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Joel's Corner: Around and About in Silicon Valleyby Joel Benford

Do you have a favorite restaurant, dive, or little known Santa Clara County gem? Tell us about it!

Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Joel Benford

  • Mission City Grill

    Mission City Grill

    A home-style American restaurant sounds good to me right now. How about you? Well, Mission City Grill, in Santa Clara, CA, is just that! They serve excellence for breakfast, lunch, and dinner... and breakfast is served all day! They have omelettes, sandwiches, salads, seafood and steaks, and lots of sides. A comfortable atmosphere, a very wide selection, and a bar, this place is sure to please everyone in the group!

    For the official website: Mission City Grill

  • Mix Huevos

    Mix Huevos

    Eggs for breakfast, eggs for lunch, and eggs for dinner! Mix Huevos has lots of eggs, lots of traditionals, as well as burgers, and sandwiches too! I had the Protein Skillet, which is egg whites and pico de gallo, with some good ol' fashioned pan fried potatoes and seasoning and it was very good. Everything looks great here. I was able to ask for a side of hot sauce, which had great flavor, though nothing too hot, perfect for amateur chile-heads!

    For the official website: Mix Huevos

  • Así Mexican Fusion Bistro

    Así Mexican Fusion Bistro

    New restaurant: Is your family divided between Mexican food and Eastern Mediterranean food? Well, you can finally coexist at ASÍ Mexican Fusion Bistro! Right across from Kaiser Permanente San Jose, you can drop off whomever doesn't like either of those at the ER and rush over to eat. With chips, salsa, and hummus, fish tacos, burritos, kebabs, and falafels, I think I'd chose ASÍ over the ER.

    There are some options for where to order online, but here is the menu from Toast: True Food Kitchen

  • True Food Kitchen

    True Food Kitchen

    I usually don't write about franchises or chain restaurants, but this one is going against the grain of the typical business model. True Food Kitchen is based on heath and nutrition and uses whole food ingredients aimed at keeping you well. The dishes are made with clean foods, rich in micro-nutrients and anti-oxidants without sacrificing taste. I had a Garden Pesto Pizza which was SOOO good! I was able to ask for chicken on it, as it's normally a vegetarian pizza. We went to the Palo Alto location.

    Visit the the official web page at: True Food Kitchen

  • Coyote Creek Golf Club

    Coyote Creek Golf Club

    If you like golf, that's a plus... but otherwise it makes great scenery from the outdoor seating at Coyote Creek Golf Club, Bar & Grill, recently renamed 12 Mile Station. The food is great, the air is great, and the view is great! Can't go wrong! ...especially if you enjoy golf!

    Stop in for a meal indoors or out. Bikers can reach it via the Coyote Creek Trail.

    Visit the link to 12 Mile Station at: 12 Mile Station at Coyote Creek Golf Club

    Visit the official website to the Golf Club: Coyote Creek Golf Club

  • Christmas in the Park

    Christmas in the Park

    Food, rides, and decor for the Christmas Spirit? The very large and famous annual event in Downtown San Jose is here again, at Christmas in the Park! Come walk around and check stuff out. Bring the kids, they'll love it. Unfortunately, dogs aren't allowed. There are lots of porta-potties, and parking is in any garage, lot, or at a meter in the area. I'd go for a garage, you'll have better luck finding a spot. Now, get out there and take a look!

    For more information, visit the official web page at Christmas in the Park: Christmas in the Park.

  • Rangoli India Restaurant

    Rangoli India Restaurant

    Who's up for Indian food?! I have a very beautiful place this month, with a small and simple buffet of VERY good food! Rangoli India Restaurant has recently been remodeled and freshened up. It's beautiful inside! They have some Northern and Coastal servings of various chicken, curries, vegetables, rice, and beans, all with rich flavors. They had fritters when I went, which were really good. Rangoli is not too far off Highway 85 on Union Ave, San Jose. You should definitely try it out!

    Visit the official web page at Rangoli India Restaurant.

    Thank you to Sue Bhatt for showing us this restaurant.

  • History Park Halloween Haunt

    History Park Halloween Haunt

    I bet it would be very helpful, to some of you busy people, to have someone figure out what to do for Halloween! Nope. You're out of luck. Just kidding. I have some ideas.

    History San Jose has an event for kids! History Park Halloween Haunt! There will be crafts inside historic buildings and a light show. There is also an adults only pumpkin carving party at the same link.

    Active Kids has some Halloween events. One is Halloween Science Exploration, for kids 9-11 year olds.

    If you want something a little more frightening, Dead Time Dreams has returned for another year of attractions! If you're up for the drive, there's Pirates of Emerson, which has about 3 decades of experience in frightening people, in Alameda County.

    If you'd like to seek other options, I googled "Halloween events [near me/city of choice]" and "Haunted house events [near me/city of choice]" and I got a much improved calendar list of events over what I got in previous years. You can find google at google (just in case).

