Archive for the ‘Food & Drink’ Category

Mountain View Oktoberfest

oktoberfestThe 4th Annual Mountain View Oktoberfest will feature authentic German Beer, Cuisine, and Entertainment (Alpiners USA, SF German Band and Big Lou’s Accordion Princess).

The Mountain View Oktoberfest is open free to the public and is an all ages event but you must be 21 or older to drink. Proper Identification verifying legal age will be required.

You must purchase a stein and tickets if you would like to drink:

$8
per beer ticket

$30
4 beer tickets

$10
0.5L size Stein
(Requires 1 tickets to fill.)

$15
1.0L size Stein
(Requires 2 tickets to fill.)

The free kids area will include jumpy houses, face painting, games and prizes.

Mountain View Oktoberfest
Bryant St. at Dana St., Mountain View, CA 94041

Parking – parking lot behind Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant – 1 block West of Castro Street

October 1st and 2nd from 11:00am to 7:00pm

Free Pancakes at IHOP

ihop-naitonal-pancake-dayThis Tuesday (March 8, 2016) participating IHOP restaurants will celebrate National Pancake Day with a free short stack of pancakes. You will be asked to consider leaving a donation ($5.00) for local charities.

Find your IHOP here.

IHOP: “There is a limit of one free short stack per guest. The offer is valid at participating restaurants for dine-in only while supplies last and is not valid with any other offer, special coupon or discount. “

IHOP National Pancake Day
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
7 AM to 7 PM

Voyageur du Temps – Los Altos

Salmon Tartine

Salmon Tartine

There are some places you visit and you just know it’s going to be good! From the exterior Voyageur du Temps is unassuming, but once you step in the door you’re greeted with sleek cases full of jewel like pastries, classic tartines and a floor to ceiling window looking into the immaculate pastry kitchen.
All of the baked goods, from baguettes and croissants to tarts and pastries are made behind that glass wall, and it’s fun to sit and watch the chefs practicing their craft.
Voyageur du Temps is built in what was once a train station, the exterior is a long horizontal craftsman style. Inside however it has a sleek modern feel that feels very Japanese in style. That figures as the owner, Rie Rubin is originally from Japan and brought two French-trained chefs over from Tokyo to open the restaurant.
The cafe serves breakfast until 11 AM. Look for the french toast, eggs and the “Bacon Epi” a baguette with the bacon baked in, or opt for the “Tokyo Breakfast” Thick toasted bread served with butter and jam and a cup of rich drip coffee from Seattle’s Cafee Vita.

The croissants are the best I’ve had outside of San Francisco’s Tartine, who–for me at least– set the bar on French pastry in the bay area. Look for their signature “V” cubes. I got mine filled with dark chocolate and cherries. Delicious and unique.
The Tartines and salads are served all day. Some complain they are expensive and the portions small, but you have to remember that in Japan and France they aren’t gluttons like we are here in the US. Portions are exactly right and each tartine is prepared fresh and individually, not laying around in a cooler somewhere waiting to be served. The attention to quality and detail shows everywhere here.

The patio has  seating nestled in the trees and I can imagine myself spending quite some time there over a cup of café aulait and a croissant.

Visit Voyageur du Temps–288 1ST St., Los Altos; 650-383-5800 open Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Closed Mondays.

Chalk Art Festival in Luna Park

lunapark-chalk-art-festivalOn Saturday, September 20 Backesto Park comes alive with the 7th annual Luna Park Chalk Art Festival.  The festival is an all-volunteer run event created to provide a family-friendly, accessible venue to showcase the talents of local artists and students, foster awareness of the critical need for arts in schools and organizations serving youth, and to raise funds for providing grants and scholarships to meet that need.

No longer a tiny neighborhood event, the festival has grown, bringing in talented performers and musicians, vendors and food trucks, including some of my favorites, Hill Country BBQ and Waffle Amore! The dancers from  Movimiento Cosmico Indigenous Dance will be there too with their stunning ceremonial dances.

Check out the Flickr feed for the Luna Park Chalk Art Festival for more photos and follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter too.

If you’d like to participate as an artist or support the festival as a volunteer or sponsor , registration for all artists, artist/vendors, schools, and nonprofits is located here.

Experience Modernist Cuisine at The Tech

Mushroom Swiss Burger Exploded diagraom

If you love food photography and the science of cooking, you’re going to love this event on Friday 8/22 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM at The Tech. You’ll be able to explore the Photography of Modernist Cuisine exhibit and:

  • Get a  behind-the-scenes look at the exhibition from Scott Heimendinger from the Modernist Cuisine team. 
  • Learn modernist techniques from experts with hands-on components throughout the night inspired by Modernist Cuisine
  • Have some of Nathan Myhrvold’s favorite local food. (The former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer is also the tech leader and visionary behind the wildly successful Modernist Cuisine company).
  • Have a cocktail or head to the rooftop terrace of the museum for wine tasting with a spectacular view of the downtown San Jose skyline. 

