One evening while Sister V was visiting, I didn't feel like cooking dinner at home but also did not have a lot of time to go out to a restaurant. Since I was hosting a big party at home, and had already set up for it, getting takeout was not the best of options.
With very little debate, we decided to head to Chow. The Lafayette, California Chow is the closest one to my home. There are two in San Francisco and a new one which is about to open, or may already have, in Danville.
The ambiance is casual, the food fresh, organic, sustainable, and pretty darn good...no matter what you order.
At each table, there is a Hershey Syrup can in which there is flatware, napkins, and chopsticks...you pretty much set your own table.
The Lafayette Chow also has a small produce, meat, and wine market. One can order anything from the menu to take home and many ready to eat meals are available as well.
Chow does not accept reservations, but, if you call as you are about to leave for the restaurant, they will put your name on a waiting list. While the dning room is always busy, I have never had to wait very long to be seated. The Lafayette restaurant also has heated outdoor seating and dogs are welcome to sit with their people on the patio. In fact, your server will bring a bowl of water for your dog.
A lot of Chow's menu is best described as "comfort food" from various cultures. Some of my favorites include the Thai Chicken Salad, the Cobb Salad,Rose's Spaghettin and Meatballs, Smiling Noodles, Lasagne, Baked Eggplant Parmesan, and
Pot-Roasted Beef Short Ribs.
Each day, two or three fresh wild seafood dishes are featured.
And, there is a different Daily Sandwich every day. The Daily Sandwich is a complete meal on one plate...the sandwich is accompanied by your choice of Green Salad, Fries, or Soup. I often make a special visit to Chow on Tuesday for the Daily Sandwich...currently on Monday it is Fish Tacos, onThursday Steak with sweet peppers, onions, gruyere cheese, and arugula; and on Friday, it's Wild Petrale Sole garnished with a spicy avo-mango salsa and chipotle-lime crema. The Sunday Sandwich is Rose's Meatballs with Provolone cheese. I recently discovered that Chow will serve the Meatball sandwich any day of the week, it your request it.
Which brings to mind that the kitchen at Chow is willing to accommodate many special requests. Sometimes, when I stop by for breakfast, I don't want a big omelet or scramble, but only one fried egg, a cup of fresh fruit, and a pastry... they are always able to serve me what I request. Even on the evening that we came here with Sister V, J had Chocolate Cream Pie for dessert
and V had a Lemon Bar.
I kept it light with a cup of fresh fruit.
Chow is open every day of the week, serving lunch and dinner daily, breakfast on weekdays, and brunch on weekends. The same menu is featured for lunch and dinner. Prices are extremely reasonable, particularly for the quality or food served. The Daily Sandwiches are about $10, meal-sized sandwiches are about $13 for the largest size (salads come in small, medium, and large servings), and Pasta and Fish/Meat dishes are in the $13 to $18 range.
It is popular with diners of all ages, from babies to seniors...just as popular for family gatherings as it is for solo dining.