    Lastly, be sure to check out the pumpkin patches: our family's favorite (pictured above) is the largely expanded and quite well-done Spina Farms in San Jose, Spina Farms.. Get there early, and check the website for free-parking days.

    Photo credit: Jeffrey Benford

  • The Garret Station

    The Garret Station

    The Garret Station, Los Gatos. This place reminds me of when I was a kid in the 80's, going out for pizza! With burgers and sandwiches too, and the pizza sizes, including personal, the whole family can be happy! There's also a hotdog (Big "Dawg") with relish, onion, and mustard, and a wide selection of different fries, nuggets, and salads! I had a fully custom pizza with red onion, anchovies, jalapeños, and (not trying to cause a pizza war, but...) PINEAPPLE! It was REALLY good!!!

    The official website and menu can be found at: The Garret Station.

    THANK YOU to Scott Wetzel for recommending The Garret Station.

  • Mount Umunhum

    Mount Umunhum

    Have you been up to Mount Umunhum? That's the iconic Santa Clara County mountain with the big square building that watched out for us during the cold war. You can either hike up or drive up. You can also drive part and hike part because there's multiple parking lots on the way up. If you're a hiker, take the Mount Umunhum Trail from either the Bald Mountain Parking Lot or any of the parking areas between. If you go in the heat, there's a breezy, shady spot behind the radar tower building that overlooks the slopes below and one can see as far as the San Jose airport, or even Alviso Marina, and all the way down to Morgan Hill. Be sure to take water and a sun jacket or sunscreen.

    Here are some links with info on Mount Umunhum: Mount Umunhum includes the address and a link to: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space / Sierra Azul Preserve / Mount Umunhum which includes a map, and for some serious information, here is a link to the Mount Umunhum Wikipedia Page.

  • Stacks Breakfast

    Stacks Breakfast

    Breakfast, but also lunch, in Campbell? Have you been to Stacks? If not, you should. Stacks serves some GREAT breakfast and lunch, including BURGERS, notably, The Guacamole Burger, right in beautiful downtown Campbell. There are pancakes, Belgian waffles, eggs, various recipes of each, as well as salads, sandwiches, and burgers... and they're all above average. There is a parking garage behind the building, or you can find a place to park on the street because it's such a nice place to walk... you'll just have to remember where you parked.

    For the official web page and menu, go to Stacks Breakfast

  • Kazoo Japanese Restaurant

    Kazoo Japanese Restaurant

    Here's what's probably our biggest family favorite! We go there for birthdays and anytime we want sushi, teriyaki, or the giant Party Boat. Kazoo, in San Jose's Japan Town, is a very popular, and very wel-rounded Japanese restaurant... very much a gem. At our most recent visit, I ordered the Bento B with Spicy Chicken and Broiled Mackerel (I LOVE mackerel). Most of the traditional meals come with the house salad but this one didn't, so I ordered one because, as far back as I remember, since I was a kid, I look forward to the house salad and the miso soup while we wait for our orders. Oh, and can't forget the Wasabi!

    You order for yourselves at Kazoo. Each meal is personal unless you get a Family Boat or a Party Boat.

    For the Official web page and menu, go to Kazoo Japanese Restaurant

  • CrossFit Inc.,

    CrossFit Inc.

    Who's that middle-ager carrying the lumber and soil amendment without a dolly?

    This time, I thought I'd share my greatest pride and joy, CrossFit. Originally intended to allow the aging population to regain or maintain youthful bodies and overcome reversible chronic disease, it has become a favorite fitness program aimed at practical functionality. To some, it's a light and fun social gathering that keeps them peppy and well; for some it's an important supplemental part of a greater plan of fitness mastery; and, to some it's a competitive sport. What is CrossFit? It's a guided class of a well-rounded regimen of strength training, cardio, and mobility, usually consisting of a lifting or gymnastic strength session followed by a cardio circuit. Unlike the average aesthetics gym, it's also a social club. Scaling is always part of the program, which means you can go as easy or as hard as you'd like and you can ask for alternatives in case you can't do something yet. Yes, there has been a lot of controversy and a lot of misinformation spread about CrossFit, but it's TOTALLY legit and a true gem. One of the benefits to an official CrossFit affiliate, is you're in good hands. They are monitored for quality and to prevent injury due to improper form or unbalanced programming and coaches must go through lengthy training and pass strict tests to obtain their credentials. That said, they are all individually owned, cater to different crowds, and have their own programming. So, try different locations to find one to your liking. Most populated areas have multiple options. Some are more competitive, others are more functional oriented, and, unfortunately, some fall through the cracks and aren't very good. Don't let that scare you away, try another one. But anyways, life is awesome when you can carry all your groceries in one hand, or go to the hardware store without a dolly! It turns heads!

    I go to CrossFit Almaden.

    The official main website, CrossFit Inc.,.has more information, a location finder, and daily free workouts that you can do on your own, or just look and see if it's something you'd like to try.