Here’s a  quick tour of the exhibit. See you there!

Event information:

August 22, 2014 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. $25 non-members/$20 members in advance $30 non-members/$25 members at the door $10 for wine tasting on the roof Get your tickets here.

Did Somebody Say #Bacon Festival AND Fireworks?

Bacon Festival

What’s not to love about a bacon festival with fireworks too? July 4th and 5th is the second annual Movable Feast Bacon Festival on the Plaza de Cesar Chavez. They’ve expanded to two full days of food, entertainment, music and SJStreet Mart vendors with everything from henna tattoos and organic indigo to jewelry, clothing and more.

The food
Throughout the day there will be a load of food trucks including the famous Bacon Bacon and Baconbot trucks. Even if bacon isn’t your favorite thing there are plenty of other options from Grilled Cheese bandits, Madd Mex Cantina, Tastee Bytes, Chromatic Coffee, Treatbot and Fairycakes. Here’s the list of food vendors.

Entertainment
Kick up your heels to Yeshua and the Hi-Tones, Anya and the Getdown, The People and The Honey Wilders and watch the Pro Wrestling Revolution at several times both days. Silly Ricky the stilt juggler will be there as well as Brian the Bubble guy to entertain the kids. This is definitely a family friendly event.

Fireworks will start at 9:30 on July 4th courtesy of the San Jose Rotary Club

Here’s the full schedule and be sure to get tickets in advance at a discounted price. (Kids tickets are free online)

The Photography of Modernist Cuisine with Nathan Myhrvold


It’s not a surprise that techies and geeks love our food, and the science behind food, the how and why and what if of cooking.

It is a bit of a surprise to find someone who has a gift for cooking and photography with a master’s degree in economics, as well as master’s degrees in geophysics and space physics and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UCLA. Oh, and not only did he do post-doctoral work with Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University researching cosmology, quantum field theory in curved space-time, and quantum theories of gravitation, he served as the chief technology officer for Bill Gates at Microsoft. (This guy’s the geek of geeks).

Meet Nathan Myhrvold

Nathan retired from Microsoft in 1999 to found Intellectual Ventures and pursue several lifelong interests in photography, cooking, and food science. Later he founded The Cooking Lab and published a mammoth 5 volume 2,438 page set of photos and recipes and thoughts on the science of cooking called “Modernist Cuisine” that will knock your socks off. In it you’ll find stunning photography and scientific explanations of the cooking process, techniques and methods to achieve Modernist Cuisine.

But that’s not exactly what this post is about. This is about the show up right now at The Tech Museum of Innovation called The Photography of Modernist Cuisine. This morning I was lucky enough to join Tim Ritchie, president of The Tech Museum of Innovation and Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen (an avid foodie herself) and Nathan Myhrvold who spoke about his work and that passion for understanding food in ways we don’t normally see it.

The exhibit is over 75 large scale images that show us microscopic views of crystals of citric acid and what he calls “exploded parts diagrams” of a mushroom and swiss hamburger that took over 30 hours to prepare and takes after a drawing style popular in technical manuals and also favored by Leonardo Da Vinci.

As you go through the exhibit take time to read the descriptions which share the science but also the methods he use to achieve the shots. What appears to be a simple image on a steak is actually a composed panorama of 1,000 images stitched together to make every single millimeter sharp and clear. Another dish which seems to leap off the wall is uses a technique called “Focus stacking” where software is used to create highly dimensional photos with virtually no depth of field so every element is sharply defined and crisp.

All of the photos in this exhibit give you a new way to look at food. Whether familiar objects like a planted garden or cutaways of common household appliances, constructed images or micro views you’d never see on your own. It’s food porn at it’s finest.

This exhibit is open at The Tech from June 25 to Sept 1 and there are two special “After Hours” events planned. After Hours is the monthly evening event where adults 21 and older enjoy science, technology, entertainment, and cocktails together with their friends, and this summer there will be some special menus and themes designed to coincide with the new exhibit.

Get your tickets here:
July After Hours – Independence Day – Spirit of America
Thursday, July 3, 2014
7 p.m. – midnight

$10 / $5 for members
Buy tickets
August After Hours – Hawaiian Night Luau
Thursday, August 7, 2014
7 p.m. – midnight

$10 / $5 for members
Buy tickets

By the way, look for Modernist Cuisine recipes and videos on the website, you can get an interactive eBook in the Modernist Cuisine at Home App from the iTunes store for free in the Lite Version or buy the full version and learn about the techniques and methods of Modernist Cuisine demonstrated. Learn how to cook salmon sous vide in your kitchen sink!

