On the Peninsula: Off the Grid San Francisco is launching its first "weekly market" (aka gathering of gourmet food trucks) south of the city starting Monday. From 5 to 9 p.m. every Monday, a rotating array of eight food trucks will converge in the Caltrain parking lot at El Camino Real and Ralston Avenue in Belmont. (Only the 415 crowd would dub this the "San Francisco South Bay," but we're sure they will discover in good time that they are actually noshing on the Peninsula.) The inaugural lineup will feature Sam's ChowderMobile, Kara's Cupcakes, The Chairman, El Sur, Hiyaaa Roll, Hapa SF, Sanguchon SF and Del Popolo, Details: www.offthegridsf.com.

Clam Chowdah: Is it possible to have too much clam chowder? We don't think so -- and neither does the Santa Cruz crowd. The annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Festival runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday on the boardwalk. Admission is free; tasting kits -- which net you generous tastes of five different chowders -- are $9 each. Yum. Details at http://beachboardwalk.com/clamchowder.

Don't want to drive to the beach? Boudin Bakery is celebrating National Clam Chowder Day on Monday by giving away bread bowls of the lovely stuff. The "buy one, get one free" coupons will be available at www.boudinbakery.com starting Friday.


Advertisement

One last chowdery thing: The Exploratorium's new digs on San Francisco's Pier 15 open April 17, and the new restaurant's clam chowders are absolutely amazing.

Comfort food celebration: Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade's uber-popular little mac-and-cheese restaurant, Homeroom, in Oakland has ample reason to celebrate. Their "Mac + Cheese Cookbook" (Ten Speed Press, $16.99, 128 pages) just went up for pre-order on Amazon; the book releases Aug. 20. And the eatery just added weekend brunch service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can design your own omelet ($8.95 and up; cheddar, chorizo and broccoli, anyone?), dip into French toast ($7.50) with raspberry-blueberry sauce or enjoy a breakfast mac -- super cheddary mac with bacon and a fried egg ($10.50). Details: 400 40th St., Oakland; http://homeroom510.com.

Send your South Bay and Peninsula restaurant tips to Linda Zavoral, lzavoral@mercurynews.com.