Hamburger heaven: For hamburger fiends who waited, oh, decades for Southern California's In-N-Out Burger to expand to the Bay Area, there's juicy news: Rival Fatburger is finally here. Or back again, if you count the Pleasant Hill location that was open for a brief shining moment not many years ago. The chain, founded in Los Angeles in 1952 by a woman named Lovie Yancey, has long vied for cult status against In-N-Out Burger, launched in 1948 in Baldwin Park by Harry and Esther Snyder.
You might be hard-pressed to find the Bay Area's newly franchised Fatburgers -- they aren't exactly prominently situated. The just-opened Livermore location is tucked inside a Chevron gas station's food mart (1025 N. Vasco Road, 925-455-6070; www.fatburger.com). The soon-to-come San Jose one is hidden too, in a North Valley residential neighborhood at King and Mabury roads (788 N. King Road); that location should start grilling burgers to order sometime later in April.
Besides hamburgers sized like T-shirts (S, M, L, XL, XXL or XXXL), Fatburger serves chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, onion rings, fries in both fat and skinny versions, chili, a wedge salad and several flavors of milkshakes. You can customize your burger or sandwich with a dozen add-ons, from A.1. sauce to guacamole to grilled mushrooms. Now, let the burger wars begin anew.
Sideboard returns: Whew. After three long months of pastry- and coffee-lessness, Danville's much-beloved (and us-beloved) Sideboard has reopened in a new downtown spot -- the historic Root House at 90 Railroad Ave. -- which is twice as big as the old, cozy cafe. The new place features all the things we've come to love from Erin Andrews' menus -- Blue Bottle coffee, fresh baked pastries, sandwiches, salads and other comfort fare -- but more seats, indoors and out. Details: www.sideboarddanville.com.
Spanish in Saratoga: The tapas options are expanding in the South Bay, with the newest entrant, Tapa Olé, bringing a touch of southern Spain's Andalusia region to Saratoga. Look for 20 types of tapas (the marismina, or shrimp croquettes, are popular); five versions of paella (from traditional to the arroz negro, with squid, its ink and black rice); fresquito, the Andalusian gazpacho; and charcuterie plates lined with Iberico ham, chorizo and Manchego cheese. Coming April 23: Tapa Olé will present a preview of the opera "Carmen," with flamenco dancing and a glass of sangria for $10. Details: Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 18818 Cox Ave., Saratoga. 408-379-1677; http://tapaolerestaurant.com.
Farm fresh: Union City residents can up their farm-to-table options starting Saturday, when the East Plaza Farmers Market opens in town. The market, affiliated with the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association, will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year-round in the East Plaza at 11th Street and Decoto Road, not far from BART and Charles F. Kennedy Park.
On the move: A popular Los Gatos chocolatier, Chocolate Dream Box, has lost its lease at the Kings Court center at Blossom Hill Road and Los Gatos Boulevard, where one could find easy parking within feet of the sweets. But not to worry: Owner-chocolatier Holly Westbrook has been searching for a new location convenient enough for longtime customers. Even better news: The Dream Box will stay open at this location through Easter for all of your dark and light bunny and egg needs. Get updates on the move at http://chocolatedreambox.com.