this city and think it is a perfect place to begin your bay area adventure whether you are newly married or have a large family.

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Woodside (peninsula) – woodside is located less than 10 miles north of palo alto. it is technically a sub area of redwood city. this is a great neighborhood to live in if you feel like you need just a little more space in this jam packed bay area. woodside residents consist mostly of established professionals with large, plantation like homes. this is where larry ellison has come to dwell so you know it must be something good and with property taxes that big of course the schools are top notch. b and i enjoy walking around this neighborhood and taking in the plush scenery. you would have to travel a bit more for restaurants and shopping because it is a tad secluded. but, by travel i mean 15 min and driving through the rolling hills is the prettiest drive to town i have ever seen. this woodsy area is also just a hop, skip and a jump away from beautiful half moon bay. oh a girl can dream.

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Willow Glen (south bay) – i have had friends and coworkers live in the willow glen area and swear that it is the place to be. i would have to agree that is indeed one of the places to be. their charming downtown with an array of boutiques and restaurants make you want to roam the streets aimlessly. i love the small town and friendly feel of willow glen. yet, you are only 5 miles away from downtown san jose. willow glen also knows how to celebrate the holidays and come together as a community.  during the holidays it is known for its yearly christmas tree lights decoration tradition. many residents participate by decorating christmas trees in their front yards, decorating them in multicolored lights which, when done completely, can be a fun place to drive through. my coworkers actually told me about this tradition and i couldn’t help but day dream about living in this perfect town. there are also other annual street festivals and farmers markets which draw hundreds if not thousands to the neighborhoods streets. It is far more affordable than palo alto, woodside and the marina. score! the one downfall for me is that it may be located too far south for my liking. it is not as accessible to the peninsula and the city. in the end it may be worth it. 

What do you think makes a great neighborhood?

Linked to: Local Adventure

#cityweekly : We All Scream for Ice Cream

Ready for our second #cityweekly? I know I am.

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Confession… I have the biggest sweet tooth.
No matter how full I am from lunch or dinner my body still craves something sweet to end the meal. And as I mentioned before , ice cream is my treat of choice no matter the options.
I have tried most every ice cream shop I see . You never want to miss out on an opportunity to indulge in the perfect ice cream cone.
I know Emily shares this philosophy with me so we decided the next top 5 category would be ice cream shops!


1. The Ice Cream Bar (Cole Valley, SF) – This shop was, again, referred to me by my foodie of a sister. We ate here a couple hours after our amazing brunch at Zazie. It is also located in the Coal Valley area of SF and usually has a line out the door. The retro decor and set up make you feel like you are back in the 50’s sharing a milkshake in your poodle skirt. What I love about The Ice Cream Bar is they have vegan options (their chocolate almond coconut ice cream is bomb), the flavors are unique & homemade and menu is diverse with flavored sodas, ice cream style sodas & sundaes. The options are endless and never have I ever found one to be less than divine. We tried an array of floats, phosphates and ice cream cones and each thought, again, ours was truly the best (it was hard to pick between them). I would recommend trying their phosphates and floats since it is unique to their shop.


2. Smitten Ice Cream (Whole Foods, Los Altos) - I had to try Smitten Ice Cream once I heard they bought all their ingredients locally (including strawberries from Swanton Berry Farm — member B and I picked berries from there in the small town of Davenport?).  Smitten Ice Cream’s first location was in San Francisco and had so much success that they have expanded down the peninsula and to the east bay. Smitten Ice Cream is made to order by way of liquid nitrogen.  This method ensures the ingredients are fresh and creamy. Smitten’s offers about 5-8 flavors and then recommends what type of topping to pair your scoop with for the full experience. I personally enjoy the Hot Stuff Truly Smitten Sundae. I figure the menu already offers the most tried and true pairings so why mess with success.


3. Bi-Rite Creamery (Mission, SF) – Bi-Rite is a San Francisco classic ( you can tell by the mile long lines on the weekends). Those mile long lines are there for a reason because their ice cream is out of this world.  I love when ice cream shops provide floral or spice flavors and Bi-Rite has some of the best! I recommend balsamic strawberry, honey lavender, basil and salted carmel. Do skip the popsicle options, it is not worth replacing for any scoop of the heavenly ice cream!

4. Nirvanaah (Sunnyvale) – If you are wanting to expand your ice cream horizons, Nirvanaah is the place for you! Nirvannah serves authentic Indian style ice cream. I am a lover of all things Indian whether it be food, movies, clothing, customs (I am somewhat obsessed and intrigued by this country as a whole) so I knew this would rock my world. Sure enough it did! The worker saw how interested I was in all the unique flavors and  gave me a brief summary and sample of the flavors. There are about 30 flavors (including some original American flavors). There were many flavors with Indian names that I cannot pronounce nor can remember, but I do know I loved every sample I tried. The mixture of spices brings a new twist on the classic cold treat. I finally chose a creamy, buttery Indian flavor and Ferrero Roche. Both were excellent!

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5.  Tin Pot (Palo Alto) – Tin Pot is located in a shopping center fairly close to Stanford University. Its’ modern chic decor make it an inviting space and instagram worthy. I love all the different flavors and toppings they offer. Do note, the flavors are not overly sweet so if you are into that it may not be your spot. I recommend cookie monster and honey lavender.

