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Food & Wine

Sweets lovers and vegetarians celebrate banner year in Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Boardwalk served its final batch of burgers and fries last week, one of many changes in the local food landscape.

The same week the hallowed hangout The Boardwalk closed in Los Altos, news spread of a new restaurant coming to Main Street – Turn, a venture in the early stages of development set to take over the corner previously occupied by Jamba Juice and A.G. Ferrari Foods.

Following is a roundup of the latest food-related comings and goings in and around Los Altos.

• The Boardwalk closed after 38 years of serving pizza and sandwiches to local sports teams and families. The eatery failed to settle on new lease terms with the property owners, who are in the process of renovating and expanding the building, located at 4940 El Camino Real.

• The proprietors of Turn are slated to renovate the building at the intersection of Main and Second streets. Landlord Bart Nelson said the principals behind the project – some of whom live in Los Altos – will add a commercial kitchen at the site.

• Over on State Street, the once-promised juice bar planned at 325 State is no more, but the space is now promised to Sugar Baby Sweet Shoppe, a venture of Los Altos residents Colleen and Darren Howze.

• There’s another (seeming) departure at 170 State. Plans for The Alley, the upscale soda fountain, burger restaurant and speakeasy planned by H&H Co., may be scuttled now that Mary Heffernan has pulled out of town. Brooke Ray Smith, director at Passerelle Investment Co., the property’s landlord, said the anonymous entity that purchased H&H’s businesses will ultimately decide The Alley’s fate.

• The soda fountain may prove a vanished dream, but frozen yogurt is now on tap Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Red Berry Coffee Bar, 145 Main St. Red Berry offers vanilla, chocolate and swirl yogurts from Strauss Family Creamery. And note the option of an affogato – a scoop of frozen yogurt doused in an espresso shot and sprinkled with fresh roasted hazelnuts.

• Farther afield, two competing shaved-snow shops are offering an alternative to ice cream. The delicate dessert, originating in Taiwan as a cross between shave ice and ice cream, can be found tucked away among the homes of The Crossings development at Sno-Zen Shaved Snow & Dessert Cafe, 2101 Showers Drive, and HoneyCreek at 124 Castro St.

• Also on Castro Street, the restaurateurs behind Alexander’s Steakhouse and The Sea (4269 El Camino Real in Palo Alto) are adding a pastry outpost set to open later this year at 209 Castro.

• Although burger lovers are ruing the loss of The Boardwalk and The Alley, vegetarian options are on the upswing. Two new places offer meat in air quotes – dine on the “fish” and “beef” of the vegan world at Veggie Grill, now open at The Village at San Antonio Center, which also offers “free” menus (soy free, gluten free, seed free, nut free, garlic free). In addition to entrée salads piled high with avocado, quinoa, kale and the like, Veggie Grill serves burgers, hot sandwiches and dinner plates.

Also delving into the world of fake meat is Veggie Garden, across from Whole Foods Market at 2464 El Camino Real, which casts its vegan fare in a Chinese mode.

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