Last Sunday marked the third annual “A Taste of Palo Alto” event. Hosted at Stanford by the brothers of Phi Kappa Psi and the sisters of Alpha Epsilon Phi, the charity event featured many local restaurants that donated servings of their specialties to benefit the Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto.
While Stanford students devoured almost all of the offerings in sight, student organizers from AEPhi and Phi Psi favored the Caribbean food – the jerk chicken from Coconuts was especially popular.
Although I was at first overwhelmed by the selection, I finally decided to start my gastronomic adventure at 1 Oz. Coffee, a mobile coffee vendor that prepares fresh espresso drinks for special events. I had a perfectly crafted macchiato, delivering just the right amount of caffeine to rev my appetite for what was to follow. Next, I decided to try food from Left Bank, a French bistro located in Menlo Park. For four tickets (equivalent to $4), I received the vegetarian quiche printanière and a side salad. The quiche was more vegetable and cheese than egg, allowing the flavors and textures of the fresh vegetables to come through instead of being lost in a yolky abyss. The side salad was a beautifully composed mix of spicy arugula, flavorful olives and a zesty dressy.
While I would like to say that I was able to try more of the offerings, I cannot lie. It might be larger than average, but my appetite is in fact finite. But there is always room for dessert, especially when it is a sure winner. The Prolific Oven offered two different cakes, and I could not leave White Plaza without having consumed a piece of the chocolate mocha cake, a cake that I have loved since coming to Stanford three years ago.
After sampling the goods, I was able sit beside the Claw and enjoy live musical performances by various Stanford groups and enjoy the sunny day on campus. “A Taste of Palo Alto” definitely created a carnival-like atmosphere, reinforcing the image that comes to mind when one thinks of springtime at “Camp Stanford.”
The vendors this year were Siam Orchid, Garden Fresh, Coconuts, Left Bank, Kikka Sushi, Martinelli’s, Buca di Beppo, 1 Oz. Coffee and the Prolific Oven. I tasted Palo Alto and I liked it.