Foodie Alert- San Jose DishCrawl


If you don’t know about Dishcrawl yet listen up. The idea is simple, find great food and create a convivial atmosphere for foodies to explore local cuisine, meet the chefs and mingle with other foodies. If you’re looking for local food culture, to meet other people interested in food, or to find the best local restaurants, DishCrawl is for you!
DishCrawl San Jose is kicking off the summer tonight (Tuesday June 17) in partnership with the San Jose Downtown Association to offer the “Best of San Jose” Dishcrawl series which will take  you on a culinary journey to three of downtown San Jose’s top spots for food and nightlife. If you can’t make it to tonight’s kick-off, don’t worry, they’ll be crawling at the same 3 delicious spots every Tuesday until the end of August.

In typical Dishcrawl style, not all of the restaurants are announced in advance. We know we’ll be going to Fahrenheit Restaurant and Lounge where guests will be treated to an amazing trio of skirt steak, brussels sprout salad and their famous deviled egg. Fahrenheit combines a farm to table cuisine and some of the freshest produce, meats, seafood from the local organic farms with an amazing lounge setting.

The second stop will be Mezcal. Awarded as 2009’s Downtown’s Best New Restaurant, Chef Octavio Gomez ensures patrons will be ecstatic when they try their mini sea bass ceviche tostada, handmade corn quesadilla, or famous mole negro, a well-kept family recipe. This Oaxacan cuisine will make your taste buds scream for more.

The third and final stop will feature Loft Bar & Bistro where guests will try their, tender boneless teriyaki beef short rib, panko crusted chicken breast and white chocolate crème brulee. Loft combines their great American cuisine menu with their amazing rooftop patio and casual atmosphere.In addition to this inaugural event on Tuesday June 17th which will kick-off the San Jose Downtown Association’s, Dine Downtown Restaurant Week, DishCrawls will be hosting “crawls” on the dates listed below.

   Tuesday, June 24th

Tuesday, July 29th

Tuesday, July 1st

   Tuesday, August 5th

 Tuesday, July 8th

     Tuesday, August 12th

   Tuesday, July 15th

     Tuesday, August 19th

    Tuesday, July 22nd

     Tuesday, August 26th

Reservations are limited, but still being accepted dishcrawl.com/bestofsj

For more information about upcoming Dishcrawls visitdishcrawl.com/sanjose, check us out at facebook.com/dishcrawlSanJose or follow @Dishcrawlsj.

Mike Whalen, Director/Writer: THE FARMER AND THE CHEF

Mike Whalen, Documentarian

Mike Whalen is a local filmmaker bringing to Cinequest a documentary about the chef from Manresa Restaurant, and the partnership they have with Love Apple Farms.

1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of THE FARMER & THE CHEF, from concept to financing.

