Pastes are savory miniature pies brought to Mexico in the early 1800s by Cornish miners. There's an entire museum devoted to them in Hidalgo, but closer to home you can taste them at the newly opened Claudia's Pastes & Empanadas. Empanadas differ greatly throughout Latin America and Central America, with various sizes and fillings. Both the pastes and empanadas at Claudia's follow the Mexican tradition, where pastes are Cornish pasties with savory fillings like green mole chicken and beef and potato, while empanadas have sweet fillings, such as rice pudding and pineapple.
668 E. Third Ave., San Mateo; (650) 513-1673
As the owner of Montara's Gherkins and the newly opened Fish & Frites, Elias Jweinat is a busy man. Now he's opened a second branch of Gherkins Sandwich Shop in the heart of downtown San Carlos. Sandwiches are the name of the game here, though burgers and salads are also served all day long. A post-lunch nap might be required after the "Al Capone": ham, mortadella, salami, provolone cheese and Italian dressing. There's also the local shoutout "Laurel Street" with chicken, avocado and jack cheese on sourdough. And of course, each sandwich can come with a gherkin on it.
635 Laurel St., San Carlos; (650) 654-7600, EatGherkins.com
It's a big weekend in Menlo Park, with the 27th annual Connoisseurs' Marketplace. People come for the art or to meet the Warriors' cheerleaders — both big draws — but the festival also offers two food- and drink-packed days. A chef's demonstration tent features many of the Peninsula's top toques, including Charlie Ayers of Palo Alto's Calafia Café. Along with chef-gazing, there's plenty of eating: Dining choices span the globe from Neopolitan-style pizza to tamales and pupusas to the good old street fair classic, smoked turkey legs. On the drinking front, there's a microbrew and wine tasting tent. Cheers to summer festivals.
Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, Saturday and Sunday, free admission
Expansion news out of Palo Alto: Anatolian Kitchen has bought the vacant space next door, the recently closed Ramona's Pizza. The plan is for the addition to feature a bar, lounge, and private dining room. Anatolian Kitchen owner Dino Tekdemir recently opened a second, similar restaurant in San Francisco, First Crush.
2323 Birch St., Palo Alto; (650) 853- 9700, AnatolianKitchenPaloAlto.com