Mountain View Voice

- August 26, 2011

Sweet dreams (are made of this)

FOOD & DRINK

BAGELS

House of Bagels beats out the competition because of the unique way they bake their bagels each morning. By using a traditional cooking method — boiling the bagels first, then baking them — House of Bagel's buns are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. With its near-perfect scores on Yelp! fans agree that the traditional and gourmet bagels are simply the best.

1712 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View; 694-4888

BAKERY

Founded in 1981, Le Boulanger rose to the top by offering award-winning sourdough and 20 other varieties of other bread and pastries. According to store manager Andre Teerlet, the bakery in Mountain View also features "the best meat and cheese."

650 Castro St., Mountain View; 961-1787

BAR

Need a place to relax? Make your way to St. Stephen's Green. It's like stepping into a real Irish pub without having to go all the way to Ireland. Along with Happy Hour deals and TVs with a wide range of sports, the pub is the place to kick back.

223 Castro St., Mountain View; 964-9151

BBQ

When you see an armadillo wearing cowboy boots, you know you're in Armadillo Willy's and you know you're in the right place for good barbecue. The BBQ joint has served Bay Area locations, with authentic Texas barbecue since 1983. Three different types of ribs and nearly everything else are cooked over a wood fire, Armadillo Willy's barbecue sauce is finger-licking good.

1031 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; 941-2922

BURGERS

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 that will rock your socks off. Clarke's also offers delivery and take-out.

615 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 967-0851

BURRITO

For a bursting burrito full of fresh, flavorful, ingredients, bop on over to Taqueria La Bamba. Service is speedy and the prices are right. Spice up carne asada or juicy chicken burritos with La Bamba's great salsa.

2058 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View; 965-2755

DELI

Erik's Deli rocketed to the top of the charts with its warm atmosphere, fast and friendly service and quality food. All sandwiches, soups, salads and bakery goods are made from scratch using Erik's family recipes and only high quality fresh ingredients. The most popular sandwich, the Pilgrims Progress, is filled with the freshest avocado.

1350 Grant Rd., Mountain View; 962-9191

Ice Cream/Gelato

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream. That is especially true when the ice cream is dished out by Gelato Classico. Gelato, the Italian dessert that's wildly popular in the United States, tantalizes the taste buds like no other style of ice cream. And Gelato Classico has a rich selection of flavors, from Green Tea and Hazelnut to Vanilla Bean and Caramello Chocolate Crunch. 241B Castro St., Mountain View; 969-2900. caffeclassicofoods.com

NOODLE PLACE

Mountain View's best 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. Besides the noodles, try the karaage fried chicken — so good it will make you shut up and eat.

859 Villa St., Mountain View; 965-8829

PEARL TEA

Few drink venues offer as much variety as Tapioca Express, affectionately known as TapEx. In addition to the ubiquitous pearl milk tea, it also has teas, snow bubbles and icies in flavors like green bean, red bean and lychee (and also more common flavors for those less adventurous). It also doubles as a lunch place: try something from the pan-Asian snack menu like the Vietnamese spring rolls or Chinese pork buns.

740 Villa St., Mountain View; 965-3093

PIZZA

Mamma Mia! Amici's East Coast Pizzeria has Mountain View in love again and again. With thin-crust New York-style pizza, Amici's offers a taste of the East Coast in the Bay Area, one you won't forget. The pizza margherita is a must have, and Amici's combo with pepperoni, meatball, bacon, sauteed mushrooms and black olives is a close second.

790 Castro St., Mountain View; 961-6666

FRESH PRODUCE

With over 80 farmers and food producers, Mountain View is the proud venue for the fourth-largest Farmers Market in the state. Located at the Mountain View train station, the market offers 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.

W Evelyn Ave. & Hope Street, Mountain View; Sun. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; (800) 806-3276

NON-CHAIN GROCERY STORE

Walking into the Milk Pail Market is like entering a wonderful maze of cheeses and fresh fruits that you won't want to leave. Owner Steve Rasmussen says shoppers come to the Milk Pail for "one of the largest cheese selections in California and incredible produce prices." It won't be hard to find something you like at this market that sells a wide variety of gourmet and specialty foods.

2585 California St., Mountain View; 941-2505

Take-out

It's tough being the New Kids On The Block in today's economic climate. Will a new eatery be a one-hit wonder or become a classic? Los Altos' Go Go Gyro, where wholesome, traditional Greek food meets modern convenience, seems sure to be more than a flash in the pan, as voters have chosen it Best Takeout. Like the songs of the similarly named girl group The Go Gos, Go Go Gyro is at the top of the charts. 4546 El Camino Real, Los Altos; 948-GoGo.

