Tartine Bakery

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So everyone knows that Tartine Bakery has some pretty delectable pastries and desserts, but their bread is amazing too.  It's only offered Tuesday through Sunday after 5pm.  If you can't make it down there, you can preorder it up to three days in advance.
Even late in the afternoon, there's still a line!
#24 -Loaf of Bread straight out of the oven at Tartine Bakery - 7x7's 2012 Top 100
The bread is offered in full and half loaves and they sell them straight out of the oven so the loaves are hot when you get them.  I've never been lucky enough to get my hands on a fresh loaf until today.  Usually I get fresh loaves at Acme Bread (see post HERE).  Tartine's bread has a chewier crust with a slightly sour finish.  Acme's bread has a fluffier texture and feel versus Tartine's is springy.  I don't think one is better than the other, but they are different.  Tartine's fresh tasting bread is probably best served with just a pat of butter and lightly toasted to appreciate its simple clean taste.   

Address:                Tartine Bakery
                               600 Guerrero St.
                               San Francisco, CA
Type:                      bakery/American/French

Popular chomps:    almond croissant
                                morning bun
                                loaf of bread
                                bread pudding
                                croque monsieur

Chomp worthy:       almond croissant
                                morning bun
                                loaf of bread
                                bread pudding
                                croque monsieur          


Grubstreet's 50 Best Burgers in San Francisco

Pin It Now! Check out Grubstreet's list of their 50 Best Burgers in San Francisco:

1).   4505 Meats
2).   Absinthe
3).   Balboa Cafe
4).   Bar Jules
5).   Bix
6).   Bourbon Steak
7).   Burger Bar
8).   Steakhouse burger at Burger Urge
9).   Burritt Tavern
10). Citizen's Band
11).  Docs of the Bay
12).  Double Decker
13).  Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem
14).  Epic Roadhouse
15).  Fifth Floor
16).  Five Ten Burger
17).  Gather
18).  Gott's Roadside
19).  The Grubstake
20).  Heirloom Cafe
21).  In-N-Out Burger
22).  Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen
23).  Lark Creek Steak
24).  Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery
25).  Marlowe/Park Tavern
26).  Maven
27).  Maverick
28).  Mission Bowling Club
29).  Mo's Grill
30).  Namu Gaji
31).  Nopa
32).  Pearl's Deluxe Burger
33).  Plum Bar
34).  Public House
35).  Prospect
36).  RN74
37).  Roam Artisan Burgers
38).  Serpentine/Slow Club
39).  Show Dogs
40).  Source
41).  Southern Pacific Brewing Co.
42).  Spruce
43).  Starbelly
44).  Super Duper
45).  TrueBurger
46).  Umami Burger
47).  Wayfare Tavern
48).  West of Pecos
49).  Wise Sons Jewish Deli
50).  Zuni Cafe


Kee Wah Bakery

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The South Bay has some delicious Asian bakeries.  A couple days ago I did a post on my favorite Japanese bakery (see post HERE).  Kee Wah is my favorite Chinese bakery in the South Bay area.  Right when you walk into this bakery you smell the heavenly scent of fresh baked breads and pastries.  They keep baking small batches throughout the day so no need to rush in there early in the morning.  Sheng Kee, which is actually located in the same plaza, is another popular Chinese bakery, but this place is 100xs better!  Everything at Kee Wah is fresh and delicious, whereas I find some of the Sheng Kee's items stale and dry in comparison.   
The small trays of both savory and sweet goodies change every couple of months, but there are a handful of regular items.  Both savory and sweet items are delicious here.  You can taste the freshness in each of the baked items here.  The breads are sweet and fluffy. 

Chinese sponge cake always a popular item.  Its spongy, fluffy texture with a never too sweet taste is always a great snack.  When I was a kid, this is was more commonly seen in a cake formation, but the smaller individual muffin-like portions seem to be the norm in the Chinese bakeries these days.