  • Johnson Garden Center

    Johnson Garden Center

    Here is a place that you can't go to eat, but you can buy things to grow and eat... or make your yard nicer. Johnson Garden Center, in Morgan Hill, has a HUGE selection of HUGE selections! They have so much stuff, from fruits and vegetables to ornamentals. They have a California native area. They also have some hard to find stuff and they do special custom orders. All the plants look to be in great shape, they have lots of pots and décor, tools, soils, eco-friendly fertilizers and chemicals, as well as traditional fertilizers and chemicals. This place really looks above the competition.

    Thank you to Ann Timoney for telling us about Johnson's.

    For the official website and menu: Johnson Garden Center

  • Bae, Best Artisan Empanadas

    Bae, Best Artisan Empanadas

    Do you like empanadas? They are pockets of hot food, like handheld pot pies. Located in Campbell, Bae specializes in them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, AND dessert empanadas. They come a la carte, or in meals with a salad and sauce. I ordered two, a la carte, and a full size salad, but if you do it that way, make sure you get the sauce that comes with each kind. They also have calzones and a create your own pizza option, 100% customizable, pay per topping plus the pizza... AND they are also a fully functional coffee shop plus smoothies and shakes! Definitely check them out!

    Thank you Cara Laine, of Spark Joy Box, for the suggestion.

    For the official website and menu: Bae, Best Artisan Empanadas

  • Bill's Cafe

    Bill's Cafe

    This breakfast place tops them all! AND lunch. Bill's Cafe, Cottle location, really knows how to make some good food. For breakfast they have omelets and eggs, steak and bacon, pancakes, french toast and waffles, and a "Healthy Choices" section. For lunch they have burgers, sandwiches, and salads. There is a kids section too. I had the Fitness Group Omelet which was SOOOO good, egg whites with tomatoes, avocado, turkey, mushrooms, and spices. This is a place you have to try!

    For the official website and menu: Bill's Cafe

  • Westside Grill

    Westside Grill

    Westside Grill, in Gilroy, is great in historic California rain! They're also great when it doesn't (hardly ever) rain! Their elegant atmosphere is fit for a holiday dinner or a date, while at the same time they have the game on at the bar. They have excellent selections from sandwiches to pasta, great salads, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedules. I highly recommend the Pasta Jambalaya (on the lunch menu).

    For the menu and further information visit: Westside Grill

  • Christmas in the Park

    Christmas in the Park

    This one is worthy of repeating, the annual Christmas in the Park. Every year, everyone goes to Plaza de César Chávez Park, on South Market Street, in Downtown San Jose, to boost the Christmas spirit. Filled with hundreds of Christmas trees, mechanically animated scenes, hot cocoa and snacks, the spirit is strong! The trees are decorated by donors, businesses, school classes, clubs, and organizations. It's an event for everyone, ...but unfortunately the doggy can't come during regular hours. However, doggy can sit on Santa's lap on designated days.

    For more information, see the official website and menu at: Christmas in the Park, and the Wikipedia page at: Chritstmas in the Park Wiki

  • Burma Choice

    Burma Choice

    This is an extra, extra good places with extra, extra good food! Burma Choice, a brand new Burmese restaurant in South San Jose, near the crossing of Santa Teresa Blvd and Blossom Hill Road, has already gained popularity. It's a family style place, in which you order dishes for the table to share, such as Honey Glazed Walnut Shrimp, and Mango Chicken. Just look at the menu, the photos alone will suck you in. For you hot spicy freaks, the hot sauce, on special request, is just right, but I'd say is too hot for the average person. This is a must try place! Go check it out!

    Treat yourself to a weekend outing. For more information, see the official website at: Burma Choice.

  • San Jose History Park

    San Jose History Park

    There is a place in Kelly Park, at the end of Phelan Avenue, called History Park. It gives you a good view of San Jose history, complete with tours and an ice cream shop! We recently participated in the 2022 NAMI Walk, held in the park, adding to the day's interest. One must-see is the Electric Light Tower replica, a big part of local history.

    Treat yourself to a weekend outing. For more information, see the official website at: San Jose History Park.

  • Dan Izakaya

    Dan Izakaya

    I was particularly impressed with THIS San Jose Japanese restaurant! Dan Izakaya Restaurant is above and beyond. We ate in and our orders looked fancier than the usual and they were just so delicious! I ordered the Unagi Don, which is this soft, juicy eel over rice and seaweed, drizzled with sauce. This is one of those situations where you just have to show someone... but they have to order their own, HA! You have to try it!

    Thank you to Charles Atkinson for recommending this restaurant.

    See the official website and menu at: Dan Izakaya.

  • San Jose Giants

    The San Jose Giants

    You don't have to drive very far to see a ball game if you live in San Jose! Perfect for the family, The San Jose Giants are right here at home, at Excite Ballpark. Don't want to cook? Let Turkey Mike's take care of that, the in-park, outdoor restaurant with lots of tables at the side of the field. I would suggest cash for parking. Backpacks and large bags aren't allowed.

