Palo Alto Creamery
Fountain & Grill
566 Emerson Street
The sign out front says "Peninsula Creamery" -- apparently there was some dispute over who owned that name, and the other Peninsula Creamery is a few blocks away -- but this is the one that people mean when they say, "Let's go to the Creamery." They've been saying it since 1923.
The restaurant still looks like a diner, but it's a diner that offers grilled salmon and chicken quesadillas in addition to meatloaf and turkey pot pie.
This is my kids' favorite place to go for breakfast, and it's no hardship for the adults, either.
The Belgian waffles ($6.50) and the shakes are the stars of the menu. Often we have both, for "breakfust." (Not a typo. "That's just the way people pronounce it," the owner said in an interview with the San Jose Mercury-News.)
The waffles are tender with great flavor, served with "real Vermont maple syrup." The shakes are nearly too thick to make it through the straw, and the server brings extra in the metal mixing cup. Even the toast is extra-good, thick-cut house-made bread that stays soft in the middle, served with a fine pot of raspberry jam. Cinnamon toast is excellent.
One night I craved spaghetti and meatballs. It was late (well, late for us to be having dinner), and we didn't want anything too complicated, so we tried to eat at Buca di Beppo, where one finds pasta in abundance, but there was a 40-minute wait. I was not surprised to find that the Creamery had homemade-tasting spaghetti and meatballs, and good garlic bread. Also fresh fish and chips (made with tilapia), good chicken-noodle soup, and a hefty beef hot dog.
The clock has a message for loiterers. In between the black letters are smaller red letters that spell out "Just kidding."