Review: Gelayo Gusto (Mountain View)

On Thursday night we stopped in to Gelayo Gusto once again. We had eaten there once before – the last time that Bobby was in Mountain View.

Gelayo Gusto is a small cafe that serves sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Their feature is dessert, but I think the sandwiches are absolutely fabulous and often overlooked. They’re located on El Camino Real, right off of Castro Street.

We got the tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella sandwich on whole wheat baguette ($6.50 alone or $9 for a combo with chips and a drink):

This sandwich was warm, fresh, and delicious. The mozzarella melts in your mouth and the veggies were flavorful and perfectly ripe. The whole wheat bread was soft and paired perfectly with a vinagrette that gave it a kick.

Afterwards we got shaved ice, an Asian dessert ($6 for the small; it’s huge):

The base is a generous scoop of milk-doused shaved ice. Next it is topped with sweetened red beans (a typical Asian dessert feature) that are surrounded by fresh fruits and mochi (another Asian dessert – chewy cubes of pounded sweetened rice). On top of all this is a huge serving of frozen yogurt (we got blueberry and yogurt flavor mix). Instead of yogurt you can also get gelato OR sorbetto, both tempting choices.

I have never had anything like it. The fruit is fresh and sweet, the red beans are delicious, the shaved ice is creamy and addicting, and the yogurt is smooth and light. This is not only my new favorite dessert, but Bobby’s as well.

What I really love about the yogurt is that they actually have plain “yogurt” flavor – the only other place I’ve seen this was in Italy, with the “yogurt” gelato. It’s slightly tangy and oh-so good. The blueberry is delicious as well, and Bobby (who is not a dessert person) adores it.

Other things that looked particularly good were: the dessert waffle (like the shaved ice, but on top of a waffle instead), the gelato, the froyo, the toppings, the grilled veggie sandwich, and the various gourmet cakes and cookies.

The prices are reasonable and even though the shaved ice was pricey at $6, it was a humongous portion and well worth it for such a healthy and amazing dessert.

Note: We ordered the shaved ice again tonight, but it was prepared by a different clerk, and he didn’t include the red beans or the mochi! It was still delicious, but next time I will be sure to ask for both the beans and the mochi – for me, they really make the dish.

Day 4 in Ithaca (Saturday) – Lunch

Sorry no detailed menu plan this week – things are up in the air because Bobby and I will be traveling and settling in – so probably eating out more than we should…

For lunch on Saturday we walked to downtown Ithaca to go to Sticky Rice (Thai/Laotian), only to find that they don’t open until 5pm… So instead we went to Viva!, a Mexican restaurant.

I got the taco salad with guacamole and salsa buttermilk dressing. It came with beans, green peppers, tomatoes, and 3 huge tortilla chips. The salsa buttermilk is one of my favorites – I do enjoy creamy dressings, but usually they’re too heavy. This one is perfect because buttermilk is not too thick to begin with and the salsa lightens it up even more.

Bobby got super nachos – pretty good; they came with cheese, sour cream, salsa, and guac.

Viva! is a fun restaurant – the food is fresh and they have quick service. I don’t particularly like their guac, because it’s rather bland and uninspired. But aside from that I would definitely recommend it: they are very vegetarian/vegan friendly and I’ve enjoyed my meal every time I’ve been there.

Day 3 in Ithaca (Friday) – Dinner

We decided to go to Aladdin’s again, but this time for dinner on Friday. Bobby is friends with the waitress and we got a free appetizer: hummus and pitas. There were tomato slices, cucumbers, and an olive, but I ate most of them before I remembered to take a picture. The hummus at Aladdin’s is fresh and light and delicious.

For my entree I got the “Fruit and Nut Salad”, which is a huge bowl of fruits topped with yogurt, granola, walnuts, and honey. It’s the perfect dinner and you don’t need dessert afterwards to satisfy a sweet tooth (though we did end up getting dessert anyway). I usually ask for no honey and no nuts, but this time I forgot to leave off the nuts and got A TON of walnuts. I didn’t actually have many of the walnuts; they’re so filling.