    For the menu, visit the official web page at San Jose Giants.

  • Emperor of India

    Emperor of India

    Do you want to select everything that goes on your plate? Or, do you just find yourself asking the waiter which meal is the largest? You need a buffet! ...and I have a REALLY good one. The Emperor of India, in South San Jose, has a great selection of delicious Indian cuisine. You won't go hungry here. (Try the Gulab Jamun for dessert!)

    Thank you for taking us, Sue Bhatt!

    For the menu, visit the official web page at Emperor of India.

  • Fabulous Fifties City Diner

    Fabulous Fifties City Diner

    The classics never get old! Burgers and fries, milkshakes... Oh! Fabulous Fifties City Diner, on Monterey Road, San Jose, is full of 50's music and memorabilia and has great classic 50's style cuisine! They also have steaks, chicken, and salads as well. Parking is easy. This one is on my top favorites list so go check them out!

    For the menu, visit the official web page at Fabulous Fifties City Diner.

  • Aqui Mexican Grill

    Aqui Mexican Grill

    Another Mexican restaurant? Well this one is different. This one is Cal-Mex. It's a different style. Aqui Mexican Grill's meals are just as good tasting as they are looking, and they look like art. Last time I went with the Wild Shrimp Cake and Enchiladas but I also like the Lemongrass Wild Mahi Mahi, the Lime Avocado Chicken Salad, too many to list, but they are all so good! This is the Blossom Valley location, our go-to one right by home. If you've never been there you must try it! There's indoor and outdoor seating and lots of places to park.

    For the menu, visit the official web page at Aqui Mexican Grill.

  • El Caminito Mexican Restaurant

    El Caminito Mexican Restaurant

    If you're in Sunnyvale, stop at El Caminito Mexican Restaurant. This small but great authentic style Mexican restaurant does the chips and salsa and all the traditional meals really well. The Chili Rellenos is excellent, BTW. Whichever meal you get it with, El Caminito has tables available. You can also order for takeout, and they do catering.

    Thank you to Ken Heiman for suggesting El Caminito.

    For the menu, visit the official web page at El Caminito Mexican Restaurant.

  • SoFA Market SJ

    SoFA Market SJ

    Food courts are great. They give everyone in your party a bigger selection than a single restaurant with a single style. Some food courts are large and overwhelming. Well, there are just a few, but great choices at SoFA Market on First street, downtown San Jose. I highly recommend the Vietnoms stall, but there are other choices as well, including a dessert place! SoFA Market is bound to make everyone happy.

    For the menu, visit the official web page at SoFA Market SJ.

  • Café Rosalena

    Café Rosalena

    Who likes breakfast and lunch? Here's a cafe with lots of breakfast burritos, and lunch sandwiches, and salads. Breakfast burritos can be made as bowls at request. Café Rosalena is a great little cafe on the Alameda in San Jose. There's outdoor and indoor seating, and you can order pickup. I had the Chicken Alameda sandwich, which has sun dried tomato pesto, mayonnaise, provolone cheese, with lettuce, tomato, and onion, on sourdough and it was really good! You can park in back and if nobody is there, you might luck out for curb parking.

    For the menu, visit the official web page at Café Rosalena.

  • Khunying Thai

    Khunying Thai

    Here is a really good place with good food! Khunying Thai, located in South San Jose, near Santa Teresa County Park and Golf Club, has GREAT Thai food for both eat-in and takeout via walk-in or over the phone. We ordered takeout and they told us 15 minutes and they were spot on. You order for the table, so you have your main course and your soup, salad. Some items like rice are per-person. We got the Som Tum (Papaya Salad), and Pad Kra Prow (a dish with chopped chicken and vegetables), all REALLY good!

    For the menu, visit the official web page at Khunying Thai.

  • Tasso’s Restaurant & Bar

    Tasso’s Restaurant & Bar

    I got to watch the fights while eating grilled salmon! Thanks to John Harwood, for recommending Tasso’s Restaurant & Bar which has a great selection of elegant Greek food, plus a beer, and your sports. Tasso’s has a family history, with two former locations, now returned to San Jose, from Gilroy, within a mile of its original Willow Glen location. Make reservations, because they are popular!

    For the menu, visit the official web page at Tasso’s Restaurant & Bar.

  • La Playita Restaurant

    La Playita Restaurant

    Who's up for Mexican food in Almaden? I always look forward to the chips and salsa available while reading the menu and they were quick to replenish them. I found this place to be particularly good. La Playita does the traditional Mexican dishes very well and the place is filled with lots of beautiful Mexican artwork such as dolls, pottery, and paintings. I haven't tried the takeout but the eat-in was great, food, service, and all!