All the baked good are delicious here, but what they are most known for is their pineapple bun.  Its named for its pineapple looking surface, but actually doesn't have any pineapple flavor at all.  The crunchy crust is the best part, but the fluffy inside is good as well.  It's like a Chinese muffin.  Kee Wah bakery has the best pineapple buns in the Bay Area.  Yes, even better than the bakeries in Chinatown.  Its partly because the turnover here allows for the freshest batches possible.  Eat this!
Address:                Kee Wah Bakery
                               386 Barber Ln.
                               Milpitas, CA

Type:                      Asian/bakery/Chinese

Popular chomps:    pineapple bun
                                sponge cake
                                cake roll

Chomp worthy:       pineapple bun
                                sponge cake
                                cake roll


Pizzeria Delfina

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I've had pizza all over the world, even in Italy, and one of my favorites is still Pizzeria Delfina.  It's definitely the best in the city!
I always either the fresh mozzarella ball or the burrata, but today they only had the fresh mozzarella.  (check out other Delfina starter options HERE)
As if you really need to make their pizza any better, but if you do they provide a plate of condiments for your tasting pleasure.  Clockwise from the left: sprigs of dried oregano, crushed red pepper, and grated Regiano cheese.
#16- Pizza Magherita at Pizzeria Delfina - 7x7's 2012 Top 100
The margherita pizza here is the best in the city, possibly the whole Bay Area.  The crust is thin and crispy with a slightly charred crust.  It's topped with tomato, fior di latte mozzarella and a couple leaves of basil.  Pure perfection. 
Usually I forgo any specials and stick to my regular margherita at Pizzeria Delfina.  When it comes to the pizza here, the less toppings the better.  Too many toppings weighs down this thin crust pizza and makes it soggy, plus you miss out of the tasty flavorful crust.  The purgatorio is the only special pizza I get excited about.  Essentially a very simple pizza, just kicked up a little.  Its spicy tomato (reminds me of arrabbiata sauce) with two farm fresh runny eggs.  After the pizza is taken out of the oven, thin slices of pecorino are freshly grated onto the top so it melts right into the surface.  It seems so simple, but the ingredients give it complex flavors.  Its so good its almost better than the margherita here.  Yes, its THAT good.

Address:                 Pizzeria Delfina
                                2406 California St.
                                San Francisco, CA
Type:                       pizza/Italian

Popular chomps:     Margherita
                                 fresh stretch mozzarella
                                 insalata tricolore

Chomp worthy:       Margherita
                                 fresh stretch mozzarella
                                 insalata tricolore


The Taco Shop at Underdog's

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Practically everyone in the city has heard of Nick's Crispy Tacos.  It's famed happy hour taco shop housed inside of Rouge nightclub in Russian Hill.  The super long lines show how much San Francisco does NOT know what a good fish taco is.  A true foodie would know that Nick Fasanella actually sold out of the business years ago and now houses his delicious fish tacos at Underdogs bar in the Sunset district.  I've actually had tacos at Nick's Crispy Tacos years ago and was disappointed.  The tacos at Nick's Crispy Tacos are made in the same style and still uses Nick's name to sell the lackluster tacos.  If you've ever had Nick's Crispy Tacos, you need to go and have a REAL Nick's fish taco at Underdogs.

There is a whole bunch of other items on the menu here like burritos and street tacos, but you can get comparable if not better Mexican food without going into Sunset.  The thing to get here is the fish tacos.  It's a thick cut of white fish beer battered and deep fried wrapped in two corn tortillas.  That's not all.  You must get it made "Nick's Way", which is one fried corn tortilla and one soft corn tortilla, shredded jack cheese, pinto beans, pico de gallo, and a generous dollap of fresh guacamole.  I'm usually the first person to start lecturing about why pinto beans don't belong in a taqueria, but it works here.  I always get the tacos to go and I've never eaten them fresh out of the fryer, but I can vouch for that the crispy exterior has always stayed intact for my 15 minute car ride.     
Ever since San Francisco shut down my beloved Dona Tere street cart in the Mission, I've been scouring high and low for a replacement for its elote con queso (aka Mexican corn).  If you don't know what elote con queso is, I'm almost hesitant to say what it is because you must taste its awesomeness without fear.  It's   It's no Dona Tere, but its still yummy and on a stick.  The white corn is GENEROUSLY slathered with mayo and melted butter then sprinkled with cotija cheese (must have this key ingredient!) and cayenne pepper.  The very fatty mixture results in a combination of all things wonderful - sweet, rich, buttery, cheesy and ending with a spicy kick.  It's not as good as a getting it from a cart on a summer day, but it satisfies.