Don’t forget to check out Emily’s DC picks!

 I didn’t include Penny’s Creamery because technically it is not located in the Silicon Valley, but it is one of the best I have tried! If you are ever in the Santa Cruz area do try!

Also, there are a few shops I haven’t had the opportunity to try, but they are on my list and may have to be added to the top based on reviews: Humphry Solocombe, DeLise and Fenton’s. I will let you know my thoughts once I try!

What are your favorite ice cream shops?

Linked: Local Adventurer


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I am so excited to share with you a collaboration I have been working on
with a dear friend and fellow blogger.
Emily, of Twenty – Somethings , and I were in a couple classes together while attending the University of Utah. We instantly hit it off and have kept in touch ever since. We both enjoy discovering new things in our respective cities and thought it would be fun to work together on city guides.
We hope each week to bring  you top 5 eateries, things to do, must sees, where to shop and more of Silicon Valley and Washington DC. This way we have you covered from coast to coast!
And what better way to start this series off than with the top 5 must eat brunch spots? Brunch is something Emily and I (yes, we even have the same name — so in sync) are very passionate about so we searched high and low for the best of the best. Trust us, you will not want to miss any of these great restaurants in either city!


Silicon Valley stretches from San Francisco to San Jose.
I guess I could have technically picked one city but, when you live in the South Bay you tend to not stick to just one since everything is so close together and you want to see it all. For my picks, I searched the whole valley to bring you the best brunch spots. I tried to spread them out across the peninsula so anywhere you are living or visiting has a brunch spot near you.
Let’s begin. Shall we?


 1. Zazie (Cole Valley, SF) : My sister, N, actually recommended Zazie to me about a year ago. She was coming into town (currently resides in Texas) with her husband to celebrate their anniversary in Napa and was scheduled to stay a day in the city. N is the biggest foodie of my whole family so when she recommends something I know it will blow my mind. We met up at Zazie for brunch and even though it was a little while ago I still remember the taste of every dish we had. I have never had such a perfectly poached egg in my life. All their dishes are not only creatively planned but executed to perfection. The menu offers many different variations of poached eggs, which was refreshing because most places just stick to eggs benedict. We each chose a different type of poached egg and were convinced ours was the very best. You must also try their gingerbread pancakes. I am usually not a big fan of gingerbread but these pancakes were heavenly. Pancakes are topped with lemon curd to get the perfect balance of both flavors. This is by far my favorite brunch spot out of anywhere in the world! N would totally agree so you know you need to check it out ASAP!
Do come early … We arrived a half hour before it opened to put our name on the list and we still had to wait a little bit once the restaurant opened. The wait time can be lengthy.

2. The Table (Willow Glen, San Jose) : The Table is a newer restaurant located in the quaint city of Willow Glen. The ambiance and service are top notch and the menu diverse (all 3 factors make for a great restaurant in my book). I would recommend the sugar dusted ricotta beignets, pork belly sandwich and fried chicken with cheddar cheese biscuit. The Table only purchases from local farmers and ranchers, which they believe makes their food more flavorful. I would have to agree with this philosophy!

3. Pastis (Palo Alto) : Pastis is a French bistro located a couple miles south of downtown Palo Alto. This charming bistro is the perfect way to start your morning and transport you back to the streets of Paris. The menu is authentic and offers many different options which, sometimes makes it hard to choose just one thing! I would recommend le parisien (nutella topped french toast), croque monsieur, bread pudding and any omelette. Bon appetit!


4. Toosties at the Stanford Barn (Stanford, Palo Alto) : This endearing Italian style brick building may make your heart skip a beat. Sometimes it is all about location, location , location with brunch but good thing Toosties is just as appetizing to the eyes as it is to the stomach! I seriously could have stayed here gazing at the fields for hours and would have loved to try everything on the menu. I would recommend the housemade ricotta pancakes (very different than any pancake I have ever had at brunch), breakfast panino and the grilled nutella sandwich. The menu could be considered limited, but sometimes the basics is all I need. Do try to sit outside because it the best way to experience Toosties!


5. Town  (San Carlos) : My old boss kept on telling me that I had to try this place. He often went for dinner, but when I saw that they had a brunch menu it solidified my need to check it out. I have never had brunch at a steak restaurant. Have you? It is something you must try. Perfectly seasoned steak and  a side of eggs  to start off my day? Don’t mind if I do. Do try the farmhouse chicken and waffles, steakhouse benedict and banana hazelnut chocolate stuffed french toast. The service is efficient and courteous. Mmmmm I am getting hungry just thinking about being back here.

 I can’t forget to mention the cute artist that allowed us to use her work on our header. Isn’t it darling? Her name is Sara Selby and she creates the most adorable city prints. I had been lusting after every city print in her shop so I was so glad when she happily agreed to provide her prints for our use.
How cute would a collage of these prints on one wall of a nursery be? You would sure give your child wanderlust early on!

Be sure to check out Emily’s blog Twenty – Somethings for details on all her brunch picks! And don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of #cityweekly

What are you favorite brunch spots in your area?

Linked to: Local Adventure