Mendocino Farms brings its sandwiches to Palo Alto May 2 | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By Elena Kadvany

E-mail Elena Kadvany

About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

View all posts from Elena Kadvany

Mendocino Farms brings its sandwiches to Palo Alto May 2

Uploaded: Apr 29, 2019
Southern California-based sandwich chain Mendocino Farms is opening its 26th location in downtown Palo Alto this Thursday, May 2, at 11 a.m.

The fast-casual restaurant took over 167 Hamilton Ave. after LYFE Kitchen closed last summer.


The exterior of the new Mendocino Farms in downtown Palo Alto. Photo courtesy Mendocino Farms.

Mendocino Farms' bread and butter is sandwiches, from the best-selling "Not So Fried" Mary's chicken sandwich — roasted, not fried chicken breast with "krispies," herb aioli, mustard pickle slaw, tomatoes and pickled red onions on ciabatta — to a meatless Impossible Burger on a plant-based brioche bun. There are staple sandwiches that never leave the menu as well as seasonal specials. Almost all of the sandwiches can be requested to be served gluten free.


Dishes on Mendocino Farms' spring menu, from left: a niçoise salad, Impossible burger and the green goddess turkey avocado toast. Photo courtesy Mendocino Farms.

There's also a full salad menu, vegan and vegetarian options and sides. Salads include Mendocino Farms takes on a Chinese chicken salad, Cobb salad, caesar salad and taco salad, complete with Impossible Meats' plant-based chorizo. (Mendocino Farms is serving Impossible Meats' "2.0" version, which the Redwood City company debuted in January and has 30 percent less sodium and 40 percent less saturated fat than the original recipe.)

Husband and wife Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen opened the first Mendocino Farms in Los Angeles in 2005 with a "vision of an elevated dining experience offering much more than just good food," the company website states. 

The restaurants use locally sourced ingredients and fresh bread from two Southern California bakeries and Petits Pains in Burlingame. For meat, there’s Mary's Free Range chicken from Pitman Family Farms, humanely-raised Creminelli prosciutto and turkey that was raised without hormones or antibiotics, according to the company website. 

At the Palo Alto Mendocino Farms (and all locations), there's a three-step ordering process, which is actually designed to help the kitchen with pacing. Customers first place their food orders from one of two people manning tablet computers that send the orders directly to the kitchen. Then, they advance to a counter where they can order beer or wine and try unlimited free samples of sides, such as curried cous cous, potato salad (both vegan) and farro salad. After, they go to registers to pay for their meals. Diners seat themselves and wait staff bring the food out on trays.




Inside the new Mendocino Farms Palo Alto. Photos courtesy Mendocino Farms.

The Palo Alto restaurant is also piloting an online ordering system, which has a separate pick-up area in anticipation of high frequency of orders.

Mendocino Farms now operates more than 20 locations in Southern and Northern California and is expanding to Texas this year.

The Palo Alto location will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It joins other Bay Area Mendocino Farms in San Mateo, San Jose, San Francisco, Campbell and Sacramento.
What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

 +   12 people like this
Posted by The Old Ways, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Apr 29, 2019 at 7:18 pm

Geeze. Whatever happened to just making a run over to the Village Cheese Shop at Town & Country Village?

They've downsized a bit but still offer the 'special sauce' with all of their sandwiches.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by ChrisC, a resident of College Terrace,
on Apr 30, 2019 at 7:38 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

Village Cheese Shop has never been the same since the Germans left. Specialty at Palo Alto Square has good sandwiches. Mendocino Farms elevates the sandwuch a bit. I've never had anything like Mary's not so fried chicken sandwich. They put crispy house-made polenta crumbles inside sandwich, so you have the satisfaction of eating crunchy fried chicken but it's not. It's pure genius. And many if us like eating cruelty-free best and locally sourced ingredients. The salads are huge and fantastic. Elena it's been since the 80s that professional writers were trained on non-sexist writing. One of the easiest to solve was “staffed" to replace “manned, “ staffing, etc. Pul-ease bring your writing up to at least 1985 standards.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Apr 30, 2019 at 8:04 pm

Hello ChrisC, I read with great amusement your comment criticizing the author for use of the word "manned" instead of "staffed". I must agree with the writer's choice of words here. You don't "staff" a tablet. Perhaps you should go back to school and learn proper grammar? Pul-ease bring your comments up to Jr High school standards!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Michelle , a resident of East Palo Alto,
on May 1, 2019 at 4:26 am

This is a GREAT place to eat. Always fresh and consistent meals! So excited for a beautiful location and a cool dining experience.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by jwilson115, a resident of Slater,
on May 1, 2019 at 4:34 am

jwilson115 is a registered user.

The powerful ingredients and adaptogenic herbs in Daily Turmeric Tonic can help improve mood and promote brain clarity. Regular use of turmeric can reduce inflammation that can lead to degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Has NOTHING to do with Mendocino, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on May 1, 2019 at 10:48 am

This is a southern CA chain that has co-opted the northern CA town's name. Mexican produce. LA POSERS trying to be NorCal cool...Failed.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Petaluma Dairy Cheeses, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on May 2, 2019 at 6:09 am

Calling this Los Angeles based sandwich shop "Mendocino Farms" make as much sense as someone starting a cheese company called "Petaluma Dairies"...based out of Phoenix AZ. Or maybe the "San Francisco Bread Company"...based out of Dayton Ohio.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Money To Burn, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on May 2, 2019 at 9:23 am

Not sure how much their sandwiches run but anyone who spends more than $12.00 for a basic sandwich is a FOOL.

