Uploaded: Thursday, August 23, 2012, 12:02 PM
Food & Drink: Best of Mountain View 2012
House of Bagels beats out the competition because of the unique way they bake their bagels each morning. By boiling the bagels first and then baking them in a brick oven, the product is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Choosing from 22 flavors that range from jalapeno to chocolate chip, fans agree that the traditional and gourmet bagels are simply the best.
1712 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View
Mountain View residents aren't the only ones to notice Le Boulanger's fresh bread, says manager Julian Hawawini. The bakery also showcases its Bay Area award-winning sourdough, which, like the other breads offered, is baked daily. Along with 40 varieties of bread and pastries comes the popular California Fresh sandwich containing turkey, cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato and onions on Le Boulanger's Dutch crunch roll. Le Boulanger also won the vote for best deli this year.
650 Castro St., Mountain View
Winning both Best Bar and Best Happy Hour in Mountain View, Tied House Cafe and Brewery is open to "families, groups, and individuals" with emphasis on the family-friendly side as a restaurant as well as a bar. The 14 beers on tap all come from the in-house microbrewery, and bartenders encourage customers to develop their palates by tasting them all.
954 Villa St., Mountain View
Slow but steady is what wins the race for Armadillo Willy's year after year. They take no short cuts in the smoking process -- the ribs and brisket cook from five to 18 hours over real oak logs. The BBQ joint has served Bay Area locations with authentic Texas barbecue since 1983.
1031 N. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos
Clarke's Charcoal Broiler is famous for "good service and good food," owner James Blach says. The burgers weigh 1/3 of a pound and are cooked over charcoal, which makes for an authentic grilled taste. Along with their condiment bar stocked with fresh produce and old-school feel, Clarke's has all the making for a champion burger. Clarke's also offers delivery and take-out.
615 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View
La Costena's custom-built burritos fill up the hungriest of eaters, and patrons say they taste great. Each burrito comes with rice, beans and salsa. Besides holding several Best of Mountain View awards, La Costena holds a Guinness Book record for the largest burrito, built in Rengstorff Park. Readers also voted it the city's best place for take-out.
2078 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View
Ice Cream Store
Gelato Classico dishes out its Italian ice cream in a rich and wide selection of flavors, from green tea and hazelnut to caramello chocolate crunch. Loyal patrons flock to the gelato in large numbers each night, and they say the creamy ice cream is worth the wait.
241 Castro St., Mountain View
Mountain View's favorite noodle house, Ramen House Ryowa, takes its name from its most popular dish: Ryowa noodles. These Japanese-style ramen noodles are served with cha siu barbeque pork, seaweed and a boiled egg. Customers say the noodles are perfectly cooked and the broth is always flavorful.
859 Villa St., Mountain View
Fans of Verde Tea say no one makes the frothy, East Asian beverage containing sweetened tea and milk with as much skill as Verde. The cafe serves pearl milk tea in flavors from peach to red bean. The pearls -- tapioca balls at the bottom of each drink -- are a particular favorite.
852 Villa St., Mountain View
Amici's East Coast Pizzeria is famous for its authentic thin, crisp-crust pizzas cooked in traditional dome ovens right next to an open flame. Marketing director Richard Allum says that Amici's is the best because it "strives to make your experience the best it can be." The local pizza joint also has a variety of salads and pasta dishes so that there's something for everyone.
790 Castro St., Mountain View
Not only is the Mountain View Farmers Market the fourth-largest in the state, it consistently wins local and national awards and is named by patrons the No. 1 farmers' market in the Bay Area. Located near the Mountain View train station, the market showcases over 80 farmers and food producers who offer an extensive selection of organic produce, baked goods and fresh flowers. Open year round, rain or shine, the market makes a great Sunday morning excursion.
600 W. Evelyn Ave., Mountain View
Small Grocery Store
The Milk Pail has always been a favorite for its local produce, baked goods, and food along with its huge variety of rare cheeses, but this year they also began giving mozzarella-making classes and started "Curds & Chords," a program where the store participates with music venues by hosting a cheese-tasting table to help encourage attendance at open-mic events.
2585 California St., Mountain View
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