Sourdough in Sunnyvale: The legendary company that's been baking sourdough bread in San Francisco since Gold Rush days has staked a claim in Sunnyvale. You'll find Boudin SF's signature "clam chowder in a bread bowl," along with burgers on baguettes, grilled cheese sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner. Four other soups are offered daily; vegan or vegetarian specials include a yellow split pea with roasted red pepper and a roasted garlic tomato. At breakfast (served until 11 a.m. on weekdays, noon on weekends) the tangy sourdough is served as French toast or with scrambles. Details: 144 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale. www.boudinbakery.com.
As the toque turns: Jarad Gallagher, formerly chef de cuisine at the Michelin-starred Plumed Horse in Saratoga, is now running his own kitchen as executive chef at the starred Chez TJ in Mountain View, where Joey Elenterio had most recently been at the helm. New at the Plumed Horse is Chris Velasquez, who had been with The Sea by Alexander's in Palo Alto.
Mayan special: Where better to celebrate the end of an era than at a historic spot with stellar views? The Mountain Winery in Saratoga will host an "End of the Mayan Calendar Party" from 7 p.m. to midnight Dec. 21, with live dance music and food. Executive chef David Sidoti is preparing a themed menu of shrimp ceviche, carnitas tacos, mole chicken drumettes and flan. Dance party tickets are $20; the a la carte dinner is extra; parking is free. Details: www.mountainwinery.com.
Tamale time: Christmas means tamales in San Jose. But this year, because of budget cuts, the South Bay will have to do without what had become a fun tradition the past eight years: the televised Best Darn Tamale Contest. However, you can still get a taste of tamales on TV. Darlene Tenes of Casa Q will demonstrate tamale-making for the PBS program "Heirloom Meals." That Christmas special will air on KQED Plus at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Details: http://heirloommeals.com.
Send South Bay and Peninsula restaurant tips to Linda Zavoral, firstname.lastname@example.org.