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By The Peninsula Foodist

What she's eating: Author Grace D. Li's afternoon on Castro Street

Uploaded: Aug 19, 2022

By Grace D. Li

We're inviting our wonderful team of contributors to share what they're eating.

Grace D. Li isn't just a bestselling author — she's also a local boba lover. Here's her account of a recent meal on Mountain View's Castro Street, and stay tuned for more of her writing in the Peninsula Foodist and The Six Fifty.



Grace D. Li (Photo courtesy Yi Li)

Hi y'all! I'm Grace, the author of New York Times bestseller "Portrait of a Thief" and a medical student here at Stanford. I've always loved food — and writing — so it's such a joy to be joining the Foodist and talk about some of my favorite recent eats.


The pita sabich at Oren's Hummus is stuffed with hummus, fried eggplant, hard boiled egg and potato, plus an assortment of diced tomatoes, cucumbers and pickles. (Photo by Grace Li)

Castro Street has no shortage of good food, and it's easy to spend a weekend afternoon (or more!) there eating. Most recently, I stopped by Oren's Hummus for their pita sabich. It's an Israeli sandwich of warm pita bread stuffed with hummus, fried eggplant, hard boiled egg and potato, plus an assortment of diced tomatoes, cucumbers and pickles. Here, the heartiness of the pita and the potato paired beautifully with creamy egg and the brighter, more acidic notes of the vegetables. It was my first time getting something other than a hummus plate at Oren's, and I ended up very, very happy with this choice — a perfect bite for lunch, especially paired with a side like a refreshing babaganoush dip or sweet potato fries to share!


Peach grapefruit green tea from Yi Fang Fruit Tea in Mountain View. (Photo by Grace Li)

Also on Castro, and worth a visit before or after lunch, is Yi Fang Fruit Tea. Boba in the Bay Area is more than a drink, it's a way of life, and I've always found Yi Fang perfect for anyone who, like me, prefers their drinks fruity over milky. I love trying all their seasonal flavors, and ended up with the peach grapefruit green tea (half sweet, less ice, shown here with aiyu jelly). My tea came with bits of fruit both mixed in and sliced on top, and I found it a welcome cool-down among all this summer heat we're getting.

If you pay a visit to Castro Street soon, there's plenty else to do non-food related as well: I always love to pick up a new read (or several!) at Books Inc., and once every month or two I find myself back at Happy Feet Foot Spa, which remains my favorite massage place in the Bay Area.

See you next time!

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