Eat it

Restaurants

Breakfast

Perhaps a treasured item on Hobee's menu says it all: the Best Darn Breakfast In Town. At all three Hobee's locations, the BDBIT comes with two eggs, served your way; "Country Style" hashbrowns; and toast or the blueberry coffeecake that has fans willing to wait in line.

2312 Central Expressway, Mountain View, 650-968-6050.

#67 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto; 650-327-4111.; 4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-856-6124.

Chinese Restaurant

Chef Chu's is a longtime local favorite, serving quality Chinese food at prices that won't break the bank. Meat and seafood lovers will rejoice in the selection of specialty dishes such as Peking duck, rack of lamb and clam soup, but vegetarians will find a festival of dishes to enjoy, including tofu and noodle dishes, and even "vegetarian goose." 1067 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; 948-2696.

COFFEE HOUSE

This year's winner Red Rock Coffee on Castro, really rocks. The popular caffeine stop features live music and an open-mic night on Mondays. Besides brewing a great cup of joe, its community-oriented focus is a draws people in. The cafe showcases local art and hosts book clubs and three different knitting groups.

201 Castro St., Mountain View; 967-4473

FINE DINING

Oye como va — Cascal is clearly one of Mountain View's favorite restaurants, winning in four categories this year: readers ranked it as the best for fine dining, the best patio, the best place to have a business lunch and the best happy hour in town. With Spanish hospitality and Latin flavor, Cascal caters to most dining desires. A wide variety of tapas is paired with an extensive wine list and "sexy" cocktails in a vibrant setting, with live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

400 Castro St., Mountain View; 940-9500

FUSION

Bright neon signs, cutting-edge design, and new spins on classic Vietnamese recipes, Xahn is too hip to be square. Thanks to Chef Thuy Pham's direction, Xahn caters to Mountain View's clientele with a variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. Also open for buffet lunch, the restaurant offers family-style dining during the day and exciting, nightlife after the sun goes down. Xahn also won for best Vietnamese restaurant.

110 Castro St., Mountain View; 964-1888

Indian Restaurant

Excellent Indian food means an array of tantalizing colors, spices and textures, from hot and spicy to rich and creamy, and Mountain View's Amber India is no exception, offering a range of tikas, curries, biryanis and more, enhanced with such flavors as chilies, saffron and rose water. Amber's cuisine leaves taste buds singing, dancing and cheering for an encore. 2290 El Camino Real, #9, Mountain View; 968-7511.

ITALIAN RESTAURANT

Frankie, Johnnie and Luigi's does home-style Italian food, and does it well. In addition to traditional pastas and garlic bread, there's a wide selection of pizzas and wine. The restaurant now serves brunch on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends, it's also perfect for post-concert hunger pangs.

939 El Camino Real, Mountain View; 967-5384

MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT

Offering traditional Turkish food since 2005, Cafe Baklava wins best Mediterranean as well as best Middle Eastern cuisine once again. With many traditional Mediterranean/Middle Eastern classics like doner kebap and moussaka, Cafe Baklava embodies authenticity, right down to the Turkish beer and hookahs.; it's no wonder Cafe Baklava keeps 'em coming back for more.

341 Castro St., Mountain View; 969-3835

MEXICAN RESTAURANT

Known throughout Mountain View for its authentic Mexican cuisine, Fiesta del Mar takes the prize for more than 12 consecutive years. Enjoy unique Mexican camarones (shrimp) dishes and a menu of 200 tequilas. Its margaritas are said to be unsurpassed and might have you searching for your lost shaker of salt. Online take-out ordering is also available through the restaurant's website.

1005 N Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 965-9354

NEW RESTAURANT

Open since New Year's Eve, Scratch is a classic American restaurant with a big menu and reasonable prices. During happy hour, try some American wine and snack on some oysters and fries, pizza with duck or crab cakes on salad. This is a place where "fine dining meets American comfort cuisine."

401 Castro St, Mountain View; 237-3132

SEAFOOD

Customers stop by the Cantankerous Fish for its selection of fresh calamari, mahi mahi and more, but also notable is the restaurant's happy hour deals. Drop in Monday to Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. to try the bar menu, which includes sliders, nachos and tempura for $5 per item, as well as drinks, beers on tap and house wines for only $3.

420 Castro St., Mountain View; 966-8124

SUSHI/JAPANESE

Sushi Tomi is known for its fresh fish and wide variety of very traditional sushi. The restaurant has become popular over the years through word of mouth, like an indie band that hit the big time. Though there is often a wait during busy hours, the Japanese delicacies will have you saying "Domo Origato." The restaurant is now also open for lunch on weekends.

