Pineapple upside-down cake travels country to tutor Los Altos eaters

Courtesy of Mark Wagner
When Los Altos resident Grace Libby pined for a slice of her son-in-law Mark Wagner’s signature pineapple upside-down cake, he went to great lengths to accommodate her.

The Town Crier’s Food & Wine section solicits stories of local food experiments and traditions. Reader Mark Wagner took the bait last spring and shared the story of introducing Californians to a strange cuisine from a strange land: the good old-fashioned pineapple upside-down cake.

His in-laws, Grace and Lester Libby, lived on Miranda Way in Los Altos for nearly 50 years before moving to a condo at Parc Regent. Grace pined for a slice of Wagner’s traditional birthday treat – the aforementioned pineapple cake – but Wagner was in Cincinnati and she was in Los Altos. He started calling around to Safeway, Draeger’s Market and local bakeries to see who could provide a local slice.

Chef Chu's achieves national ranking in restaurant roundup

Town Crier File Photo
Lawrence Chu, longtime owner of the Los Altos landmark Chef Chu’s, prepares award-winning specialties in the kitchen.

Widely considered the best Chinese restaurant in Los Altos, Chef Chu’s recently received national recognition for its food.

Lawrence Chu’s restaurant appeared on CNN’s list of the 50 best Chinese restaurants in the U.S., released last month.

Brewers take inspiration from cocktails and other beverages

Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
G&T Gose, brewed by Anderson Valley Brewing Co. in Boonville, pays homage to the refreshing summertime gin and tonic cocktail.

Given the popularity of barrel-aged beers that reflect the character of spirits originally aged in barrels, the progression to fermented beverages that taste like cocktails or other beverages seems natural.

Mountain View's annual Wine Walk set for Thursday on Castro Street

These shoppers, armed with their wine glasses and “goodie bags” filled with merchant coupons, get set to participate in Mountain View’s Wine Walk.

Downtown Mountain View’s fifth annual Wine Walk is scheduled 5:30-9 p.m. Thursday along Castro Street.

The event, sponsored by the Mountain View Central Business Association, will feature an array of wines from local vintners and food samples from area restaurants.

Beat the Heat: Dinner ideas that keep the kitchen cool

With temperatures projected to climb toward triple digits this afternoon, turning on an oven or stove-top at dinnertime sounds less than appetizing. The Town Crier's local food columnists have provided inspiration from our archive for alternate dinner options this week, either uncooked or thrown on the grill:

In season this week: Squash blossoms bring a burst of color to the plate

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Female squash blossoms often have baby gourds attached to their ends. Squash blossoms can be fried, stuffed with a ricotta-like cheese, or both.

Squash blossoms are a “get it while you can” June treat at local farmers’ markets.

The highly perishable flowers are nearly impossible to find in supermarkets, as they last for hours – if you’re lucky, a day or two – after being picked. If you’ve never eaten one before, don’t hold back. The simplest preparations require nothing more than tearing a few flowers to shreds and dropping them, raw, over a salad or soup.

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