Address:              The Taco Shop at Underdog's
                             1824 Irving St.
                             San Francisco, CA
Type:                    Mexican

Popular chomps:  pescado "Baja" style fish tacos (Nick's way)              

Chomp worthy:    pescado "Baja" style fish tacos (Nick's way)  
                             elote con queso              


Clover Bakery & Cafe

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Clover bakery is one of my favorite bakeries in the South Bay.  Its a Japanese bakery located in the Mitsuwa shopping center. Make sure you grab some goodies in Mitsuwa if you make a stop here.  Clover bakes their own pastries and breads in house.
They have sweet pastries as well as savory.  As much as I love a good sweet snack, the savory snacks are the winners here.  It's not your average ham and cheese croissants here.  You'll find things like cheese corn bread, tonkatsu sandwiches, and even chow mein buns. 

The spaghetti bun is one of my favorites here.  So simple and delicious, it makes you wonder why you never thought to do this as a kid.  Spaghetti is stuff into a small, sweet bun and topped with slices of hot dogs.  The spaghetti sauce they use is sweet in flavor and reminds me of Spaghetti O's.  Biting into one of these buns is like being seven again.
I usually have a hard time deciding between the katsu bun, the croquette bun, or the menchi burger.  All things fried, of course.  This time I was good and only gave into the croquette burger.  I love the buns here.  They are super soft and fluffy with a hint of sweetness that works so well with all these savory fillings.  The croquette burger is no exception,  The deep fried potato, a popular Japanese appetizer, is the main filler for this small bun.  The crunchy outside with soft potato filling wrapped in the fluffy bread makes for the perfect snack. 

 Address:               Clover Bakery & Cafe
                              4342 Moorpark Ave.
                              San Jose, CA
Type:                    Japanese/bakery/Asian

Popular chomps:  spaghetti bun
                              katsu bun
                              croquette bun
                              chow mein sandwich
                              okonomiyaki sandwich
                              jalapeno hot dog

Chomp worthy:     spaghetti bun
                              katsu bun       
                              all things savory