The same applies to someone spending over $15.00 for a salad.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Blatt, a resident of Menlo Park,
on May 3, 2019 at 6:12 am

Do the responders to this column have anything better to do than to take issue with the reporter's grammar, the name of the establishment, pricing and other nonsensical banter? All Elena is trying to do is make readers aware of a new business with as much information as possible, which she has effectively done. Go add value somewhere else as these comments do not.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Sandwich Making Is Not An Art, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on May 3, 2019 at 3:21 pm

It takes absolutely no skill to make a decent sandwich. Just quality ingredients.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 3, 2019 at 4:21 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Or as Tom Waits would say: Step right up!


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Garbage LA food, a resident of Waverly Park,
on May 4, 2019 at 6:04 am

Trying to be what it is not. It's shows the dis-honesty willingness to say what is needed in order to dupe the potential customers.
Yes, I have a problem eating in places I cannot trust.
This place is an LA chain food store. I'll eat local thank you very much.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Sandwich Making Is Not An Art,, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on May 4, 2019 at 8:04 am

>> A POSERS trying to be NorCal cool..

>> Calling this Los Angeles based sandwich shop "Mendocino Farms" make as much sense as someone starting a cheese company called...the "San Francisco Bread Company"...based out of Dayton Ohio.

>> This place is an LA chain food store

>> All Elena is trying to do is make readers aware of a new business with as much information as possible, which she has effectively done. Go add value somewhere else as these comments do not.

Except that many of these announcements sound more like an advertisement or a promotion rather than a critical look at things.

Reminds me of the time AZ-based PF Chang's (all 210 locations) was being hyped as 'authentic' Asian cuisine along with their 'farm to wok' by-lines.

Note: Ms. Kadvany was not responsible for the PF Chang's opening announcement.

Ironically, PF Changs has now opened a restaurant in Shangahai...as 'authentic' what remains to be further clarified or explained to the Chinese seeking an authentic Asian cuisine experience.







 +   5 people like this
Posted by Not Buying Into The Hyperbole, a resident of Barron Park,
on May 4, 2019 at 12:35 pm

> Ironically, PF Changs has now opened a restaurant in Shangahai...as 'authentic' what remains to be further clarified or explained to the Chinese seeking an authentic Asian cuisine experience.


A similar example...30+ years ago Rocky Aoki opened Benihana's of TOKYO in New York City hoping to attract American diners to Japanese teppan-style cooking. This style of cooking is all for show.

When Benihana's of TOKYO (NYC) became widely successful, he opened one in Tokyo and called it Benihana's of NEW YORK hoping to attract and provide Japanese diners with an American/Japanese dining experience.

Restaurant marketing is nothing but hyperbole. It's all BS.

A free comped meal & a food 'journalist' will write always write a glowing review.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Common sense, a resident of another community,
on May 5, 2019 at 9:03 am

Common sense is a registered user.

"Sandwich Making. . ." seems, first, to misunderstand:

> Except that many of these announcements sound more like an advertisement or a promotion rather than a critical look at things.

"Critical look at things" implies its writer's basic misunderstanding. What "critical look?" This blog is avowedly about restaurant NEWS (openings, closings, changes), and news only. Ms. Kadavny has even patiently said so, repeatedly, though it's obvious anyway if you read more than one or two of the articles. So if people start projecting some misconception that this ever claimed to be a "critical" blog, they're saying they're new to it, or not paying attention (yet feel qualified to "criticize" it anyway).

Sandwich actually answered "Blatt" (which is ironic, since Blatt got it right):
>> All Elena is trying to do is make readers aware of a new business with as much information as possible, which she has effectively done. Go add value somewhere else as these comments do not.

Exactly right. Those comments don't add much value to readers. Just fun for their writers. Welcome to this blog's comments section, newbies!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Not Buying Into The Hyperbole,, a resident of Barron Park,
on May 5, 2019 at 2:02 pm

"All Elena is trying to do is make readers aware of a new business with as much information as possible,"

The fact that there are so many new restaurants opening in PA indicates that
(1) rents are increasing beyond operational costs for some, (2) some of the lousier restaurants are closing down, (3) older proprietors are retiring, and/or
(4) Palo Alto is is a town preoccupied with eating & judging by some of the physiques seen on the street...perhaps gluttony.

BTW, I like PB & jelly and would never pay someone to make one even if the al-natural peanuts came from Jimmy Carter's farm, the fruit organically grown and the bread from some 'artisinal' bakery in Berkeley or Santa Cruz.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by kevin jonas, a resident of Atherton: other,
on Jul 12, 2019 at 2:39 am

Critical look at things" implies its writer's basic misunderstanding. What "critical look?" This blog is avowedly about restaurant NEWS (openings, closings, changes), and news only. Ms. Kadavny has even patiently said so, repeatedly, though it's obvious anyway if you read more than one or two of the articles. So if people start projecting some misconception that this ever claimed to be a "critical" blog, they're saying they're new to it, or not paying attention (yet feel qualified to "criticize" it anyway).


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Alex Costa, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks,
on Jul 26, 2019 at 9:31 pm

Thank you for sharing this amazing idea, really appreciates your post.

Web Link


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Chick-fil-A quietly starts delivering out of DoorDash kitchen in Redwood City
By Elena Kadvany | 38 comments | 6,134 views

Disposing of Disposables
By Sherry Listgarten | 24 comments | 3,214 views

NICU Love
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 1,853 views

Differentiating Grief from Clinical Depression
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,357 views

Anonymous Sources: Facebook and YouTube suppressing important questions and discussion
By Douglas Moran | 22 comments | 1,072 views