Small taqueria making big holiday gesture

Como Esta Taqueria will be serviing full chicken dinners to 300 families in need

The Como Esta Taqueria in Midtown Palo Alto may be small but it's making a big Christmas gesture Dec. 24.

Between 3 and 6 p.m. it will be serving chicken dinners to 300 families with children who have been identified as economically hard-pressed this season.

"We decided since we have a kitchen and a staff let's use it to give the gift of food to create a moment of joy to our local families and children, instead of using it for profit," Como Esta owner Ani Safavi said. "This is our passion and mission and we are looking forward to meeting the families."

Safavi teamed up with the nonprofit organization Moms Against Poverty ( to identify local families in need. They worked with principals at three East Palo Alto schools to distribute food vouchers to the families.

Safavi said one principal said to her: "I wish I could have videotaped the joy on the children's faces."

She also is inviting patrons to drop by new unwrapped toys before Dec. 24 for an extra touch for the children. Como Esta is located at 2605 Middlefield Road, in Palo Alto's Midtown area.

-- Palo Alto Weekly staff

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Like this comment
Posted by good food
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

This place sells decent burritos for a reasonable price. Wish there were more restaurants like this in midtown.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

Love this place, good food, good prices and good people. So pleased to see them doing this gesture. Thank you.

Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 22, 2010 at 10:57 am

So glad to hear that a business is truly supporting members of the community! What a wonderful example to set for other local businesses.

Like this comment
Posted by T
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 22, 2010 at 10:58 am

Just wonderful :-)

Like this comment
Posted by Amy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 22, 2010 at 11:35 am

Thank you Ani! I have worked with Ani over the years and wasn't at all surprised to read her latest example of "giving back" to our community.
Happy holidays to you Ani.

Like this comment
Posted by Well done, Como Esta!
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I've always enjoyed this restaurant, and now I will enjoy it more. What good people! What an inspiration! I'm so glad you are part of our community!

Did you know that national studies show that people in lower income brackets generally give a much higher percentage of their incomes to charity, even though they can least afford to do so? Let's all take time this holiday season to really consider and give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy and make a commitment to share generously.

Happy holidays to Como Esta! I wish you a joyful and abundantly prosperous New Year.

Like this comment
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I stopped by there last night for one of those fabulous prawn burritos, and noticed the staff wrapping gifts. What a great gesture by a restaurant that's been a real asset to our neighborhood since the day it opened!

And we also owe a bit of thanks to Walgreens for agreeing to let a portion of their new store in Midtown be used for a local restaurant.

Like this comment
Posted by jardins
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm

That is terrific of Como Esta! The real spirit of the holidays!

Like this comment
Posted by PAPD-Critic
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Esto me recuerda la película, la paga adelante. Más restaurantes deben seguir este ejemplo maravilloso en la comunidad.

Like this comment
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 22, 2010 at 5:21 pm

This is a marvelous gift by this small restaurant. I have not eaten there, but I will certainly try it out. Another place that gives to the community is Zoe's Cafe on Menalto in Menlo Park. They routinely provide food to people at shelters. This 24th, they'll be feeding 300 people at Alliance, with many donations from customers and neighbors. If anybody is interested in helping out, call Kathleen at Zoe's, 322-1926.

Like this comment
Posted by Viva Como Esta
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I went by to drop off a few gifts, and there weren't many in the box on the counter. If you are able, do whatever you can to support this wonderful local restaurant and its holiday outreach. You don't even need to go out of Midtown to buy a gift; Walgreens and CVS on either side both have toys.

Like this comment
Posted by kate
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Dec 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Bravo! I have not been here for awhile but definitely want to go back soon, now. And, I think that they're one of the restaurants in Palo Alto that's already participating in the compost program, too!

Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 23, 2010 at 7:39 am

I'll definitely eat there in future!

Like this comment
Posted by Jan
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm

I enjoy the food & sevice in this little taqueria. Glad to see them teaming up with MAP (Moms Against Poverty) to feed the community.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 24, 2010 at 11:21 am

Generous community action & smart business action as well. Can't stand the food in this place or the service, but impressed to read about this. It's not just the time & expense, but the time & expense on Christmas Eve, which is especially loving.

I 2nd what the other poster said about Cafe Zoe in Menlo - they are very generous w/the economically challenged in the community.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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