Oohs and aahs usually accompany Chocolate Maven's brunches and desserts-and deservedly so (ooh…Belgian waffles with homemade syrup; aah…banana walnut pancakes), but let's not forget about lunch. Despite its tucked-away location, Chocolate Maven remains a you-may-have-to-wait-for-a-table hot-spot for smart lunchers who know that this bakery also offers


one of the best and widest sandwich and salad menus in town. The Maven is by no means a vegetarian restaurant, but there are some very nice meatless offerings worth noting. For example, Maven's reuben allows those who eschew pastrami to have a little deli experience by opting for the vegetarian pastrami instead of the real thing, along with the traditional Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on rye. Same goes for the BLT, which includes the possibility of veggie bacon, and the Baja wrap, which can be made with either chicken or broiled chipotle tofu. (No dice on the Santa Fe steak sandwich, though; that's real roast beef.) Most of the deli and grilled sammies are available in salad or soup combos. And because all of the ingredients are fresh and light, you might actually have room for dessert-ooh, aah.

821 W. San Mateo Road, Ste. C, 984-1980,


Breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday; brunch Saturday and Sunday. $