635 W. Dana St., Mountain View; 968-3227

THAI RESTAURANT

For a full decade, Amarin Thai has taken top prize among readers. With over 80 dishes, Amarin provides high quality Thai favorites while managing to stay affordable. Try the forest curry in the seafood hot pot for an authentic Thai cuisine experience that's hot hot hot.

174-176 Castro St., Mountain View; 988-9323

VEGETARIAN

Once more, with feeling — Garden Fresh is Mountain View's favorite vegetarian/vegan restaurant. It is a place where vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike can enjoy a healthy lunch or dinner. Each entree comes with brown rice (a healthier alternative to traditional white rice), and meat substitutes like tofu and soy. Who said healthy couldn't be delicious?

1245 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 254-1688

Finest Worksong

SERVICE

ACUPUNCTURE

A new category this year, California Acupuncture wins the nod for the best acupuncture treatment. It offers all acupuncture-related services including Chinese and Japanese-style acupuncture and acupuncture facial rejuvenation. Intensive slimming and detoxifying programs are also available, which include ear acupressure, basic detox diet and Chinese herbal tea.

375 Castro St., Mountain View, CA 94041; 968-6288

AUTO BODY REPAIR

Can't drive 55? C&C Body Shop's experienced professionals, reasonable price estimates and quick service — often faster than estimated — have earned it a repeat spot on the "Best of Mountain View." It offers services like 24-hour emergency help, paint repair and even the latest computerized repair services to get your automobile back on the road looking "like it never happened."

243 Moffett Blvd., Mountain View; 964-3119

AUTO REPAIR

Mike and the Mechanics have nothing on these guys. Since 1963, Dean's Automotive has provided quality care backed up be state-of-the-art automotive service and repair facilities. Dean's educates its customers not only on what the problem is, but why it happened. They back up their car care with a 24-month/24,000 mile-guarantee on parts and labor.

2037 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View; 961-0302

CHIROPRACTOR

Feeling like a beast of burden? Locals suffering from arthritis, sports injuries and back and neck pain head to Lisa Devlin's offices. Devlin says she uses a technique that's very safe and comfortable — "no twisting, cracking or popping." She's the only chiropractor in the area to use K-laser therapy for arthritis, knee pain, muscle spasms and many other conditions, she says.

1265 Montecito Ave., Mountain View; 428-0950

DENTIST

With near-perfect scores on Yelp!, Smiles Dental is once again a favorite of Mountain View residents. Business manager Dena Ramirez attributes the business' success to its top dentists as well as the customer service staff's attention to detail. In addition to using digital x-ray technology, the office also provides televisions and snacks for customers.

100 El Camino Real, Suite 63A, Mountain View; 964-2626

DRY CLEANERS

Formerly known as One Hour Cleaners, Green & Fresh Cleaners is the first environmentally friendly, green dry-cleaners in Mountain View. In January last year, the same owners changed the name of the business that has been in Mountain View for over 40 years to reflect their new 100 percent PERC free dry-cleaning process.

580 North Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View; 967-8899

FITNESS CLASSES

After coming in a close second last year, FullForce Fitness is now the winner for the best fitness classes in Mountain View. Along with 25 classes a week such as boxing and martial arts, the studio provides a community for passionate individuals to build friendships and support one another. It also specializes in personal training and provides child care while parents work out.

1954 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View; 963-9853

GREEN BUSINESS

REI is dedicated to the environment. From recycling to replacing high-energy spotlights, store manager Robert Stepro says "REI is leading the way environmentally." The co-op supports products that reduce its environmental impact — for a new jacket you can feel good about.

2450 Charleston Road, Mountain View; 969-1938

GYM

The El Camino YMCA is a family-friendly gym — in addition to offering aerobic machines, free weights and exercise classes, the YMCA takes care of the kids while the parents work out. This YMCA, part of the world's largest non-profit, also has a swimming pool with aquatic classes, and offers financial assistance for kids who want to attend its summer programs.

2400 Grant Road, Mountain View; 969-9622

HAIR SALON

A four-time past winner for the best salon in Mountain View, Allure aims to make clients feel as if they've walked out of a Rolling Stone photo shoot. Owner Alisa Barnhart says, "What makes us unique is we have extreme passion for what we do." The salon offers a variety of hair treatments, including perms and coloring, as well as facials, nail treatments and spray tanning.