Bobby was quite envious of the “Falafel Salad” that I got the other day so he decided to order that for his entree – the large size.

We also got a free dessert – we chose the “Chocolate Mousse”. We chose it because it looked smaller than the rest of the desserts, but when we got it we knew why – it’s the richest of them all. They use Godiva chocolate and it was quite decadent. A bit too sweet and rich for me, but we did enjoy it.

Bobby’s graduation is tomorrow and I’m currently waiting for my brother and his girlfriend to arrive. Unfortunately they left the concert (Flaming Lips) pretty late and probably won’t get in until 3-4am. I may end up sleeping next to my cell and picking up once they arrive.

Day 3 in Ithaca (Friday) – Lunch

Here’s a quick review of lunch – we went to the Vietnamese restaurant that we love (I still don’t know the name of it) up on Dryden across from Collegetown Candy and Nuts.

I got the “Vegetarian Tofu Salad”, which consists of shredded marinated cabbage topped with lots of tofu, carrots, onions, peanuts, and onion crispies. I’m not sure what the dressing is made of, but it’s very good – I think it might have vegetarian fish sauce in it.

I love this salad – it’s the perfect mix of sweet and sour and it always hits the spot. The tofu is marinated in the same vinegar-sweet sauce that the cabbage comes in and it has a wonderful texture. It’s tender but not fragile in the way that tofu usually is. The onions are thinly sliced and not too potent, the carrots are tender, and the crushed peanuts and crispy onions (I think they’re just fried a little) add the perfect amount of crunch.

We’re going to Aladdin’s again for dinner – I think I’m going to get the “Fruit and Nut Salad”, but we’ll see… I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Day 2 in Ithaca (Thursday)

Yesterday we hit two more of my favorites. For lunch we went to Aladdin’s, the mediterranean restaurant near our apartment. I love the food there; they have so many options for everyone.

I got a falafel salad:

It came with tahini-yogurt dressing which is AMAZING. I love this dressing. I always ask for dressing on the side, and this one is the only one that I ever actually finish! The salad came with 3 falafels (chickpeas are wonderful, aren’t they?), scallions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and sprouts. It was delicious. I had one of the pitas that came on the side, but they weren’t that fresh so I didn’t finish the others.

Bobby got a chicken pita with chips:

It came with tomatoes, a little bit of parmesan cheese, a few onions (he ordered minimal onions) and more tahini-yogurt sauce! Though I don’t eat meat, I think this was a good choice for him and he certainly enjoyed it 🙂

After lunch we played laser-tag in downtown Ithaca. I had never played before and wasn’t sure what to expect… but it was so fun! I wasn’t very good at all, but it was exciting and a fun way to exercise. Bobby was pretty sweaty after our 3 rounds; I wasn’t, but I don’t think I got as into it as he did.

For dinner we went to Mate Factor Cafe, the organic/local/natural place that has those amazing Belgian waffles. You order at the counter and they give you a laminated paper with a picture of fruit on it so they can remember where to bring the food. We were bananas:

I did not end up getting a waffle, but I did get a “Peanut Butter Banana & Honey” sandwich on whole wheat bread with some coleslaw on the side. It was oozing peanut butter and I actually wiped some of it off, because it was a little overpowering – but I do love this combo. The coleslaw was great as well – not a lot of mayo, and very fresh.

Bobby and I split a fresh raspberry muffin, toasted and buttered, as well as a blueberry hill smoothie:

And Bobby got what he usually gets – a bagel with salmon, tomatoes, and sprouts.

Everything was fresh and delicious and if you’re ever in Ithaca you should definitely try this place. The inside is beautifully decorated with wooden booths and tables, various plants that wind their way around the room, and even a real fireplace that burns cheerily in the winter. They play relaxing, sort of hippie-ish and nature-y music. They sell various teas, coffees, and sweeteners online at and they also sell soaps and other body products that can also be found online at, their local organic farm.