Saturday, July 16, 2011

California Dining Has Become a Reality Part 1

On our trip to the South Bay of the San Francisco Peninsula, we found food, too much food, most of it very good. This will be a capsule report for the most part.

Price key: One $ sign equals about $10 USD a person.

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San Jose, California greeted us with beautiful weather on our arrival. On our flight from Guadalajara, the lovely Volaris flight attendants had given us ample beverages, but the food was little more than packaged cookies and snack food.

Our first food stop was Erik's Deli in Campbell where we lunched on sandwiches, soup and salad.
Service: Self service/fast
Price: Inexpensive $
Ambiance: Fake Old West

Chef Ko Chinese Cuisine, Campbell, CA

Fairly standard Cantonese specialties with a few spicier, Hunan style items. Of our meal, I liked the Hot and Spicy Eggplant with Pork. The Spicy dumplings were pretty good.
The seafood tofu soup was bland.

Hot and Spicy Eggplant with Pork

Food: ***
Service: ****
Price: $$
Ambience: Small, neighborhood restaurant with white tablecloths.

Monday we lunched at Cafe Artemis, a Mediterranean cafe in the Pruneyard Shopping Center in Campbell.
After some o.k. appetizers, of which the best was lightly fried calamari, we got substantial and very well prepared patters of shish kebabs or felafel. All were very good, including the accompanying vegetables. The seasoning was light but appropriate, and the freshness was impeccable.

Food: ****
Service: ****
Price: $-$$
Ambiance: delightful patio dining, with shade. Also indoor dining room, crowded tables.
Rest Rooms: O.k.

Tres hermanas

Combination kebab plate

Tuesday mid-day saw us in the heart of Silicon Valley, downtown San Jose. We met our financial adviser for lunch at McCormick & Schmick.

The Sign of the Copper Fish
This was my opportunity to eat oysters, confident that I probably wouldn't get sick. So, I started off with six chilled West Coast oysters on the half shell, plus six buttermilk batter fried oysters. Moving on to a somewhat disappointing dish of Spanish Barbecued Potatoes, marred by a sweetish bbq sauce.

Doña Cuevas had a Grilled Salmon Sandwich, which was good but a little dry. The French Fries were very good.

We also split a bowl of Lobster Bisque, which had a somewhat dramatic presentation. It was deliciously rich, although a tad salty.

The usual rich desserts were enjoyed by the insatiable.

Food: ***1/2
Service: ****
Price: $$-$$$
Ambience" Executive with a retro flavor
Rest Rooms: Fine

6 Oyster Sampler

Pass the bisque and lick the pitcher

Five Guys Burgers-Sunnyvale
Burgers. Fries. Soft drinks.
Burger good, bun bad. Fries soft and limp.

Food: ***
Service: Self service
Price: $
Ambience: Potato sack and red and white checks.
Restroom: Red and white checks. Clean.

Sacks on the floor
Big Cheeseburger at Five Guys

This ends part one. The next post will describe two very different Italian restaurants, located within a short disance of each other. ¡Buen provecho!


Tancho said...

One thing we do lack in Mexico at least in our neck of the woods, including Morelia is diversity of good Asia and Italian restaurants. Since going to DF is out of the questions, we must do it at home. I love Calamari but no longer ever order it in Mexico because they have no concept of lightly fried is.
Enjoy your gastronomic experiences, before you return to tainted oyster land....warm oysters never got my attention.

Don Cuevas said...

Tancho; we go to el DF several times a bus, using the 50% off INAPAM Geezer Discount. We stay in modest hotels for the most part, $300 to $550 pesos a night. Then we spend the money we've saved on great food.

Soriana sells calamari to cook yourself at home.

Don Cuevas

Dan in NC said...

Sr. Cuevas,
When we lived in Milpitas, our favorite "joint" to visit was the "St. James Infirmary" over by Moffet. Now that it is gone, any chance of a review of one of the many brew-pubs that have sprung up over the last few years?
Dan in NC

Don Cuevas said...

Dan, I don't know that place. I'm a stranger here myself.

Don Cuevas

GlorV1 said...

I haven't been out that way (silicon valley) since I worked at AMD and my last year there was in 1990. I also never went to any of the eating places you spoke of. The hamburger looked good. Look forward to #2 post. Have a great week.

maria said...

Hi Don,

Thanks so much for sharing posts like these about your travels through San Jose, California. I've blogged about the Baja California area, where there's tons of amazing Mexican cuisine. I hope you'll check out my blog on Mexican food and recipes: A Mexican Fiesta: Have a great day!