The Boiling Crab

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In my many eatings of over 10 countries and top Michelin restaurants, The Boiling Crab has a special place in my heart.  At one time I was logging weekly visits to consume this scrumptious seafood!  Its possibly one of the top 10 last meals on Earth for me. 
Even with the first San Jose location clocking at almost four years and a second location 10 minutes away, the wait on the weekends can still reach 1-2 hours.  I've had to default to Pho Y (see post HERE) across the street on multiple occasions when I was about to pass out from hunger while waiting.  Its best to come here right when they open (3p on weekdays and noon on weekends) to avoid the wait. 
The Boiling Crab offers a wide selection of fried items, but the sweet potato fries are the best fried option here.  The fries have a light crunchy outside coating with a soft potato inside.  They make for the perfect munchie in between chomps of shrimp and crab. 
The Boiling Crab has a bunch of different sauces you can choose from as well as choice of spiciness level.  Honestly, I've never had any of the other sauces, nor do I know anyone who eats them.  The winner here is the whole sha-bang, which is a mixture of all the sauces.  I'm a fan of the super hot, but the spice level of the hottest sauce (XXX) detracts from the flavor so I like to get the medium, which is perfect.  Cajun and spicy with plentiful garlic chunks, the sauce here is just magical.    
Most people like to get the crawfish here, but I find crawfish to be too much work for little meat.  So instead I usually order the shrimp, which are plump and juicy.  Make sure you dip the shrimp into the chunky parts of the sauce after shelling for full flavor impact.  I usually gauge about one pound of shrimp per person if I'm only ordering one other seafood item. 
The dungeness crab with the whole sha-bang sauce is another good seafood option.  I usually like to shake up the sauce in the bag and eat the crab last so as to soak up more of the flavor.  The crab does come whole, but have no fear, follow these SIMPLE instructions to crack up your crab like a pro.  Disclaimer: you do have to get down and dirty with your hands, but you ARE eating at Boiling Crab so its kinda a given.  First, take your thumb and stick it in the crab's butt (yes, I said butt - trust me on this).  There should be a hole that fits your thumb easily.  Keep on forcing your thumb in (seriously now, no joke here) until you are able to pry both the top and the bottom of the body apart.  It should snap off easily to separate the head(brain/kani miso/whatever you like to call it).  Now take the bottom half, which should have the legs attached and put one hand on each side of the crab.  Each hand should be grabbing a side with the claw and the legs.  Now snap that in half.  The ending result should be three pieces of crab:  the top half with the brains and two mirrored equal pieces that have a claw and 3 legs.  Easy right?!
The crab here is fabulous.  I like to come here around crab season to enjoy the fresh crab, but I've never really seen the crab season prices reflected here.  The cheapest I've seen it was $9.99/lb, where it averages around $12.99/lb during the year.
The sauce here is so delish that is a must to order a side of rice and dump the rest of the sauce in there to snack on when you get home. 
The Boiling Crab has been slowly adding items to the menu.  The gumbo is one of them.  You can order it with or without rice, but I prefer it with so the rice soaks up the gumbo flavor.  This is the first time I've ordered gumbo here, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped.  The gumbo lacked any type of spiciness and there were only a couple pieces of sausages and shrimp.  I did like the big chunks of okra.

Address:                The Boiling Crab
                               1631 E Capitol Expy
                               Ste 101

                               San Jose, CA 

Type:                      seafood

Popular chomps:    shrimp
                               dungeness crab
                               Alaskan king crab
                               the whole sha bang
                               sweet potato fries
                               corn and sausage

Chomp worthy:      shrimp with the whole sha bang (medium)
                               sweet potato fries
                               dungeness crab with the whole sha bang (medium)           


Huong Lan

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In a city full of Vietnamese eateries, Huong Lan is a favorite banh mi spot in San Jose.  While Huong Lan seems to be a popular choice, I prefer Thanh Huong  (see post HERE) when I'm in San Jose.  The $2.75 sandwiches makes it a cheap eats spot when you are in the area.
Besides the classic banh mis, Huong Lan sells rice noodles, spring rolls, and various take out dishes.
Combo #1 - Banh mi with headcheese, pate, and ham.  The bread was soft and fresh, but lacked that light crispiness that I find in a good banh mi.  Another thing I don't like here is the meat is sliced into very thin slices, which would be ok if there was more meat.  Its really difficult to taste the full flavor of the meats because of the skimpy portions.  It throws off the filling to bread ratio, but I do like how the jalapenos have a nice kick here.
Usually you can't go wrong with bbq pork banh mi, but here the puny portion was hard to overlook.  The meat didn't have that sweet, juicy pork flavor.  I was disappointed to find that the bbq pork was also sliced rather than the thick, chunky cuts of pork I'm used to seeing.

Address:              Huong Lan
                             1655 Tully Rd.
                             San Jose, CA
Type:                    Vietnamese/Sandwiches

Popular chomps:  grilled pork sandwich
                              combo #1

Chomp worthy:     nothing           


LA weekly's 99 Things to Eat in LA Before You Die

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I was online researching all things food (of course!) and stumbled upon this old (2010), but interesting list of LA eats.  Is it eerie that its so similarly named to SF's 7x7 lists of Things to Eat Before You Die (recently named The Big Eat)?  (see 2012's SF list HERE).  I rarely make a trip out to LA, but this list does make for an interesting read.  I was surprised to find that I actually have eaten at a couple...check it out!
LA weekly's 99 Things to Eat in LA Before You Die

