Just over four years ago I made the trek from El Segundo to Walnut Creek, and now I'm back. I can't honestly say that I loved living up in the Bay, but I did enjoy my time there, and I will miss my Walnut Creek life.
I know I should be talking about the wonderful people I left behind, but that's just too sad. Instead I'm going to talk about places to go and food to eat because others can easily enjoy those same things.
Wait, there is one person I want to talk about. My lovely hairstylist, Priscilla. She works at Tribez in Danville, and I love her. She almost never overbooks, she always accomodated my need to come in after work, and she cut my hair wonderfully. If you are in need of a hairstylist, go see her. The salon is fun and trendy, and Priscilla is a very calm person amidst the chaos of a hairstylists, clients and various personal care professionals. Just know that you need cash or a check.
Onto the other stuff I love:
- Nordstrom Rack, San Leandromaybe one of the best Racks I have been patroned, it's off the Marina (East) exit from the 880.
- Wooden Gate Quilts, DanvilleI am so sad I went here only once! Initially, I found this place online when I was looking for a quilting shop between work and home, but they were closed for renovation. When my mom visited in October, we stopped by. Wooden Gate Quilts was wonderful. I'll make it a point to visit when I'm next in the Bay...if I can manage to lower my fabric stash by then.
- Lafayette Library and Learning Centerthis place is brand new, and it's like being in someone's big, beautiful home. There's a used bookstore (operated by the Friends of the Lafayette Library) just outside of the parking garage, and you can get a used hardcover for $1. In fact, I finally found a copy of Katherine Neville's the Eight there (and I have been looking for this book for years). The Lafayette Library is open on Sundays, and a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.
People in the Bay Area take their food seriously, so food deserves it's own little section today.
- Zachary's Chicago PizzaI love and will eat all kinds of pizza, but this place is a favorite. I'm not sure how it rates against the real thing in Chicago, but I love Zachary's. I like the San Ramon location because there is parking, but I think the one in Oakland is the original.
- Lococo's, PiedmontWhat you see on the menu, is what you get when you order, so please do not try and add chicken to a dish without chicken. I can't help but love my favorite little Italian place, Lococo's in Piedmont. You can bring your own wine, and please bring cash or a personal check (no credit cards). My go-to selections are the tortellini con sugo (tortellini stuffed with prosciutto and chicken) and Gilberto's Special pizza (all meat). Yum. I miss it already.
- Cha Cha ChaI get my tapas and sangria fix here. It's all good, so I'm not even going to bother telling you what to get at Cha Cha Cha. The Haight Street location is the original, and has a totally different vibe from the one in the Mission, but both are fun. If you're on the Peninsula, there's also a new location in San Mateo, on Second Street, I believe.
- Saroor Indian CuisineGreat samosas here! I drove by Saroor quite often, and finally decided to try it. I'm so glad I did because they are generous with the portions for takeout, and it's a nice little neighborhood spot on North Main in Walnut Creek.
- HubcapsI know it's a diner, but this is my favorite breakfast spot in Walnut Creek. It's my favorite because I love the eggs benedict at Hubcaps.
- Swiss Delices, Castro ValleyWhat a wonderful place for baked goods, coffee and lunch! Swiss Delices is a European bakery with locations in Hayward and Castro Valley, but I only know the one in CV. Everytime I went in, I pretty much always left with one or two of the following: an apricot or raspberry bird nest (macarron with jam); an apricot or raspberry humentachen; an Italian danish; and almost always, a peanut butter cookie.
There's actually a lot more that I love and like about the Bay Area, but that's for another time and future visits.