Expensive. Really, really expensive. Nice inside with very fresh food and lots of it. Many things you won't really find anywhere else which makes this more of a gourmet or specialty food place but not really a health food store, a misconception I think this company tries to capitalize on. The place sells hard-to-find food and most of it is not local so it's not even very good for the environment but still, if you must have a 10 dollar block of Wensleydale cheese or organic Champagne or frozen Buffalo patties, this place will seem like an absolute Mecca. I happen to be vegetarian and I sometime suffer from the delusion that if I want fresh, homemade soup without chicken in it, I should go on over to Whole Foods. I am usually badly disappointed and much the poorer when I arrive home. Their fresh soups are fresh but they are not that great. I find them oddly over-spiced and hideously expensive. Whole Foods is home of the world's most pricey salad bar. Expect a small cardboard box with an average-sized salad in it to cost around the 8 dollar mark. I mean, it's salad, people. You can buy a bag of it on the other side of the store for three dollars. The Whole Foods brand does have some nice stuff and not too badly priced. I bought some very reasonable whole wheat pasta and some ketchup made without corn syrup but it still costs more than things you find in a Safeway or Albertson.
So: if you must have real creme fraiche or free-range bison meat, this is your store. If you have trouble coughing up $12 for frozen pizza then maybe try Trader Joe's or The Berkeley Bowl which have organic and free-range foods for a pittance compared to this place.
NOTE: Most of the food offered here is NOT LOCAL so in no way could you consider this an eco-friendly store. It's for yuppies who like the "look" of eco-friendly without doing their homework. Giving them your money just encourages them to keep ripping people off and damaging the planet while pretending to be "green".
I have been using World Nails for about 4 years now. They are wonderful. Great service, nice, clean environment, extra long massages and excellent prices. The massaging chairs are really luxe and the high-def tvs give you something to watch. Usually an episode of Friends or a concert. They use only OPI nail polishes which are very high quality and have nice colors. I see moms bringing their daughters in for a special treat of a kid's manicure complete with handpainted flowers. I also see men in there sometimes which I always like. I once went and saw an entire crew of paint-spattered workers all having their feet massaged. Whoever you are, they will treat you right in there.
Fry's. Where to begin? They are a huge store and they have a huge selection of almost but not quite what you were looking for, usually at a good price. Do your homework before you trot over there because nobody there knows anything. Not one blessed soul working there has the slightest chance of being able to help you learn about what they are selling. If you want a cheap external hard drive or a burner or a deal on a new graphics card. If you want loads of blank cds or dvds, a new internal hard drive or a network card and you know EXACTLY what it is you want then proceed. Save your receipts in an strong box because you may need them. Don't even think of trying it on without the receipt and an iron will. If you end up having to return something, prepare to stand in a line like you are waiting for bread in late-period Soviet Russia because you will lose time out of your day you will never see again. For smaller purchases like those I outlined, Fry's is just fine. For software it's best to order online. For an actual computer like a PC you build yourself, try a specialist shop like Central Computer on the other side of town. For a Mac, alas, you are best off in the glossy Mac stores that are now everywhere. At least you can yell at a hipster in an Apple T-shirt if something goes wrong. At Fry's, just as in space, no one can hear you scream.
They are quickly becoming the Fry's Electronics of mainstream retail with the key difference being this: Fry's have rude inept staff but low prices and good selection. Best Buy have friendly inept staff, poor selection and crap prices that Amazon and even Target routinely beat. If you know exactly what you want and are prepared to pay about 10% more to have it in your hot little mitts right this instant, then proceed with caution, save your receipt and monitor the price in other stores for the next 30 days. If the price drops, then immediately bring the receipt in and they will have to give you the difference.
The two worst Best Buy moments for me were as follows:
1) I wanted to buy an MP3 player for my boyfriend and wanted to go "open box" (merchandise bought and returned but functional) to shave something off the price. The open box item I bought mysteriously had no power cables. I was assured by the salesperson (idiot in a blue uniform) that I could pick up an adapter at Radio Shack. Lies!! I could not and a new power cable was $30. The exact amount of my discount.
2) I bought a new Fuji camera 2 days before the price dropped by 30 dollars on Amazon. Best Buy does not price match internet sales. The manager who talked me into purchasing with a few discounted extras (camera bag and memory card) probably knew the price was about to drop so I am watching the price of my camera at retail outlets. When that sucker drops he will see my smiling face again, demanding my money. Yes, I am bitter.
Don't buy from them unless you KNOW the price is a good one because they just don't care about being the best buy.
