So, the wife and I were coming back from San Francisco, looking for a place to eat. "Why don't we stop in at Bucks?" I asked as we sped down FWY 280 trying to avoid the Hiway Patrol (don't worry, our rented Suzuki wouldn't go much over 80, which means that the BMWs and Mercedes that the rich drive in Silicon Valley were passing us left and right). Maybe we'd run into a venture capitalist or Scott McNealy or someone like that.
It's easy to miss Bucks. First, you need to know where Woodside is. It's a single stop off of FWY 280 (and in the place where you're most likely to speed right by).
Second, finding Bucks isn't easy unless you know where it is. It's the rich person's hole in the wall.
But, in Silicon Valley, it's pretty famous. And, if tonight is any indiction, the food and service is even getting better. (It usually sucks).
But, you don't come to Bucks for the food. You come to get inside Jamis McNiven's mind. And what a weird mind it is. Outside is a 15-foot long trout. That should tell you something weird is up.
Inside you are met with a weird collection of stuff. On the right side of the place is a framed box of Microsoft Windows 1.0. Along with a sign that says "announced, 1984. Slipped to 1985." Right in front of you, in a glass display case, is a hand drawn sign with the word "hype" written, and that is surrounded by copies of Jamis' new book: Breakfast at Buck's: Tales from the Pancake Guy. Why is it hype? Cause it's not available yet (Jamis is having a book party at Keplers in Menlo Park on April 20). I wish I could get a Longhorn box in there too. If we had a Longhorn box. Maybe I'll send Jamis some Longhorn swag.
Anyway, there's enough in the restaurant to write a 40,000 word column about. A statue of liberty. A guy in a real space suit hanging from the ceiling. A bunch of bikes and other downhill racers. A flea circus. An accordion behind glass "to be broken in case of an accordion emergency."
So, we sit down (the place is small: it could fit into a corner of the average Cheesecake Factory). I'm not sure if we were sitting at the table where Netscape was incorporated, but generally every table here has had some sort of historic business signing (it's a favorite watering hole of the local VC crowd and is within a couple of miles of Larry Ellison's home, so I can just imagine running into him here, but somehow I bet Jamis' food is way beneath him).
Oh, and the menu is always a classic. Here's some tidbits. First I notice this at the bottom of the back page: "steal this menu, really, just stick it under your coat."
On the outside are "news" articles that Jamis wrote. Most are boring tomes about his travels around the world to collect more crap. In this issue, he writes about his book. Here's a snipped: "With this book I let my hair down considerably. It ain't no Silicon Valley Boys. Heck, I have to put this on my front counter. So the actual gory parts do not include skewering my neighbors." He blabbers on about revealing the sex lives of the rich and famous, some inappropriate use of dynamite, and other stuff.
At the end his says "my motto is the very definition of irony: irony n. Spending half your time worrying about being found out and half your time writing your autobiography."
Oh, sounds like me, except I just write a blog. I don't have time for the autobiography.
Inside the menu you'll find "plates of stuff" and "Kubla Khan's Killer App. Korner." At the bottom, where the usual disclaimers go, he wrote "no horses or Turbo Bentleys left over 24 hours."
Finally, he hypes up his column over on AlwaysOn Network (which is behind a password wall, so you gotta register). "A lot of people hate my column. Join them," the last paragraph on the menu says.