    You can visit them on Facebook at La Playita Restaurant

  • Khaosan Thai SJ

    Khaosan Thai SJ

    Here is another great Thai food place: Khaosan Thai. This place wins an extra star for having dishes with bean sprouts! Khaosan Thai has an array of great dishes, street food, Northern Thai dishes, skewers, curry, and noodles. "Really good noodles." as Neo said in The Matrix. If you choose based on easy parking, this is a great choice. Khaosan Thai has optional hot sauce on the side if you'd like to play it safe and order it cool. Test first in an inconspicuous area... or you can do what I do; Slather it on!

    For the official website and menus: Khaosan Thai SJ

  • Betto's Bistro

    Lanna Thai, San Jose

    Here is another hit on my list for really good food in Morgan Hill, Betto's Bistro, classic Italian cuisine. Just look at that menu! Everything sounds so good! ...and it is. They are also on my "Go again soon list." There is a covered back patio seating area with heating, and a dog-friendly patio in front. Parking is easy, right in back. Go!

    Thank you to Helen Baldovinos of Let's Travel for this good recommendation

    For the official website: Betto's Bistro

    Desserts are at the bottom ;)

  • Lanna Thai, San Jose

    Lanna Thai, San Jose

    Thai food anyone? Known for the rich and flavorful, spicy hot food, Thai food is on my favorites list. Lanna Thai has some exquisite dishes. They have mostly seafood, several vegetarian, and a few beef and chicken options, and their desserts are really good. Now, I have to offer a warning; if you are a hot pepper freak, you might still want to order the mild, as the hot is genuinely hot, like no other restaurant's hot options are. You can also ask to hold the heat if it's not your thing, though you might rather order something that isn't hot, as the heat is usually part of the art.

    For the official website: Lanna Thai, San Jose

    Desserts are at the bottom ;)

  • The Happy Hound

    Rotary Play Garden

    I am so glad Michael Vukson recommended this one. As a kid, one of my favorite things about the Sonoma County Fair was the Polish dogs (Kielbasa) and it brings back the memories! The Happy Hound, in Los Gatos, has the "Polish Hound" as well as an assortment of other "Hounds" and burgers and milkshakes. I was able to ask for a Kraut Hound made with a Polish sausage instead of a hot dog. They also have a Chili Hound. Although there are a few indoor seats, it appears largely a takeout place and I recommend taking it to, nearby and beautiful, Oak Meadows Park to eat at a table.

  • Rotary Play Garden

    Rotary Play Garden

    Here is one for the kids! Rotary PlayGarden, designed with special needs in mind, makes for a great park for all kids... even for the parents! There are lots of things to climb, one of the merry-go-rounds has wheelchair spots on it, and I was impressed with some big, long concrete slides that even I enjoyed, long enough to get that rollercoaster stomach feeling! There's parking right in front. Just a heads up, at the gate you will be asked to take any drinks or food back to your car.

    For the official website: Rotary Play Garden

  • Jtown Pizza Co

    Jtown Pizza Co

    Pizza anyone? Jtown Pizza Co. is hot right now, in Japan Town! They have some good ol' food that everyone loves, from garlic fries to onion rings, sandwiches, burgers, and wings. Can't forget great salads, and... PIZZA!!! The kids will love it, you'll love it, and they make some great pizzas, with and without pineapple! Jtown Pizza Co. has takeout, pickup, and delivery. Call or order online.

    For the website and menu: Jtown Pizza Co

  • La Grullensa, Restaurant

    La Grullensa, Restaurant

    If you love authentic Mexican food, this one is for you. Erin and a friend were running pop-bys and this place just happened to be on their route. La Grullensa turned out to be exceptional, so we all had to try it! They have the BEST chicken taco salad, I highly recommend, as well as many other great traditional dishes, plus seafood! You can order on site for pickup, call ahead, or follow the link on their website for delivery.

    For the website and menu: La Grullensa, Restaurant

  • Indo Cafe Saratoga

    Indo Cafe Saratoga

    This one I would like to go back to soon, Indo Cafe Saratoga. Indo Cafe makes good, authentic Indonesian dishes with generous portions, as well as desserts. Their dishes are rich and flavorful with perfectly mixed spices. At the time I went, there was a touch screen just inside the door. I didn't know what the items were, but I was able to ask for recommendations with my choice of protein, hot or spicy. I was told to come back in 10 minutes and when I did, it was handed to me ready to go.

    They are located at: 14443-C, Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070

    You can either order at: Uber Eats, Indo Cafe Saratoga, call: (408) 741-1514, or just walk up like I did.

    Thank you Maitjian Welke, of CMIT Solutions, for this recommendation!

  • Falafel Stop

    Falafel Stop

    Who wants falafels? Falafel Stop in Sunnyvale has falafels, hummus, fresh salad, a whole vegetarian menu in fact, as well as shawarma and kebabs, all in fresh baked pita bread. My order came rather quickly; I didn't have to wait long at all. Walk up and order or place orders on the phone or online. Since nobody is staying to eat, parking is easy.

    For the website and menus, visit

    Thank you to Al Barros for this recommendation!

