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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Global HQ

There comes a time in every foosiast's life when he or she must stand up for themselves, espcially when that he or she publishes a food blog in the south San Francisco bay area (San Jose). In promoting this little blog, I have have had a few requests to provide proof that I am really based in San Jose, not just a blogger out to get a market share.

I have decided to share the picture posted here are proof of the legitamacy of this site. Although the exact eaddress and contact information can not be listed here, I am sure any reader will find this picture as proof enough. Having a global headquarters in downtown San Jose (California, not Costa Rica) is really the only way one can truely administer a site about San Jose restaurants, as it is the heart of the Silicon Valley.

By the way, I have noticed lately that my top level corner office overlooking Cesar Chavez Park has become quite lonely since the economy has slowed down, yet our office lease rate has stayed the same. Anyone have suggestions on cheap office near some great restaurants? (Sorry Specialtys, but Pete's Coffee is the only reason I visit your place so often!)

-Tom W Tell

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen......Foosiast

Loyal readers (Libby) doing my rigorous research for my ever expanding food blog empire, I came across this interesting little statement. It is basically trying to explain the difference between a 'chowhound' and a 'foodie'. Although its a nice try to put a definition to these made-up phrases, they are still that...made-up phrases! True that new words and lingo are evolving as fast as technology will allow and are typically coined by those that invent them (googling, tweet, thumbdrive, etc), I could not find anywhere that identified where the term 'foodie' came from. I believe it is a short form of the phrase 'food blogger' or 'food enthusiast'. Foodie just rolls of the tongue doesn't it? It could just as easily have been 'foogger' or 'foosiast'. In fact, that is what I am going to call my self from now on....a foosiast. This could be mistaken for Foo-Fighters fan, but I am sure if it is used in the correct context the meaning will be clear. As for foogger, well, it just too close to that other word.

Now, I realize that is just trying to convince prospective contributors to join their site and be called a 'chowhound' (which is a clever name BTW), but disrespecting like me in the process is just not fool.....I mean cool. Sorry for the rant, now for a food review.....

My eating partner and fellow foosiast found ourselves at Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara this past Sunday afternoon, partly visiting a family member who had just gotten a job there, but mostly to get out of the ridiculous heat. Avoiding the mall food court whenever possible (Panda Express is always safe, though, hard to go wrong there), we ventured away from the mall, down Stevens Creek Blvd, where the eating options come fast and furious. We decided to play it safe and visit the quaint japanese restaurant Ariake, which is almost in the intersection with Lawrence Expressway. There is a sushi bar (not open for lunch), a single unisex bathroom, about 10 tables, and great cheap , no frills japanese food.

It was slow Sunday lunch day, so it was only us and 1 other couple I believe, and the service was fantastic. Not overly nosey, and just witty enough to be pleasant. The menu isn't spectacular, the food not delectible, but we are on a budget and were hungry. We got exactly what we wanted. We got out of there for less than $25 for two, including 2 orders of rolls for appetizer, and 2 lunch bentos.

I consider it a foosiast victory when you are seek out a meal that fits the situation, and Ariake did just that, and isn't that what great eating is all about?

-Tom W Tell

Friday, April 17, 2009

Slow Economy = Healthier Eating?

I hate to follow trends or borrow played-out sentiments, but I have to admit, although not homeless, I too have felt the effects of the slow economy. Followers of this blog will notice that my San Jose Food Review's have been few and far between this month. My dining partner and I have resovled to eating-in more often, at least 5 times per week. Contrary to recent articles, I think this it's healthier. Most of my reviews are on the lower end of the $$ scale anyway, but we have also tried to visit those establishments that are kind to the light-pocketed.

During these times, we tend to go with what we know; reliable eats such as Baja Fresh,
Red Robin, Erics Deli, La Milpa, have all been visited this month, each with great food and service as usual. In order to offset some of the losses of the downturn, I have began posting some of my collectible items on Ebay (a whole 'nother story, not appropriate for this audience!) that will hopefully bring in some extra $$ to fund future food adventures.

Stay positive!

-Tom W Tell

On a side note, I would love to hear your thoughts on
Foodbuzz, as I am considering joining this group, but it will mean some sacrifices on my end. Thanks foodies!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chocolate Sushi, as sweet as it gets!

I have been a long time patron of Chocolate Sushi in Sunnyvale, since even before they added the ultra-cheesy "Tofu House" to their name. I am not sure if the ownership changed, or if that was a marketing scheme, but the sushi I had come to know and love certainly has not changed. I visited last night with some fellow foodies, as we were in the mood (once again) for some really good japanese food. As usual, there was no wait to be seated, the wait staff was as courteuous as could be, and the food was ecsquisite. As with our last visit, around 2 weeks ago, the owner/manager (I think) came to our table to make sure we were enjoying our night. My wife gave her kind praising of the meal, and, unexpectedly the owner repsonded with a (somewhat stereotypical) japanese-accented "aaahhhh, thank you sooo much! It is always good to hear customers enjoying our food!" He gave a traditional bow to our table and moved along. Very nice touch to our experience.

A few things have changed that I should mention. When the Tofu House moniker was added, a decent selection of Korean dishes/soups were added to the menu. Although not a particular fan of Korean food (or soup dinners in general), I was suprised when we tried some on our previous visit, and found myself enjoying most of the meal. The bento box menu items have also been reduced, and I sometimes get a Katsu item, which can be ordered, just not as a part of the bento. Maybe it could be added if asked nicely, but I was fine with the other usual selections (teriyaki, tempura, a couple of sushi rolls, and agadashi). Other than that, not much else is different. The interior still has a kick-ass theme, big HDTV's for lucky guests facing the right way to enjoy (last night they had on ESPN, which was showing a college basketball slam dunk competition.....sweet!).

Okay, I always finish my review the the price. This place is, and has always been, on the upper end of japanese cuisine. Hence, you will pay more here. For 3 of us, with 2 plates of appetizers, and 3 bentos, the total was $60. Defintiely more than you would pay at
Sen-Dai or Sushi-O , but one must respect the effort and expense it takes to create such an enjoyed dining experience.
As a side note, if anyone reading this knows why the heck they called it "Chocolate Sushi" to beign with, please let me know. I always forget to ask when we go!!
-Tom W Tell