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Buffalo-milk gelato, Chinese zongzi and crossfit: The latest in local food and retail news

Cal. Ave. business district loses gym; Two restaurants find new spaces in Palo Alto, Mountain View

In the latest Shop Talk column, find out where Amity Crossfit moved to and about two new food businesses in the area.

AMITY CROSSFIT LEAVES 'FITNESS ROW' ... After occupying the former Keeble & Shuchat Photography store at 261 S. California Ave. since January 2017, Amity CrossFit has relocated to 505 Barron Ave. in the former Blossom Birth & Family building in Palo Alto's Barron Park neighborhood. Classes at the new site were up and running at the start of July, according to Amity's website. The California Avenue site — located in the area between Birch Avenue and Park Boulevard that has developed into a "fitness row" in recent years with the opening of a cluster of gyms, including Pilates Vis, Pure Barre fitness center, Performance Gaines and Girya Strength — is vacant and a lease sign was in the window earlier this week. Founded in an industrial building at 3516 El Camino Real in 2010, the fitness center was among the earliest in Palo Alto to offer CrossFit workouts — an intensive group fitness program founded in Santa Cruz in 1995 that incorporates weight lifting with cardio and body-weight exercises. After outgrowing its space on El Camino Real, the gym moved to California Avenue where, according to staff, they hoped to attract drop-in foot traffic as commuters walked to and from the nearby Caltrain station. — L.T.

BUFFALO-MILK CREAMERY COMES TO DOWNTOWN ... Morsey's Farmhouse Kitchen in Los Altos, which makes gelato, cheese and butter from water buffalo milk, is expanding to downtown Palo Alto. Husband-and-wife co-owners Kal and Yulia Morsey are opening a creamery at 125 University Ave. this month, their son Evan confirmed. The couple opened Morsey's in early 2018, claiming to be the only restaurant in the country cooking from a wide range of water buffalo products. They own a herd of 400 water buffalo on a farm south of Sacramento. Kal, who is from Egypt, and Yulia, from Russia, wanted to educate American diners on the merits of water-buffalo products, which are more widespread in South Asian and European countries. The 476-square-foot University Avenue location will focus mostly on gelato (Morsey's serves flavors such as buttercream, apricot, hazelnut, passionfruit, chocolate and pistachio). Morsey's cheese and other dairy products also will be for sale, Evan said. — E.K.

COUPLE BRINGS CHINESE ZONGZI TO MOUNTAIN VIEW ... A Fremont couple who drew a local following for their homemade zongzi, a hefty bundle of sticky rice stuffed with savory or sweet fillings and wrapped in a bamboo leaf, has opened a bare-bones storefront in Mountain View, Eng's Zongzi at 855 W. El Camino Real. Owner Pa Eng said they used to deliver to customers in the Mountain View area so decided to open up shop here. They serve several kinds of fresh zongzi: pork, mushroom and peanut; pork and egg yolk; vegetarian; adzuki, or red, beans; and Chinese dates. The pyramid-shaped rice dumplings are enclosed in the bamboo leaves, secured with string and then boiled or steamed. (Zongzi are often described as Chinese tamales, though one customer pointed out that tamales could just as easily be described as Mexican zongzi.) All of the zongzi are $3.25 each except the pork-egg yolk, which costs $3.75. Eng's Zongzi also sells frozen meat, fish and vegetable dumplings (each bag has 50 dumplings) and shrimp and pork wontons.

— E.K.

Compiled by the Weekly staff; this week written by Elena Kadvany and Linda Taaffe. Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? The Weekly will check them out. Email shoptalk@paweekly.com.

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