  • Palermo Italian Restaurant

    Palermo Italian Restaurant

    We ordered a great pizza from Palermo Italian Restaurant. Because I wanted to pick it up myself, I called the direct phone number. Ordering was easy. They told me it would be ready in 15 minutes. I hopped in the car (who actually "hops" in the car?) and I got there in about 15 minutes and it was ready to pick up and I paid and that was it. The whole thing was easy and it was a good pizza. Pizza is just one thing on the menu though. They have a whole range of Italian dishes, lunch and dinner.

    For the website and menus, visit

    Thank you to Al Barros for this recommendation!

  • Christmas In The Park

    Christmas In The Park

    We were disappointed, assuming that Christmas In The Park would be closed this year because of Covid... BUT... They came through with a drive-through! History Park has been turned into a Christmas maze, featuring many of the usual Christmas In The Park displays and many new ones, with some of the historical buildings used. The photo above does not do justice for this event, as there is much more amazing work done along the path.

    My only suggestion for improvement would be to have restrooms available, because you will have a very long time in the car. For information, visit

    The exhibit runs until January 3rd.

  • Miyakko


    Here is another Japanese cuisine. This place however seems to me to be a few notches above the rest. They have a large selection of sushi, as well as the common meals. They have large photos of select dishes and sushi plates posted outside and there is paper menu inside. They tell you how long to come back and they pack it up really well. Inside, there is an exhibit of what an indoor dining area may have looked like circa 2019.

    For the menu and information visit Miyakko website.

  • Bistro Tupaz

    Bistro Tupaz

    Want some more really good takeout? It's time for my dad's favorite restaurant, Bistro Tupaz, Rustic European Cuisine & Pastries. Rich and filling, this is one of my favorites too, with stuff like Risotto and Fettuccini, each with options such as vegetables, fish, chicken, or steak and more, and they have fresh salads and sandwiches and a special menu for kids. You go inside and grab the current menu and order and it should be ready in 20.

    For the menu and information visit Bistro Tupaz website.

  • Mr. Mojito JF Bar & Grill

    Mr. Mojito JF Bar & Grill

    Fish tacos anyone? Mr. Mojito makes some good ones! He's also got pizza, burgers and sandwiches, steaks even, as well as tacos, and The Beyond Burger! He has lots of great salads too, with seafood, chicken, or cheese. Quite the menu! They have great outdoor seating for that dine-in experience, and they do it well.

    For the menu and information visit Mr. Mojito JF Bar & Grill.

  • Tee Nee Thai

    California Fish Grill

    We are getting some ease of restrictions! Some restaurants are opening up to outdoor seating. With the distinct flavor that makes it so good, I have a suggestion for you, Thai food! Tee Nee Thai is taking reservations, DoorDash, and takeout. Some of you may be happy that the variations of rice is served on the side and you can ask them to make the spices as hot or as cool as you like. For the menu and information visit Tee Nee Thai. Do you have a favorite restaurant, dive, or little known Santa Clara County gem? Tell us about it!

    For the menu and information visit Tee Nee Thai.

  • California Fish Grill

    California Fish Grill

    We haven't featured many chains but the California Fish Grill in San Jose is REALLY good and they do takeout, pickup, and curbside! It's one of those places where you have lists of options that you get to chose, like which fish, which sauce, which sides... You know how some types of fish are pretty tasteless, dry, or rubbery? Well, the chefs here make every kind juicy and rich and the takeout is just as good. For gourmet quality at takeout prices, you can't beat them!

    For the menu and information visit California Fish Grill.

  • Support Your Local Restaurants

    Siena Bistro

    This month I actually have two places which I couldn't decide. They are both top notch places for everything from fast food to gourmet. The kitchen table and the dining room. The former is more casual and utilitarian and the latter more formal. We all know the current situation going on right now, so we are recommending you support your local restaurants for pickup and delivery.

    For information such as protection and myth-busting, here are the official links to The World Health Organization and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • The City Fish

    Siena Bistro

    Who loves seafood?! I do! Here is a great small place in Morgan Hill. The City Fish has some excellent meals with fish or chicken, including the all-time favorite classic, fish and chips. I had the swordfish and a big green salad and there was a kids menu for the niece. All was great and I want to go there again!

    (There are two other locations but I haven't been to them yet.)

    For more information visit The City Fish, Morgan Hill .

  • Craft Roots

    Siena Bistro

    For all you vegans and curious connoisseurs, I have for you a vegan bar and grill... and it's very good. Right in downtown Morgan Hill stands Craft Roots Bar and Veggie Grill. For the Kombucha lovers, they serve both non-alcoholic and alcoholic varieties from tap. The meals are well-crafted, better than your average bar and grill standards. I want to go there again!

    For more information visit Craft Roots.

  • Siena Bistro

    Siena Bistro

    If there is another restaurant to put on the MUST TRY list, this one would be at the top. Siena Bistro is top grade gourmet style Mediterranean, where the food, wine, and dessert all nail it. Located in Willow Glen on Lincoln Avenue, parking is right in the back, as is the entrance; it makes for a convenient experience... and the food is REALLY good!

