Due to happy coincidence (intelligent purchasing?), I've had Guinness, Beamish, and Murphy's irish stouts at home, in the nitrogen-enhanced pint can format. I also have Boddington's and Newcastle here, but those are a different beast. Guinness is well known and every beer drinker's had it. I enjoy Guinness, but not enough to have more than one, and because of its strong sourness, I wouldn't want to drink it without food or a snack. Murphy's I found a bit dull, like the opposite of Guiness' excess flavor.
Beamish is the famous Irish Stout I had not tried until a few weeks ago when i rescued a $5 4-pack of pint cans from Grocery Outlet. Beamish wins. When I would drink a guiness with dinner, I'd usually end up with a third of the glass left. All of my pints of Beamish do not suffer from this problem. Guiness is to yogurt as Beamish is to a chocolate malt. It's delicious. It's like a creamy, hearty Newcastle, with just the right balance of bitterness.
Giovanni's Pizzeria, Sunnyvale. I really, really like hoagies, a food product which does not really exist west of Pennsylvania. I heard that Giovanni's had excellent hoagies (well, new york-ish style). They served a reasonable facsimile. The flavors were most of the way there. The cold cuts were better than that in most Bay Area sandwich shops, but not as good as found in a PA hoagie. The roll was excellent, as good as an Amoroso roll but in a different way. You can actually buy the rolls they use at the Asian market in the same strip mall; they're from a Vietnamese bakery in San Jose. Linnea tried the chicken parm sandwich, which was near perfection in crunchiness/cheesiness/tomatoness. The pizza's good too. It's impressive how big of a dinner crowd Giovanni's attracts despite its location in a mostly deserted strip mall.
Shrimp + Sausage Gravy + Grits. A delicious combination.
The Counter, Palo Alto. Fancified burgers. I like burgers. The burgers at The Counter lack the necessary grease level to tie the burger together. They grind the beef on site; I think their burgers would be much better if they tossed some more fat into the grinder. The burger flavor is muted and bland, even when perfectly cooked at medium rare. To make up for the lack of flavor, they offer a wide selection of froo froo toppings.