I go through phases where I obsess about a particular food or beverage. For a while it was oatmeal. I had to try oatmeal all over the Bay Area. (Four Seasons still may be my favorite.) I have been eating a daily dose of frozen soy yogurt. (Fraiche.) Then there were the drives into San Francisco for Bi-Rite ice cream and Blue Bottle Coffee.
Now, thanks to my French friend Muriel, I need to have a daily soy cappuccino at a local cafe, Caffe Del Doge in Palo Alto. Doge is not French, it is an Italian company, with Palo Alto being the only location in the United States. The cafe started in Venice, and while sititing in the cafe, I truly feel as if I have escaped to Europe. This is no Starbucks, take it to go, drink in the car kind of place. You want to sit at a table, take your time and drink from a real ceramic cup. The croissants, which are flown in frozen from France, are a favorite of many of my French pals. (My kids devoured them this afternoon alongside a cup of cocoa) I have to say, the soy milk was sweet and frothy, and even had a design in it! I am not sure why the coffee is so outstanding, but it truly is. If you can not make it to Venice for an hour, but find yourself in downtown Palo Alto, pass by the Starbucks, and indulge in a coffee at Doge.