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Shop Talk: Burgers, bison and more

Original post made on Feb 23, 2013

In Daryl Savage's column this week: Midtown's Cafe Sophia closes; a burger joint starts serving bison; and a new dim-sum restaurant opens in downtown Palo Alto.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, February 23, 2013, 2:45 PM

Comments (17)

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Posted by Kathy K.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

Thats a shame about Sophia's closing. We really liked going there for lunch and Sophia was also so kind to everyone.


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Posted by Organiclaws
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Organiclaws is a registered user.

I ate at the Umami Burger down in LA while at a conference a few months ago. One of my all time favorite burgers. Unlike The Counter, they will do a real medium rare burger, and properly seasoned as well. Another nice addition to downtown!


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Posted by Always Hungry
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm

I love these Shop Talk columns.

We just tried Steam tonight. Yum. Everything was delicious and the prices were reasonable... for Palo Alto. ;o)


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Posted by D
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 25, 2013 at 10:37 am

I've gotten takeout from Steam twice. More affordable than other University Ave restaurants, clean and friendly. Terronne was like a trip to Italy. The staff spoke Italian and the Neopolitan style pizza was delicious.

Tacolicious opened up this week too on Emerson. Very trendy and lounge-like. Food was fresh and tasty. Many items were locally sourced and/or organic.


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Posted by William
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 25, 2013 at 11:23 am

I am SO sorry to hear that Cafe Sofia has closed! I have dined there often ever since she moved there. She was always so wonderful and kind. I had no idea she was closing. What a loss to the community!


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

I find the name Tacolicious unappetizing & somehow disturbing. I'm glad to know there are other options!

Yelp! reviews of Steam are mixed & it sounds less like a dim sum restaurant, based on the limited number of actual dim sum dishes. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Ken
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

We too will miss Sophia's wonderful cooking and great chai.


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Posted by Katie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Too many restaurants in downtown Palo Alto. Cities need a variety of stores and services, not just restaurant after restaurant. It makes the downtown look cheap and tacky.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm

A while ago I was feeling happy about the Midtown area becoming more of a destination and community gem. Mikes was great, Subway opened, a couple of Mexican places as well as Cafe Sofia and I love Palo Alto Cafe for coffee.

Unfortunately, Mikes has taken a turn for the worse and now Cafe Sofia is closing. I hope this is not a downward trend in Midtown.


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Posted by Midtown Upturn
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm

I think the latest additions to Midtown have actually upped its "cool" factor. School or Rock, Hiruko, Sancho's (in addition to the already-cool Como Esta?) joins an ice cream shop, grocery store, hair salon, a couple of banks, drugstores, coffee shops etc. Everything you need in two compact blocks. ;o)

If only RoundTable cleaned up their interior...Ugh.


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Posted by Maureen&Magnus
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm

We quit patronizing Sancho's after one of their staffed yelled at my spouse. Check out their bad Yelp! reviews - they're revealing. Sancho's management is lousy & can't manage their way out of a paper bag. We're not big fans of Como Esta but at least the owner does good work in the community, so we patronize for that reason.

What's up w/Mike's downturn? Did they close Nenlo & let PA go down in order to focus on their new venture in PV? Or maybe overall financial woes? We're still sentimental about Mike's, but not enough to deal w/the TVs, so we order to go.

What's happened w/Cafe Sophia makes our hearts ache. We miss you & your bolani, Sophia & Ali!


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Posted by oldtime midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Cafe Sophia, and its wonderful owner, Sophia Omar will be terribly missed. The Afghan food was excellent, the coffee always good, and Sophia herself was a delightful, sophisticated, intelligent woman with whom one could have a good conversation. She was also a great hostess, a good cook, and was unfailingly kind to all her customers. Unfortunately, today there are too many cafes in Palo Alto, so the competition is so high that inevitably a few of the really just good ones (such as Sophia's) which do not necessarily cater to the fashionably high-tech crowd will go to ground. Too many Starbucks', too much fast food, not enough family-style, comfortable places one can go to sip a latte and read the paper.
Thank you, Sophia, for many years of good coffee, super food, and nice ambiance!



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Posted by ary Ruppel
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Thank you Sophia for providing excellent food, service, and wonderful conversation. You and your staff will be missed. I wish you the est of luck in the future.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:24 am

I used to live by Sophia's and went for the Afghan Breakfast with my family. The food and coffee were amazing and Sophia made you feel like a guest of the table at her house. Having gone through the hoops myself I can say that the restaurant industry is a very hard one and some get luckier than others. You'd think a positive and charming attitude, coupled with great food, service and prices would be enough. I hope she gives the area one more shot!


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Posted by AW
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2013 at 10:35 am

Very sad news about Cafe Sophia. I enjoyed their food as much as the family that was there and was always so wonderful


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Posted by bobbi FOX
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 27, 2013 at 11:24 am

Daryl Savage's column is timely, well written and balanced.

How can we get her to write more often in the newspapers?

She is a great asset to our community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm

@ bobbi FOX:

I agree! This is a great column about the ins and outs of life in Palo Alto!


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