Calm down. It’s a food post.
Our local weekly had brief notes on all the candidates for council this fall–an unusual election in which there are no sitting councilfolk running for re-election.
One (of quite a few) apparently moved to Mountain View fairly recently, and this person has a complaint.
Namely, that downtown Mountain View doesn’t have diverse dining choices.
Now, if you’ve been in downtown MV–which I’ll take as being Castro Street and two blocks either side of Castro–this may seem like an odd complaint. Just from memory, I know of:
- Several Chinese restaurants, mostly region-specific, with one or two pan-Chinese.
- Several Indian restaurants at various price points.
- A couple of Thai restaurants.
- Several Vietnamese restaurants–some Pho places, some not.
- Some Japanese restaurants
- At least three good Mexican restaurants (probably more), various cuisines
- At least three Italian restaurants
- A couple of mediterranean places–at least one halal kebab grill, at least one mostly-Greek
- A good brewpub with an expansive menu–burgers, excellent fish, salads, what have you
- An “Irish” pub and an adjacent “Irish” nightclub
- A good “East coast” pizza place and a good California pizza/calzone/grill place
- A very-high-end California/continental restaurant.
- A fairly high-end fish place
- A tapas & large-plate place
- And I’m sure I could go on for a while. I believe there are at least 80 restaurants in the six-block stretch.
Ah, but there was another sentence explaining what this person meant by “diversity.” She said there weren’t enough places serving traditional American food.
And, you know, I think I know what this person means by “traditional American food”–and it is indeed in short supply in downtown MV, although readily available with a minute or two’s driving, to such an extent that snobbish San Franciscans delight in claiming that the Peninsula has nothing but this kind of restaurant.
What we don’t have in downtown MV:
- Burger King
- Macaroni Grill
- Cheesecake Factory
- Olive Garden
- and all the rest…
Not saying anything negative about those, but it is true: Castro and adjacent streets are low on chain outlets, other than (of course) overpriced over-roasted coffee places (both Starbuck’s and Peet’s).
Too bad the candidate doesn’t come out with her true platform: “Downtown Mountain View needs more Chain Restaurants! We need more predictable food!”
Somehow, it doesn’t sound like a winning platform. There are loads of these chain outlets all around downtown–but the more distinctive places seem to be doing just fine in the heart of downtown. I have problems feeling bad about that.