Monday, February 2, 2009

Google Chef's New Restaurant, Calafia, Is A Tasty, Local Find

If you haven't heard of the former executive chef at Google, Charlie Ayers, take a look at his newest restaurant in Palo Alto, CA: Calafia. After directing 8,000 healthly and flavorful meals a day at the acclaimed Google cafes, I was excited to see his principles of fresh, local and seasonal food come to the masses. Calafia opened this January and Market-A-Go-Go, an adjacent market with grab-and-go foods, is coming soon.

A few of us at work took a walking lunchtime fieldtrip and found that weekday lunch lines were already long. Luckily, our large group was able to get an outside table on the patio without a reservation. Due to some afternoon work commitments, I was only able to stay for a few appetizers and had to take my main course to go.

The lunch menu looked diverse and flavorful with appetizers, tacos, wraps and panini and with tempting pizzas, salads, and noodle bowls.

Fiery Bottom BBQ Pork Bowl

I opted for the Fiery Bottom BBQ Pork Bowl- with brown rice, baby spinach, yams, a sunnyside up quail egg & micro greens. And it did not disappoint! The combination of spicy pork, hearty brown rice, perfectly roasted yams and wilted fresh spinach was a delicious mix of flavor and texture-not to mention a sunny-side up quail egg on top! I also felt great about the balance of grains, vegetables and meat at lunchtime and I appreciated my eco-friendly compostable box and utensils.

A few other glamour food shots:

Papas Con Ajo

Lamb Meatballs

Duck Dumplings

I can't wait for the Market A-Go-Go to open up for a quick lunchtime bite or a take home dinner, but I am also looking forward to having a more leisurely lunch or dinner inside. The interior is an eclectic, hip mix of reclaimed and recycled materials in a casual setting. Hooray for delicious food within walking distance of work!

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