1).   Fugu at Urasawa 
2).   Goat's Milk Gelato at Bulgarini's
3).   Romanesco at Weiser Family Farms
4).   San Nik Ji at Masan
5).   Sherry Yard's Kaiserschmarrn at Spago
6).   Taco at Tito's Taco
7).   Luna Oysters at Santa Monica's Farmers Market
8).   Sesame Cream Puffs at Patisserie Chantilly
9).   Vietnamese Spring Rolls at Golden Deli
10).  Hot Pastrami at Langers
11).  Bone Marrow Flan at Cut
12).  Sea-Salt Caramels at Little Flower Company
13).  Spicy Lobster at Newport Seafood
14).  New Style Sashimi at Matsuhisa
15).  Gnocchi at Angeli's Caffe
16).  Lechon at Eva's Lechon
17).  Tortillas at Riveria's
18).  Apple Pie and Eel at Wa Sushi
19).  Sausage and Eggplant Pizza at Casa Bianca
20).  Huarache de Cabeza at El Huarache Azteca
21).  Kalbi Taco at Kogi
22).  Lamb Tongue Sandwich at Canary
23).  La's Street Dog at Fab Dogs
24).  Hollenbeck Burrito at El Tepeyac Cafe
25).  Whatever Lou Tells You To Drink at Lou's
26).  Pain au Chocolat at Anisette Brasserie
27).  Paleron With Kumquats and Cream of Wheat at Lazy Ox Canteen
28).  Welsh Rarebit at Musso & Frank Grill
29).  Flautas at Ciro's
30).  Dill Fries at The Gorbals (inside the Alexandria Hotel)
31).  Fish Kidneys at Jitlada's
32).  Chicharron de queso at Loteria Grill
33).  Corn Chowder at the Ivy
34).  French Dip at Phillippe's
35).  French Dip at Cole's
36).  Birria at El Parisan
37).  Country White Bread at La Brea Bakery
38).  Hot Dog on a Stick at Muscle Beach
39).  Sizzling Catfish at Chinois
40).  Hickeryburger at Apple Pan
41).  Hearth-Baked Bagel at Brooklyn Bagel Bakery
42).  Vegetables en Papillote at Palate
43).  Quinoa with  Edamame at Akasha
44).  Strawberry donut at Donut Man
45).  Chili at Chili John's
46).  Beef Roll at 101 Noodle Express
47).  Eva solo brewed coffee at La Mill
48).  Oki dog at Oki Dog
49).  Cheeseburger at Comme Ca
50).  Saffron Silk Ice Cream at Saffron Spot
51).  Yellow Fried Fish with Hair Seaweed at Giang Nan
52).  Mozza Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
53).  Pork Pump at Shanghai Xiao Chi
54).  Shanxi knife cut noodles at JTYH Restaurant
55).  Tofu at Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant
56).  Pho Bac at Pho Minh
57).  Pig Candy at Bigmista
58).  Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane
59).  Cha Chiang Mein at Mandarin House
60).  Oyster Po'Boy at Little Dom
61).  Cheese Enchilada at a random street vendor in East LA
62).  Al Bap at A-Won
63).  Brandt beef
64).  Krakatoa Blend Coffee
65).  #11 Potato Tacos at El Atacor
66).  Thali at Rajdhani's
67).  Fried Chicken at Ludo's
68).  Prime Rib at Lawry's
69).  Grilled Prime Rib at Campanile
70).  Seviche at Mo-Chica
71).  Banh Mi from Mr. Baguette's
72).  Foie Gras & Biscuits and Gravy at Animal
73).  Panuchos at Chichen Itza
74).  Pad Thai at Krua Thai
75).  Ancient Ginger Soup at Noodle Island
76).  Rainbow Chard at McGrath Family Farm
77).  Green Corn Tamales at Border Grill
78).  #2 Burrito at Lupe's
79).  Chicken Pot Pie at Good Girl Dinette's
80).  Seascape Strawberries at Harry's Berries
81).  Michael Cimarusti's Squid with Piquilla Peppers and Pig's Ear at Providence
82).  Corned Beef Hash at The Grill on the Alley
83).  Salmon Sashimi at Kiriko's
84).  Maple Bacon Donut at Nickel Diner
85).  Godmother at Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
86).  Soup Dumpings at Din Tai Fung
87).  Plain Doughnut at Bob's Coffee & Doughnuts
88).  Hot Dog at Let's Be Frank
89).  Doro Wot at Meals by Genet's
90).  Boat Noodles at Sapp Coffee Shop
91).  Brisket at Bludso
92).  Galbi at Park's BBQ
93).  Hot Almond Milk in Pastry at Capital Seafood Restaurant
94).  Sashimi at Kiyokawa's
95).  Chongqing Fried Chicken at Chung King
96).  Peruvian Roast Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa
97).  Sprats at Natraliart
98).  Lobster Roll at Hungry Cat's
99).  Maple Bacon Biscuits at Huckleberry


