When it comes to making useful friends in Silicon Valley, it's not what you know, it's where you eat that counts. Pricey pancake house Buck's of Woodside is a good start (at least for spotting venture capitalists), but it's not the only Valley spot for eager networkers. Valleywag will help you navigate the cafes, bars, and restaurants to see and be seen.

Our first review comes from reader Larry, who profiles the Nordstrom coffee corner in Palo Alto.

  • Why do you hang out there? Web 2.0 posers hang at Starbucks — true thought leaders hang in the outdoor patio at Nordstrom's.
  • What underrated people hang out there? The mall girl that works in Junior's does trig homework, but you can quiz her on cell family plans, new social sites and more.
  • Who's the owner and staff? Carlos works every day and he'll take care of you.
  • What kind of talk goes down? You hang out here to remind yourself that most people buy stuff that they touch, feel and try on.
  • What do you order to show you're In The Know? Mocha Banana with cookie. If the caffeine doesn't keep you going, the 2500 calories will.

What's your favorite office-away-from-the-office? Send a critique — and a phonecam pic — to tips@valleywag.com.