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Welcome to my blog, where I document my life in Silicon Valley.  Hope you have a nice stay!

What is your favorite coffee shop?

What is your favorite coffee shop?

There's a moment on every episode of Project Runway where the models line up and the designers describe their new looks. What is their inspiration? Where are their girls going?

To an art gallery opening. Always to an art gallery opening.

So to answer the question above, it depends on where I'm going that day, whom I'm with, what sort of mood I'm in. In that spirit, here are some of my favorites in Palo Alto and Mountain View:

Café Venetia

Setting the scene

: I'm meeting a friend for a half hour to catch up on life, forget about work, and pretend I live in Europe.  Better with company, but if you're alone, leave the laptop at home and bring a newspaper or magazine.

What I order

: Macchiatone and a cookie

Random bonus

: Excellent fruit salad

Downside

: Sometimes I feel like I'm being attacked by chairs. A few too many cute little stools.

Coupa Cafe (Ramona location)

Setting the scene

: I'm strolling through downtown Palo Alto, killing time, and hey, I might as well get a coffee while I'm out. Also, I'm hungry. Or

I'm meeting my husband and kids for breakfast after a workout.

What I order

: Small soy latte and English muffin breakfast sandwich. Mango iced tea in the summer.

Random bonus

: Want to catch a World Cup soccer game, but don't want to deal with a crowded sports bar? Grab a seat on the outside patio facing the Old Pro and catch a peek of the big screen from across the street.

Downside

:

Too warm, sometimes.

Fun fact

: A Coupa Café cup made an appearance in the film

"The Social Network"

Coupa Cafe (Lytton location)

Setting the scene

: I'm heading home, on my way back from a walk. Not at the beginning of my walk. That would be crazy. Or

I need somewhere to pop in and do a little work on my laptop.

What I order

: Small soy latte and chocolate chip scone. Or a pot of black currant tea. Burrata pannini, when I feel like having a meal.

Random bonus

: Excellent internet speed. I know this because a man sitting at a table next to me conducted a Skype meeting with a colleague, during which he kept raving about the excellent internet speed. I'll take his word for it.

Dana Street Roasting Company

Setting the scene

: I'm popping in for a pre-farmers market bagel and chai, or treating myself to a pre-work espresso.

What I order

: Single chai latte and poppy seed bagel or double espresso and currant scone.

Random bonus

:

Good people watching and nice sense of community. Okay, so like anywhere in the area, you'll occasionally see an  obnoxious dude pitching yet another fitness app. But this is counterbalanced by the regulars sitting at the large community table inside, reading newspapers and discussing current events, or the guys sitting at the tables outside, reading Chinese newspapers.

Nota bene

: Cash or check only. A sign also indicates the shop takes Mobibucks. What on earth is a Mobibuck??

Getting Down

Getting Down

Broccolini and  White Beans with Polenta

Broccolini and White Beans with Polenta