    For more information visit Siena Bistro.

  • Flower-Flour


    Here is a very interesting café and bakery in Willow Glen, on Willow Street. At Flower-Flour you can order your coffee and croissants, some very delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches, a whole assortment of desserts, and/or order your wedding or party cake! As a place to eat, it is very charming with some really good food. Check it out.

    For more information visit Flower-Flour.

  • Café Nur

    Café Nur

    There is a great little place in downtown Los Altos. Café Nur. They serve some very good Mediterranean food. Although their sign says "Casual" Mediterranean, I would say the food is way better than casual. However, casual dress is all you need for entry. They have vegetarian and omnivorous selections and an online menu.

    For more information visit Café Nur.

  • Honba Sushi

    Honba Sushi

    Are you arriving hungry from a long flight to San Jose International airport? Maybe you are early for departure? Do you want something better than just a fix? Some real food? Honba Sushi is right around the corner, on Technology Drive, to save the day and you don't have to have business with the airport to enjoy it. Give it a try.

    Visit the official web page at:

  • Tomo Sushi

    Tomo Sushi

    Who doesn't love Japanese food? I love showing off my chopstick skills... and the sushi, the teriyaki, tempura, the miso soup and salad, the wasabi, and the service is wonderful. Tomo Sushi does it very well. Right in the middle of a south San Jose neighborhood, this great, independent, solo sushi house stands! I highly recommend it!

    Check out the official web page here.

  • Flames Coffee Shop

    Flames Coffee Shop

    One of our particularly favorite places to eat is a small, quiet place with REALLY good chocolate cake. Flames Coffee Shop & Bakery serves great upper-mid level American style breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, as well as coffee... And if you like big huge, rich chocolate cake, you MUST order the 7 layer chocolate cake which you can easily share between 2 or more people.

    Flames Coffee Shop can be found at 7170 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose, CA 95139

  • Falafel's Drive In

    Falafel's Drive In

    Here is a San Jose, California classic you should try. In 1966, starting with burgers, Falafel's Drive In slowly warmed people up to an array of other delicious meals. Seating is open air in the warm months and covered and heated in the cool, with parking in the front and rear. Still here in 2019, they are definitely doing something right. Give them a try!

    For more information, visit the official web page.

  • Christmas in the Park

    Christmas in the Park

    Have you been to Christmas in the Park? Back in the 1950s, Don Lima built a Nativity in front of his mortuary in Willow Glen and people came to check it out, so each year he added more exhibits and it became an event.

    Christmas in the Park, a free to attend event, in downtown San Jose, CA, in Plaza de César Chávez Park, is chock full of Christmas oriented exhibits. It runs from November 23rd until December 25th. It has food, a Santa for the kids, as well as some neighboring events. It's great for the family, but unfortunately the dog can't come inside the park, so if you have a pooch, leave him home when you go.

    For more information, visit the official web page.

  • Annual NAMI Walk

    Annual NAMI Walk

    Next Saturday, September 22nd, is the annual NAMI Walk, which begins at 9:00 a.m. on the San Jose Arena Green West. Come on out! There is no fee to walk.

    Every year people gather for the NAMI Walk to raise awareness about mental illness. 1 out of 4 people are mentally ill and you probably know a few but don't know it. Thanks to misrepresentation in the media, many people have false ideas of what mental illness is. National Alliance on Mental Illness is here to bust that stigma, help those in need, and to educate those that care about them.

    For the Silicon Valley NAMI Walk page click here or search for one in your area click here.

    For more information, visit the official NAMI website.

  • Bark in the Park, San Jose

    Bark in the Park, San Jose

    Did you know that your dogs have their own holiday? National Dog Day is August 26th of every year. Better yet, there's an event coming up in September for you and your dog/s right here in Downtown San Jose! Whether you have dogs or are curious, Bark in the Park has information, lots of entertainment as well as activities and contests, and there's even activities for the kids.

    For more information, visit the Bark in the Park web page.

  • San Jose Museum of Art

    San Jose Museum of Art

    In 1969, the original wing of the San Jose Museum of Art, in down town San Jose, was founded in the historical building, built in 1892, which was first a post office, and in 1937, a library. In 1991 the new wing was built. They have a large permanent collection of modern and contemporary pieces as well as pieces that come through on tour. If you like art, check it out.

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • Lick Observatory

    Lick Observatory

    Interested in astronomy? In use since 1888, University of California's Lick Observatory is right here in the south bay on Mount Hamilton. Exhibits and a history lesson can be enjoyed by visitors and special Summer Series pass holders can enjoy night visits for talks by scientists, music, and viewing through two of the refractors. Go check it out!

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

    The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

    The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles stood out to me. It's more that you'd typically think of when you hear "quilts." If you go before April 15th, you can see the exhibit by Susan Else. I loved it, and that's one of her pieces seen in the photo. There is also an artist residency for those interested and the exhibits come and go so you can check back to see new stuff.

