If you are in the mood for a satisfying non-gourmet burger, in Napa Valley you certainly head out to Taylors (now renamed to Gott's). On the SF peninsula, you head to In-n-Out Burger, but in Palo Alto, you go to a place you would drive by a million times and never pay attention, next to Stanford Shopping Center on El Camino, there is a buried Oasis, frequented only by locals in-the-know, a total dive of a place that's been there for 50 years and it looks it, with all the charm of a 50 year old rugged good-hearted sailor. (Reminds me of the Garret in Cupertino, but Oasis has more personality IMHO).
I came there for an el-cheapo burger and fries, but I hadn't expected the crispy, smoky bacon overload of the awesome Blue Burger (blue for cheese). Nice fries too. I brought my own bottle of vino - don't expect a place like that to have killer selection. For $10 corkage, you'll be the only person in the whole damn "beer garden", sipping wine. But so be it. Me, Josh, Ami, and even their toddler Simon enjoyed the vino (Simon dipped a finger and smelled it curiously and then went for another dip - a reassuring sign of a future wino). I finally put a Super Tuscan to use (2006 Badia di Morrona "Taneto" Toscana, a blend of Syrah, Sangiovese, and Merlot), but had I known how much bacon they would put on the burger, I would have surely opted for a Rhone red (both Northern and Southern Rhone would have worked in slightly different ways).
So now... my foodie-and-wino friend Sonia told me about this place. Then I looked it up on Yelp, and it satisfied my selection criteria (4+ stars, 100+ reviews). But I would have never looked for it on Yelp, had she not told me. The point? Your social network MATTERS, and increasingly so, through the power of my facebook news feed, I find all kinds of relevant good stuff that I would have never paid attention to (videos, wines, restaurants). Wake up, people, who think that you life is just fine with the same old pre-digital age ways!
As for me, let me go check what's new on facebook! (And oh yeah, I'll be back at the Oasis soon.)