I first starting thinking about making a “green” television reality doc series. Back in 2009 I had been approached by a number of production companies that I used to work for and they were looking for documentary reality series with a green-environmental theme. It was the “hot” topic back then. As a result it got me thinking about ideas and one of them that came to mind was the amazing work that David Kinch was doing at Manresa. I’m a huge fan of his and any opportunity to work with him was a dream job. I emailed Chef Kinch and we set up a meeting. At that first meeting he made it crystal clear that if we were going to do anything it had to include Cynthia Sandberg and the partnership he has with her farm, Love Apple Farms. That sounded great to me so we set up another meeting at the farm. Now, at this time the farm was Cynthia’s backyard – about an acre and a half worth. She had a couple of apprentices working with her and a handful of volunteers. As I do on any film I started hanging around my subjects to get to know their daily routine and what makes them tick. A guest chef was coming in from Spain to cook with David at Manresa so I decided to shoot that event – from the guest chef and David walking the farm, choosing the veg for the weekend to the actual cooking of the meal. It was an incredible experience but I realized then that this wasn’t a TV show. David and Cynthia were too “normal.” This wasn’t “Hell’s Kitchen” so no network would really go for it. What I saw was the makings of a great documentary film. A chance to really explore the genius behind both of their artistry because that’s what they are…. artists. They create these amazing masterpieces with food.
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I decided it was worth to spend a year filming to capture the essence of their work, their collaboration and their passion. I have access to all the equipment I want at Santa Clara University (where I teach filmmaking) so I could do this for very little money. As is my experience with all documentary films, the story tends to take on a life of its own. After one year of filming Cynthia decided to buy a new, 20+ acre property and sell the old farm. The problem with the new property is that it would take 2 years to get it going at full production. At the same time David decided to remodel the restaurant. I realized then that my little side project was going to take another three years to make but I wasn’t about to stop now because I had a front row seat to an amazing show.
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In the end I have spent about $1500 on the entire film. I paid a little to have some aerials shot of the farm and the final music and other than that the expenses went to hiring sound people and the occasional second unit DP. I have shot and edited almost everything in the film.
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2Q: Cinequest is proud to host the World Premiere of THE FARMER & THE CHEF.  Explain to us how it feels to bring this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?
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I love Cinequest and couldn’t be happier to be premiering the film in San Jose. It’s such an amazing group of people from Halfdan on down and they really embrace the independent filmmaking spirit.  I also love how the festival is so committed to empowerment – whether that be children, new filmmakers or social justice. It’s a perfect fit for the type of films that I make. I hope people enjoy my film, obviously, but I really want them to walk away with a new found respect for the commitment to their craft that both David and Cynthia have. These are two people who are going way out of their way to grow, cook and serve the best food you could possible think about. It’s so imaginative. It’s so precise. They really are artists working at the top of their field. I want people to be inspired by this. To be inspired to commit that much emotion and energy to something in their life. It’s not easy to do this. It means taking risks, but the rewards are amazing. Oh, and I hope they leave really hungry!
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3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making THE FARMER & THE CHEF?
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The best is easy… getting to know David, Cynthia and everyone they work with. That’s always the best part of being a documentary filmmaker – getting to know people you wouldn’t normally get to meet. They have become friends. David texts me about US soccer scores all the time and Cynthia constantly invites me and my wife up to farm for special occasions. Another aspect that was awesome was the food. I got to taste a lot of what was being cooked in the kitchen and all I can say is that it’s culinary heaven in there. The worst is the feeling that, as a filmmaker, I haven’t done the story justice. I always worry that I’ll let down my subjects and my film won’t honor their lives as strongly as it should. I hope I have, but until an audience sees it you never know.
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4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?  
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People should see this film because it gives audiences a front row seat to watch two of the most talented people in the world work their magic. I’m talking one of kind stuff here. Nobody else is doing this in the world and this film lets you get inside the minds of these two geniuses. That and the amazing shots of food. It’s almost like eating at Manresa!!
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5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Best Director Oscar for THE FARMER & THE CHEF.  Give us your acceptance speech.  
After picking myself up from the floor because the Academy actually honored non-fiction directing work I’d quickly thank David and Cynthia. We can’t make docs without amazing people letting us into their lives. It’s intrusive and I can’t thank them enough for graciously allowing me into their worlds. I also have to thank my wife – who grabbed a boom pole when I needed it, sat through three years of filming and editing and never let me settle. She pushes me creatively like only a loving spouse can.
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The music must be playing now.
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“Like” them on Facebook!

This interview originally published at http://popcornandvodka.com/2014/02/10/mike-whalen-directorwriter-the-farmer-and-the-chef/

Great new sandwich shop on The Alameda

Ike's Love and Sandwiches

I was away from my office at lunchtime the other day, so I decided do something different for lunch. I wanted to see if anything new had moved in to the old Mission City Coffee location, and if not I thought I’d get some tacos at the Chalateco Mexican/Salvadoran place near there. What I found instead was a great new sandwich shop.

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is part of a small local chain, and located on The Alameda at Chapman Ct in Santa Clara (the shop opened last month, and the Ike’s web page still doesn’t list it as a location). It’s right near where El Camino splits off from The Alameda and The Alameda becomes a tiny little spur leading to the “SCU” Safeway.

Everything about the place shows incredible enthusiasm. The walls are painted in bright “flower-power” colors and decorated with retro school lunch boxes from the 1970’s and ’80’s. There’s loud music playing and the place is crowded with customers, mostly college-age, even when I was there at 1 pm on a rainy day. The clerks are incredibly friendly and helpful, not just trying to get through their shifts so they can spend their paychecks on beer and textbooks.

The sandwiches are mostly named for local celebrities and landmarks. The “Andrew Luck” is halal chicken, bacon, garlic & herb sauce, and cheddar cheese, for example, and the “Steve Jobs” is breaded egglplant, ranch dressing, green pesto, and provolone. There’s a huge selection of vegetarian sandwiches. All sandwiches are served hot (unless you want it cold).

I got the “Patrick Marleau”. Roast beef, bacon, jack cheese, horseradish sauce, and sriracha. I thought about asking for it with no sriracha to get something less risky, but then figured, they must have tried it and think it’s good, so why not go for it? It was the right decision. The horseradish dominates the flavor of the sauce, but the sriracha adds just a note of something different to a classic combination.

Try this place now, and go early or late, because once the whole town catches on to it, it’s going to be one of those places where the line runs out the door.

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