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • Calero County Park

    Calero County Park

    Do you have a boat of some kind? Like to water-ski, jet-ski? Go fishing? Calero County Park is a place for that! Besides the lake, there's also 18 miles of hiking and equestrian trails. You can bring the horses! The dog can come on select trails only and there are picnic tables around the lake. The season is waxing so if this sounds like you, go check out.

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • The Palo Alto Art Center

    The Palo Alto Art Center

    Do you like art? You can see art and do art at The Palo Alto Art Center. Created in 1971 by the community and now owned by the City of Palo Alto, the art center has various exhibits, classes, and activities for adults and children of all ages.

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • San Jose Dance Theatre

    San Jose Dance Theatre

    San Jose Dance Theatre is a local gem, we are pleased to highly recommend. They will be performing The Nutcracker again for its 52nd year this season.

    San Jose Dance Theatre is the place for all ballet enthusiasts whether you like to watch or perform. With classes for all ages, at any level, anyone can learn. The Nutcracker, as well as other famous performances can be seen and it just might be the perfect athletic outlet for the kids... and maybe even you. Sound interesting? Go check it out!

    Erin went to the San Jose Dance Theatre's Nutcracker production last year and was amazed that they perform to a live orchestra. Go to the website, and book yourself an awesome holiday experience!

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • Guadalupe River Park

    Guadalupe River Park

    Right in the middle of downtown San Jose is a nice retreat. Guadalupe River Park is lush and beautiful and has many features including gardens, wildlife, a memorial, basket ball courts, a carousel and playground for the kids, and even the Children's Discovery Museum. It's free and accessible by bike trail and light rail and there's parking. Events may charge fees. Go check it out!

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • Martial Cottle Park

    Martial Cottle Park

    Martial Cottle Park is one above the rest. After 150 years of heritage, this land is left to Santa Clara County to be celebrated for its mark in history. The organic farm is running, wildflowers flow in the waxing season, beautiful landscape year round. Take a walk, ride your bike, reserve a group picnic, walk the dog. It's a very beautiful park.

    For more information, visit the official web page.

  • Independance Day

    Independance Day

    Independance day is here again! July 4th, 1776 is the day the United States of America signed for it's independence from the British Empire, 241 years ago. Traditionally celebrated with fireworks, parades, and barbecue parties, the 4th of July is a great day. If you're looking for something to do this Independence day, we have some ideas here for you.

    Here is a link to a San Jose event, and if you scroll below, you will find other events around the bay area for the 4th of July.

    For historical information, visit the Wiki page.

  • Golfland


    How 'bout a fun break for the entire family, while the days are hot and the evenings are warm? Golfland has something for everyone. Hit the waterslides while it's hot or take shelter in the arcade. Then as it cools off, enjoy the beautiful scenery with the cool mist spray of the fountains while you play a fun, relaxing game of mini-golf.

    For more information, visit the official web page.

  • City National Civic

    City National Civic

    Looking for a show? From comedians and concerts to sporting events, City National Civic is a great venue. Formerly the San Jose Civic Auditorium, first opened in 1936, it has hosted many historic events. It is easily accessed with nearby parking and light rail stations and the Convention Center light rail station is directly across the street.

    For a list of events and parking, visit official web page

    For historical information, visit the Wiki page: official web page

  • Alviso Marina County Park

    Alviso Marina County Park

    Want that beach-like air but don't have the time to drive over the mountains? Alviso Marina County Park in San Jose just might be your fix. The breeze over the salt ponds and marshes is refreshing and you can spot some of the many wildlife inhabitants. There is hiking and biking around the marina, fishing from boats only, and dogs must be on leash.

    For more information visit official web page.

  • The Tierra Bella Bicycle Tour

    The Tierra Bella Bicycle Tour

    Like cycling? The Tierra Bella Bicycle Tour is coming around again on April 1st. While it may or may not be too late to register this year, this event is annual. Starting at Gavilan College in Gilroy, there are four distances, beginning with an easy loop suitable for family. There are rest stops with aid, routes are patrolled by SAG vehicles, and a meal at the end is included with registration.

    For more information visit official web page.

    (Image is property of Almaden Cycle Touring Club or ACTC)

  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

    Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

    Did you know there are mummies here in town? Actual mummies! In the Rose Garden neighborhood of San Jose, we have the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Rosicrucian Park. It's the largest Egyptian exhibit in the western United States. In it you'll learn about what went on in ancient Egypt: how they lived, ruled, built, their pet companions (my favorite), and even a planetarium.

    For more information visit official web page and the Wikipedia page:

  • Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch

    Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch

    Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch, dating back nearly 200 years, is a historical park up against the foothills of south San Jose. It's a beautifully restored property with group or self guided tours. I personally like the live chickens. For the hikers, the trail in the back connects to Santa Teresa Park and Rancho Santa Teresa.

    For more information visit official web page.