It's small and definitely a pale imitation of the great old museum it was out in Golden Gate Park but it's still beautifully presented and accessible by children and adults. We cannot wait for the new one to open in 2008.
The Howard Street temporary version features high quality exhibits that engage explorers of all ages to look, touch and experience science up close. The current large exhibit, Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries, is a winner. We saw how dinosaurs might have moved, where they probably lived and what they might have looked like with skin, feathers or fur . We saw many creatures we had not heard of before and with the invitation to touch actual dinosaur bones throughout. The fish, frogs, snakes and penguins are all still there and all doing interesting things. You can poke your nose right up to a piranha tank or a boa tank and see them react to you. It's small, as I say but will provide 2 or more hours of solid fun and learning. The cafe is nice and has vegetarian options like grilled cheese and gardenburgers. The shop is also small but stuffed with nice things at reasonable prices. Enjoy!
Nice atmosphere. Prices are within reason and the pizza...well, technically this is pretty good pizza but it's the kind that's so thin it's almost into matzoh cracker territory and some people don't care for that. I don't mind the style but it's not particularly filling and makes this pizza more of an appetizer than a meal. The sauces and toppings are okay but not soul-thrilling or innovative. This is mall food and for that it's not bad. I did order a vegetarian tortellini that turned out to be inedible balls of not-quite-cooked vegetable paste in doughy casings. It was in a passable marinara sauce but even the sauce could not hide the structural failure of these tortellini. Mushy and underdone.
Stick with the pizza. The kid's portion pizza is excellent. Our 5 yo gobbled it up and (owing to the thinness of this pizza) started in on her parent's food. The service was fine. Cafeteria style, self-seating. They accepted my rejection of the mushy tortellini and brought me a pizza margherita I ate and enjoyed.
So to sum up: Thin to insubstantial but reasonably tasty pizza crackerlettes running at about $8.95 each. Useful as a snack but you will be hungry again within 2 hours.
They pretty much were the dining scene in CV for me until very recently when we got a bunch of new Thai eateries. I would say all Chipotles are a good bet. This one is my local and thus my fave. They remember that I am a vegetarian and they make me my food exactly the way I like it. I bring my non-veg friends here and they rave about the free-range chicken, beef and pork. Did you know that any Chipotle's will make a quesadilla for you in either a taco or burrito-sized tortilla and with any items in it you want? So if you want a chicken quesadilla with grilled veggies, you can have one.
I always order the 4 crispy vegetarian tacos with black beans (pintos have bacon in them) and I get the medium-spicy corn salsa. Yum.
A small but enjoyable weekend market perfect for picking up fresh produce, baked goods, local honey, eggs, cheese, plants and loads of other things.
Runs every Saturday May 6 Through October 28 at the Castro Valley BART Station Redwood Road & Norbridge.
Really, truly nice ice cream and sundaes. Service with a smile in a beautifully reimagined restaurant (the original burnt down a few years ago). My family are lacto vegetarian so there are not loads of options here on the regular food menu but thankfully, the ice cream has no egg yolks in it according to staff. There are a few sandwiches and the gardenburger for veggie people but many more options for the rest of the world. What looks to be a huge menu. I have had the curly fries and they are great. My friend always got the BLT and raved about it.
Go here for a huge sundae to share with your family or for a birthday sundae where the whole store sings the song. You will leave happy.
Sparse exhibits, bad replicas and loads of factual errors plus it's expensive on top of that. I could not believe how poor the exhibits were. Nothing more than posters and a few large plaster models of planets. The planetarium "show" was a low resolution projection of a badly computer animated trip around the solar system and like much of the info presented throughout the museum, it featured dated info that still called Pluto a planet. It's been demoted to dwarf planet since August of 2006 because it is about 1/5th the size of Earth's moon. I can understand the film being outdated by a few months but the permanent exhibits too? And according to the museum staff they have no intention of updating the permanent exhibitions to reflect current thinking in astronomy and cosmology.
What a perfect waste of an afternoon. The telescopes are very cool and you can view things through them FOR FREE on most clear evenings and skip paying the $13 a head to wander around looking at bad posters and old information.
There are far better science museums for children and adults. The California Academy Of Sciences, even in its temporary home on Howard Street in SF is a far better bang for your buck. Easy to get to by BART too. The Exploratorium is the best of the lot. Stunning interactive exhibits as far as the eye can see. The Children's Discovery Museum and the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose are also pretty cool. Down at NASA Ames they have a real moon rock you can look at for free and that beats the entire contents of Chabot.
Don't encourage these people. Take your dollars to a museum that keeps up with things and makes the effort to enlighten and entertain.