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Stanford Report, August 9, 2000

Bytes café opens in SEQ's Packard building

You won't find it on any campus map -- yet -- but the new Bytes café is covering lots of ground with its evolving menus and promise of ongoing culinary adventures. Open since July 17, the café is located on the first floor of the David Packard Electrical Engineering Building in the Science and Engineering Quadrangle. Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In the autumn, hours will be from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Throughout the day, baked treats include toasted crumpets with raspberry preserves, blueberry scones, apple turnovers and lemon meringue tarts that are baked in house or ordered from Prolific Oven bakery in Palo Alto.

Dino Montufar serves a lemon Rosemary chicken sandwich on an herb slab at the newly opened Bytes café in the David Packard Electrical Engineering building.

Soon the café will offer hot breakfasts prepared in the all-electric kitchen that features a convection steamer "so you don't lose flavors," says Joe Oliveira. He and Jill Elevitch are the co-directors of Just About Eating, the Palo Alto-based café and catering operation that runs Bytes.

The standard menu includes a lemon rosemary chicken sandwich with apricot chutney on an herb slab, field greens with fig balsamic vinaigrette, and heirloom tomato salad with fresh basil. Soups, soy pastas and a standing vegan item are coming soon.

From the espresso bar, one can pick from a dozen offerings. Soon the café will serve French Press hand-roasted organic coffee from Elevitch's family farm in Kona, Hawaii.

The 11 tables inside the eatery seat 55. In the autumn, customers will be able to order take-out orders from an express service table near the entrance. A part-time staff of seven may be doubled to accommodate bigger crowds in the fall. Spirits may peak once Bytes gets a beer and wine license, currently in process.

And while the permanent Bytes sign has not been installed yet, the sound system is in, with jazz and salsa numbers accompanying courses. Live music and visiting chefs will be introduced later.

Touches, such as original art, are still on tap. Oliveira's father, Nathan Oliveira, is a Stanford art professor emeritus.

For group gatherings, university departments are welcome to contact Bytes for catering events held in the Packard building's atrium, which can seat about 250 persons.

Throughout the year, the menu will vary. "It will change with the season and with the holidays," says Elevitch.

Call Bytes café at 736-0456. SR