Citizen's Band

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Comfort food that seriously satisfies.  This mac and cheese is probably some of the best mac and cheese I've had in a while.  The macaroni in this dish is soaked with thick, flavorful cheddar and baked in bechemel.  The square of mac and cheese has burnt, crispy sides and as if it couldn't get any better - it's topped with deep fried onion rings.    
I was actually glad for the stone fruit salad.  The bitterness from the wild arugula help to cut the richness from the mac and cheese.  Slices of lomo embuchado on the bottom of the salad gave the light salad it's salty flavor.  It was a nice salad to refresh the palette for more of the rich flavors to come.
Ad Hoc's fried chicken is still probably my favorite fried chicken in the world (to date), but this chicken is a close second.  The batter is seasoned well and fried even better.   My teeth bit into some of the juiciest chicken I've eaten in a while.  Every piece was juicy.  The biscuits, however, were dry and forgettable.  The salad even more so.  The lettuce was limpy and drowned in dressing.  It was surprising to see such disappointing sides share a plate with  such a unbelievable fried chicken.   
The burger is one of the most popular items here.  It comes with an option of an egg, bacon, grilled onions, cheese, grilled mushrooms, and jalapenos.  The medium cooked burger was dry and kind of flavorless even with all the toppings.  As enticing as the runny egg was, it didn't have ooze that yolky goodness.  Surprisingly, the only flavor I could distinctly taste in the burger was the jalapenos.  It was almost as if the meat was doused simmered in the juice from the jalapenos, which gave a surprising kick.

Almost in a full food coma, I forced myself to power through at least one dessert.  The chocolate pot de creme with a layer of banana mousse, bruleed bananas, and crunchy bits just seemed like it could be the perfect ending to a dinner of comfort food.  A little too sweet on the top and then too dull on the bottom of the jar for me.  It's ok though, I was still proud of myself for getting halfway through it.

Address:                       Citizen's Band
                                             1198 Folsom St
                                             San Francisco, CA
Type:                               American

Popular chomps:  burger
                                             fried chicken
                                             mac and cheese

Chomp worthy:      fried chicken
                                             mac and cheese    


Ben & Jerry's Ice cream: Red Velvet and Late Night Snack

Pin It Now! During the summer I'm always looking at ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. I noticed these two Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream flavors in the supermarket: Red Velvet Cake and Late Night Snack.
Red velvet whoopie pies (see HERE) and red velvet cake (see HERE)...it's about time someone put two of my favorite sweets together..RED VELVET ICE CREAM!!!  Just when I thought the red velvet phase was dying out...
Red velvet cake batter ice cream with red velvet cake pieces and cream cheese frosting swirls.  At first glance, I thought this might be too sweet for me, but its eatable.  I'm almost embarrassed to say I can probably make my way through half the pint without coming up for air.  It's exactly like eating a red velvet cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  

A closer look at a scoop of Ben & Jerry's red velvet ice cream.
Usually Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors tend to be too overloaded with ingredients for me and I like to stick to my trusty Cherry Garcia, but Ben & Jerry's made the perfect combination with Late Night Snack.  The first sweet and salty ice cream combination in a supermarket, Late Night Snack satisfies those indecisive salty or sweet late night cravings in one snack. 
It's vanilla bean ice cream mixed with salty caramel swirls and fudge covered potato chips.  The fudge covered potato chips offer a crunchy surprise in each scoop. 
A closer look at a scoop of Ben & Jerry's Late Night Snack.


