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Buche de Noel

Buche de Noel

"Cake log" may not be the most appetizing descriptor, so let's stick with Buche de Noel. Fleur de Cocoa makes these traditional French holiday desserts from scratch every year, and while $40-$50 might sound pricey, the rich buttercream cake feeds around eight. Fleur de Cocoa also sells assortments of their delicious gourmet chocolates at $24 for a dozen. Fleur de Cocoa, 39 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos. 408.354.3574. (SL)

Ethiopian Harar

The roasters at Great Bear bring back their popular Ethiopian Harar varietal around the holiday season. It's a single origin coffee, which means all beans come from one farm, like an estate-bottled wine. It still achieves a bright, fruity complexity usually gained from blending various beans. A pound runs $12.50-$14.50, and they roast everything in-house. Great Bear Coffee, 19 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos. 408.395.8607. (SL)

Let Them Eat Cake

What would the holidays be without tasty, fattening treats? When it comes to decadent, rich cakes and pastries, it's hard to beat The Prolific Oven. And with locations in downtown Palo Alto, Saratoga, Santa Clara and Fremont—and a shop opening in Sunnyvale soon—it's a safe bet there is one not too far from you. Bring a freshly baked treat to your holiday party or pick up a holiday cookie set as a stocking stuffer. The Prolific Oven, 550 Waverley St, Palo Alto. 650.326.8485 (NV)

Mmmm Beer...

Beer, and lots of it, without the pretense. Need we say more? OK. How about a knowledgeable staff that can explain the difference between Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger in a straightforward, non-beer-snob way? This tiny, independently owned beer store is sure to have what you're looking for, or know where to find it. Pick up some high-quality suds for the beer lover in your life, or perhaps you can buy him, or her, a membership to Jane's, so they can stay up-to-date and enjoy special deals and discounts. Jane's Beer Store, 720 Villa St, Mountain View. 650.440.5263 (NV)

Death by Chocolate

A $2 thimble-sized bourbon caramel truffle seemed a bit steep until I tasted god's plan. Rich, deep chocolate and a good kick of bourbon, I would've paid twice that much and gone back for more. Snake and Butterfly does a $25 truffle assortment, a $40 chocolate bar "library" selection and other various chocolates and candies depending on the season. Snake and Butterfly, 191 E Campbell Ave, Campbell. 408.466.4023. (SL)

Beer & Bread

Full disclosure: I have a big crush on Spread and I think the rest of Metro does, too. Until their sandwiches stop being so delicious and beer selection so diverse and intriguing, we will keep telling everyone that a $13 sandwich is a worthwhile investment. The discounted prices for beer to go makes Spread an excellent holiday party pitstop. Spread, 193 E. Campbell Avenue, Campbell. 408.340.5549. (SL)


The Black Watch won't let you take this one home, but the lucky recipient of this gift will be abuzz. The famous haunt will be slinging thousands of its delicioso pitchers of Kamikazes throughout the holiday season, and the recipe and ambience can't be bought on Amazon. The Black Watch, 141 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos. 408.354.2200. (SL)

Adult Toys | Top to Bottoms | Stomach Stuffers