888 Villa Street, Suite 100, Mountain View; 938-8777

HOTEL

The people have spoken and Hilton Garden Inn has won the award for best hotel. Winning the prize many times over the years, the Hilton Garden Inn offers rates starting at $99 for weekends. With a restaurant, outdoor pool and spa, fitness center, meeting rooms and free Wi-Fi, the Garden Inn is a great place for leisure or business.

840 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 964-1700

MANICURE

Residents who frequent La Monique appreciate its hot stone massages, pedicures with paraffin wax and high-quality care; the venue uses only sterilized tools from a pouch. With La Monique's reasonable rates and good ventilation, customers walk out feeling relaxed and refreshed.

650 Castro St., Ste. 175, Mountain View; 968-9901

MASSAGE

Message Envy doesn't sacrifice high quality message therapy for its unbeatable prices. Treatments range from trigger point therapy to deep tissue to sports massages. The clinic's professional massage therapists will happily help you decide which massage fits your needs. With affordable rates and flexible scheduling, Massage Envy is "making wellness a part of everyday life."

1040 Grant Road, Mountain View; 961-3689

OIL CHANGE

Doctor! Doctor! With 39 years of experience in the business, the Car Doctor knows how to diagnose an automotive bug. This year's winner in the oil change category, the Car Doctor offers speedy, quality service and seeks to build long-term relationships with customers.

2239 Old Middlefield Way, Suite D, Mountain View; 988-8600

PERSONAL TRAINER

Having won two years in a row for best fitness classes, Overtime Fitness won first in a new category, personal trainer. Overtime Fitness combines the personal feel of a small gym with the high-tech equipment of a larger facility. It offers a multitude of classes such as spinning, yoga, the popular Latin dance Zumba, and even a new boot camp training program.

1625 N Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 265-2040

SHOE REPAIR

These boots were made for walking. With cowboy boots lining its walls, A Minute Man appears to be an old-fashioned shop. It is known for quick — often same-day — service at reasonable prices. Boots and shoes are their specialty, and customers can get their boogie shoes back in action.

738 Villa St., Mountain View; 968-0358

YOGA

Yoga is Youthfulness offers classes in a several disciplines, including ashtanga and ayengar yoga, among others. The schedule also features prenatal yoga and classes for kids, and the studio opens at 6 a.m. on most days for early birds, with all levels welcome to practice in an encouraging environment.

590 Castro St., Mountain View; 964-5277

Can't buy me love

RETAIL

BIKE SHOP

Got a ticket to ride? The Off Ramp, Silicon Valley's largest bike store, offers thousands of bikes and often has markdowns on its gear. It is staffed by specialists to advise everyone from the novice cyclist to the pro on everything from how to choose a bike to how to train for a long ride.

2320 W El Camino Real, Mountain View; 968-2974

BOOK STORE

For the second year in a row, Book Buyers topped the charts. It's known for being a community place, where customers can find books on almost any subject. But besides serving Mountain View's human population, the shop also has some canine regulars. Each month, the store profiles a "community dog."

317 Castro St., Mountain View; 968-7323

Boutique

If no pill's gonna cure your ill, head to Therapy for treatment of the retail pursuasion. The Mountain View outlet of the chain of boutique stores packs the house with a unique blend of men's and women's clothing, accessories and home decor items. Fans praise the friendly, helpful customer service.

250 Castro Street, Mountain View; 691-1186

FLOWERS

Readers say the best blooms can be found at Robert Moore Flowers with blossoms for any special occasion, from new babies to weddings. The flower shop also celebrates everyday life with its summer bouquets. The florists work hard to help customers find the perfect arrangement.

881 Castro St., Mountain View; 967-2307

HARDWARE

Mountain View's Orchard Supply Hardware has been in business for over 75 years, and is known for its appliance selection and the variety of plants available in the nursery. This local branch has friendly and knowledgeable staff willing to help everywhere, from the hardware department to the paint counter. Savvy customers know to check for online coupons.

2555 Charleston Road, Mountain View; 691-2000

HOME FURNISHINGS

Cost Plus is a local favorite for great finds at bargain prices. Readers say it's the go-to place for vibrant furniture and exotic decor from around the globe. It also offers all the essentials for kitchen and dining needs, as well as gardens.

1910 W El Camino Real, Mountain View; 961-6066

UNUSUAL

For the friend who has everything, East West Bookstore is the top choice for unusual gifts. East West has far more than books — there's garden decor, jewelry and a yoga studio out back. Around the store will be spiritual music and chanting CDs, tarot decks, crystals, books by the Dalai Llama and Buddha statues of all materials and sizes. In addition, East West hosts weekly seminars on soul healing, meditation for beginners and more.

324 Castro St., Mountain View; 988-9800

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