Food title: San Mateo's burgeoning restaurant scene is now on the map -- as in Rand McNally. The cartography experts search every year for the Best Small Towns of America in various categories, including best food. "San Mateo won us over with the diversity of its culinary options and with all its online activity, which showed strong community support for the restaurateurs," the judges wrote. (Yes, public votes counted.) San Mateo's submission video depicted dozens of the city's 350 restaurants, bakeries and other food establishments of every culinary stripe. There's also a heavy concentration of local ownership and a nice smattering of Michelin stars (All Spice and Wakuriya).

Following their May 9 appearance on ABC’s "Shark Tank," owners Florian and Shannon Radke of Berkeley’s Cinnaholic scored Shark
Following their May 9 appearance on ABC's "Shark Tank," owners Florian and Shannon Radke of Berkeley's Cinnaholic scored Shark support to expand the mail-order side of their build-your-own vegan cinnamon roll business. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group Archives)
Find the city's restaurants mapped on a new website, www.sanmateobestfood.com, created in honor of the Rand McNally title.

Vegan sweets go national: Following their May 9 appearance on ABC's "Shark Tank," owners Florian and Shannon Radke of Berkeley's Cinnaholic scored Shark support to expand the mail-order side of their build-your-own vegan cinnamon roll business. Even though they ultimately turned down the Sharks' $200,000 deal, the TV appearance garnered so much international attention that plans are under way to launch three Cinnaholic franchises (hopefully at least one is in the Bay Area) by year's end, with many more in the pipeline.


Advertisement

Walk this way: Dishcrawl, a progressive dinner of like-minded foodies that was founded in San Jose, will embark June 18 on its first Contra Costa County expedition. Downtown Walnut Creek is the site for this culinary adventure, but the restaurants will remain secret until two days before the dinner, when ticket-holders will be clued in as to where to show up. Tickets, $45, are limited. You can purchase them online at http://dishcrawl.com. Beverages are extra.

First Street fare: A new Mediterranean restaurant now occupies a prime San Jose corner. Cafe Eden, at First and Santa Clara streets, caters to the downtown lunch crowd and, increasingly, students from San Jose State (a Spartan Daily review called it "an alternative to fast-food frenzy"). At this eatery owned by the Kadah family, look for shawarma, kebabs, zaatar pies, Armenian sausage sandwiches and grilled Bulgarian kasseri cheese, plus sides and dips (baba ganoush, tabbouleh) and sweets (baklava, date doughnuts). Details: Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 2 N. First St. 408-753-1139; www.cafeedendowntown.com.

Toque update: In Oakland, Charlie Parker (Village Pub, Ubuntu) has taken over as executive chef of Haven, and Daniel Patterson and chef Brett Cooper have changed Plum to Ume -- still California-bred cuisine but with Japanese influences, like BBQ chicken thigh rubbed with yuzu kosho and fried chicken and egg ramen. Meanwhile, Derek Biazo (Menlo Grill, Viognier) is the new executive chef of Alexander's Steakhouse Silicon Valley in Cupertino. He started his new gig by introducing an eight-course omakase menu that blends American and Japanese influences.

Presidential pinot: The Fairmont San Jose recently hosted a major dinner for President Barack Obama, and as far as we're concerned, the big news was ... no, not how much money was raised, but whose wine was served. Honors went to Guglielmo Winery of Morgan Hill, whose 2012 Private Reserve Pinot Grigio and 2010 Private Reserve Pinot Noir were poured for the president.

Send your South Bay tips to lzavoral@mercurynews.com and your East Bay tips to jyadegaran@bayareanewsgroup.com.