Palo Alto’s Zibibbo shutters doors after 17 years 

This week’s headliner comes from Palo Alto with news that one of the city’s longtime dining standards, Zibibbo, has closed its doors after 17 years of service. There is no explanation yet from the restaurant’s management as to why the restaurant shuttered. Zibibbo was one of the first restaurants with big-city style and culinary ambitions to open in Palo Alto as a branch of San Francisco’s Restaurant LuLu. Zibibbo’s large capacity of over 270 that covered multiple rooms and patios of an old Victorian house, combined with its equally vast Mediterranean menu, proved a hit from the get-go for the community. It remained the prototype of the urban-in-a-suburb style to this day, when almost every week a new San Francisco restaurateur announces expansion to Palo Alto (not this week, though).

430 Kipling St., Palo Alto

Palo Alto

Staying in downtown Palo Alto, another local establishment has closed. Sabrosa Taqueria has shuttered, with reports that the space will be an outpost of San Francisco’s Sushirrito (you can guess their hybrid specialty). Sabrosa only opened last fall, barely making it half a year serving assorted tacos, salads and a “falafelrito.” No details have been provided for its closing.

448 University Ave., Palo Alto

San Carlo

The dining epicenter of San Carlos, Laurel Street, has another new restaurant on which to report. Johnston’s Saltbox is open, courtesy of husband-and-wife team Sean and Jennifer McAteer Johnston. Sean is a Northern Ireland native and runs the front of the house, while Jennifer hails from San Carlos and runs the kitchen after having trained with influential mentors including Jeremiah Tower and Bradley Ogden. The restaurant’s rooftop garden and Sean’s history of growing up with his family owning the local pub instill the restaurant’s concept of “local people and local product.” That means kale-panzanella salad and a BLTA (A for avocado) sandwich for lunch. At night, there’s spring vegetable pappardelle pasta and a roasted chicken with lemon-thyme syrup. The charming interior is heavy on wood and window space, with black Colonial-style chairs and bare tables. Do note that reservations currently aren’t accepted and there is a beautiful outside patio.

1696 Laurel St., San Carlos; (650) 592-7258, johnstonsaltbox.com

San Mateo

What is a chimney cake? Now you can find out at various Peninsula farmers markets and Off the Grid food truck gatherings. Keep Rolling is the result of a San Franciscan who ventured to Europe as a 20-year-old and fell in love with a certain pastry in Vienna. That pastry actually is the Hungarian kurts kalacs, often eaten as a wedding cake. The chimney cake has a unique cylindrical shape with a sweet, crispy outside and a soft and warm interior that is cut into spirals. Keep Rolling’s truck serves the chimney cake plain or with various toppings such as coconut or Oreo cookies. There is also a savory chimney dog. The schedule rotates, but you can almost always count on Keep Rolling appearing at the Saturday morning farmers market in San Mateo.

Visit keeprolling.co for the latest schedule

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