San Francisco's 20 Most Iconic Dishes

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SF eater just posted their list of San Francisco's 20 Most Iconic Dishes - check it out!

1).   Roast Chicken for Two at Zuni Cafe
2).   Cellophane Noodles with Crab at The Slanted Door
3).   Oysters at Hog Island
4).   Bacon Beignets at Frances
5).   Cheeseburger at NOPA
6).   Bull Ramen at Nombe
7).   Carnitas Burrito at La Taqueria
8).   Duck Bisteeya at Aziza
9).   Dutch Pancake at Outerlands
10). "Shark Fin"soup at Benu
11). Jerk Spice Duck Hearts at The Alembic
12). Ma Po Tofu at Mission Chinese Food
13). Sea Urchin Fusilli at La Ciccia
14). Peanut Butter Semifreddo at Commonwealth
15). Croque Monsieur at Tartine Bakery
16). Seafood Chowder at Bar Crudo
17). Pasta at Flour & Water
18). Xiao Long Bao at Yank Sing
19). Dungess Crab Louie at Swan Oyster Depot
20). Margherita at Una Pizza Napoletana


Pho Y 1

Pin It Now! Pho Y is my favorite pho restaurant in San Jose.  The original location in South San Jose does one thing only - pho!  So if you are looking for rice plates or even appetizer like eggrolls, you won't find them here.  Their second location in North San Jose does serve rice plates and eggrolls, but I find that the pho soup is inconsistent there.

The vegetable plate comes with basil leaves, jalapenos, bean sprouts, and lime wedges.
I ordered pho tai here (my usual order) with meat on the side. 
I don't know if its because I've been eating a lot of Pho in Oakland recently, but Pho Y doesn't taste as good to me this time around.  (see my favorite pho place HERE)  The soup broth is cloudy with a sweeter taste (more anise flavored).  The noodles sat on the bottom of the bowl in a clumpy mess.  It still hits the spot and I haven't found a better place in San Jose, but I still think Pho Ao Sen in Oakland is 100x better.     

Address:                         Pho Y 1
                                               1660 E Capital Expressway
                                               San Jose, CA
Type:                                 Vietnamese

Popular chomps:   Pho 

Chomp worthy:        Pho Tai         


Thanh Huong

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Sometimes when I eat something, I go on huge runs where I'll try the same thing at different places.  It's so I can do a comparison while its still fresh on my tastebuds.  Right now, its banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches).  Thanh Huong is one of the few sandwich shops in San Jose that I approve of.  In a city overrun by Lee's Sandwiches, its nice to support a mom and pop store.   
It's also one of the few sandwich shops that sells banh mi for $3!  Also, bonus points to them because they do the fried egg here (extra $1).  Banh mi shops usually have the standard sandwiches (grilled pork, bbq pork, pate, jamon, etc), but often times they usually have a couple options you don't see other places.  In this case, Thanh Huong has a Chinese sausage (lap churng) and fried egg sandwich.   

Freshly made to go items are constantly restocked throughout the day.
The Chinese sausage and fried egg banh mi isn't a common appearance in most Vietnamese sandwich shop.  The fried egg isn't runny, but it does add a nice touch to the sandwich.  Not to mention the sandwiches here are huge with a good proportion of meat to veggies.  The bread here is perfect.  Crusty on the outside with very little crumbling and warm and extra fluffy on the inside.

Address:                      Thanh Huong
                                             2050 N. Capitol Ave.
                                             San Jose, CA
Type:                               Vietnamese/casual

Popular chomps:  fried egg addition
                                             anything with pate

Chomp worthy:      fried egg addition
                                             anything with pate