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Los Altos report: Esther's, Donut du Jour, Cravery

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Los Altos report: Esther's, Donut du Jour, Cravery

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Claudette | | Jul 12, 2008 03:53 PM

This was our nosh trail on the way to the Los Altos Arts Festival:

Esther's German Bakery & Cafe was adorable: pretty wall colors, display cases, curtains, lampshades, cute kids' play area, and seductive smells greeted us at the door. My daughter's German omelet ($8.95) was good, although a bit too salty and the potatoes a bit too hard. I loved the strong German coffee; they had a dispenser marked "American" but I didn't try it. We tried a selection of pastries: Vanilla Bomb (I think this was the name of it - a light custard sandwiched between 2 slighty dry oval cakes); Beesting cake (delicious custard filling and caramelized almond topping); Apple cake (nice texture, but light on flavor). The salted and sesame pretzels were the best pretzels I'd ever had in the US, but not nearly as good as the ones I'd had in Germany (based on ssome research I did a few years ago, it might be due to different flours). Esther was there, and chatted up the tables. Friendly service, nice atmosphere, and a real neighborhood gem.

Donut du Jour is a new family-owned business with a large selection of the cutest little donuts imagineable, which run between 59-89 cents each, I think. Every one we tried was light and delicious, without the slightest trace of grease: an apple fritter, a glazed, a glazed old-fashion, a chocolate-sprinkled one, a Boston-cream-pieish one. Each is only 3 bites' worth, so you can have your fix without overdoing it, if you're so inclined. Service is very friendly, and should become a destination donut place to rival Stan's (I live close to Stan's, and I know donuts). No website on their bcards yet: 108 State St., 650-941-0258.

The smell of the pies at the Cravery is irresistible. They taste great, too, and even though I didn't like the ratio of filling to pastry (1:2), my husband the carb-eater did. It came with a decent fruit salad (ripe, not rock-hard fruit that most places use for sides). One downside: their Spumoni gelato tasted a bit strange, but I couldn't figure out why (I'm a Spumoni-freak). No website on their brochure yet: 378 Main St., 650-948-8886.

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