Archive for the ‘South Bay’ Category

Wonderfest – Bay Area Festival of Science 2010


This weekend November 6 & 7 is Wonderfest, a free two-day Bay Area Festival of Science at Stanford (Saturday) and UC Berkeley (Sunday).

A few of the topics include:

Does 10,000 Hours of Videogaming Have Side Effects?

Is Mathematics More Art than Science?

Will Synthetic Biology Make Industrial Chemistry Obsolete?

Dare We Try to Engineer Earth’s Climate?

How Did Evolution Shape Human Behavior?

Also, the Bay Area Science Expo at UC Berkeley, where artists and craftspeople show their science stuff including art, books, crafts, music and more.

What would a science festival be without comedy? Norm Goldblatt does stand-up comedy on Saturday and Brian Malow does a Neil Armstrong routine on Sunday.

Wonderfest’s mission statement: Through public discourse about provocative scientific questions, Wonderfest aspires to stimulate curiosity, promote careful reasoning, challenge unexamined beliefs, and encourage life-long learning.

Wonderfest is a free event and open to the general public.

Wonderfest – Bay Area Festival of Science

Stanford University – Hewlett Teaching Center
Saturday, November 6, 2010
1:00 pm to 9:00 pm

UC Berkeley – Stanley Hall
Sunday, November 7, 2010
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Schedule and Parking Information

No lunch plans on Tuesday? Let me fix that!

The trend of food trucks continue and thankfully there are a few more available to us in the South Bay. Two somewhat new trucks are the Louisiana Territory and No Way Jose. Both trucks were started by the well known local catering company, Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme. I’m officially warning you now – this post is long and filled with photos of food. You might end up having to get a snack after reading this post!

Louisiana Territory
IMG_6738

After checking out the calendar on the LT site, I picked a Tuesday to try out the food. The closest location near my job (I work near downtown San Jose) was up at the Netgear campus around Montague Expwy and First St. Easy to get to and plenty of parking was available.

As my coworker and I drove up we noticed the truck right away – a large banner on top of their truck had a picture of a alligator declaring they were “Back!” You see, Louisiana Territory used to be a restaurant located in Mountain View. After eight years in that location the owners moved it to the Pavilion in downtown San Jose.. and well.. it failed. (Stories I’ve heard about the Pavilion have never seemed too positive, unfortunately.) Just recently they decided to give it another go – this time as a gourmet food truck. Brilliant idea, I say!

So what does the LT truck serve it’s oh-so-hungry patrons? Cajun food of course! They list their entire menu on their website but the truck offers a different mix each time. I think that’s a great way to keep it fresh for repeat customers.

There was a small line already formed outside of the truck. Actually it was a few feet AWAY from the truck which honestly I haven’t seen before. I’ve been around a lot of food trucks in the last few months (Downtown San Jose, SF’s Off The Grid, and Oakland’s Eat Real Festival) and this was the first time I didn’t stroll right up to the window. There was a woman ready with a clipboard standing near the end of the truck near the menu to take our order. It’s a little mix of servers at a restaurant and food truck dining. There were also three standing tables nearby. My favorite bit about the truck – the jazzy music they pumped out for patrons. They really were able to give the small space a nice atmosphere for customers to eat.

My coworker and I looked through the menu and for the sake of being able to do a decent review, we opted for two different meals. While my personal diet frowns upon eating rice (long story, you can read my personal blog if you’re that curious) I decided to get the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. I had originally asked if there was a dish that could be without the rice – and it was suggested that I try the Shrimp & Sausage Creole (and hold the rice that it is usually poured over) OR the Bend Bowl (Beans & Rice, garlic hummus, cheddar cheese, scallions, avocado, cilantro, fage yogurt, & Srirachi chili sauce) again, without the rice. However, I’m a sissypants to most things “spicy” and decided I’d battle it out with the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. My coworker picked the Blackened Chicken Po Boy. In addition to our meal, we were graciously offered a beverage to try. One of their homemade drinks; either their Ginger Ale or their Tropical Storm Punch. Again, because of my personal situation I could not try their Ginger Ale (though I hear it’s quite tasty) and opted for the TSP.

The foods!

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo: $5
IMG_6746
Fully of spicy flavors but not super hot
GIANT chunks of chicken and sausage. I was pleasantly surprised by this.

Blackened Chicken Po Boy: $6
IMG_6750
DELICIOUS
The bread was soft yet crunchy in all right right spots and to our surprise, the bread didn’t seem to have any additional openings. It seemed like it was cut at the top and stuffed full of chicken, tomatoes, lettuce and “special sauce.”

The chicken was seasoned and the veggies were very tasty – overall a great mix. It was a really great sandwich and the next time I hit up the LT I will try either their Shrimp Po Boy or their catfish one.

Tropical Storm Punch: $2
IMG_6740
I expected it to be super sweet but it wasn’t. It had a mellow sweetness to it and didn’t bite back with it’s mix of passionfruit, guava, orange and lemonade.

No Way Jose

No Way Jose

After my yummy adventures with the Louisiana Territory truck, two other coworkers were eager to join me in my next food truck excursion – this time PSRT’s other truck, No Way Jose. NWJ’s theme is mexican cuisine. Before leaving, I let my fiance know where/when to find the truck and he got some of his coworkers to come along as well.

The truck is painted in flashy colors and featured some of the same tables that the LT truck had. Unfortunately, there was no music (aww bummer.) **UPDATE A stereo has been installed!** I ordered the Monterey Quesadilla and my coworkers bought the Mission salad and the Santa Maria burrito. The overall consensus was that we enjoyed them! DEEELISH. Lots of meat and full of flavor. Plus the prices were pretty good for the portion.

Monterey Quesadilla $3

Chile verde chicken – saucy, flavorful, and plenty of meat. I don’t like over-packed messy quesadillas, and even though I knew that the chile verde would be saucy it didn’t overpower the tortilla at all. Delicious and I’d totally order it again.

The Mission Salad $6

Huge chicken salad in a crispy shell. My coworker added a little bit of pico de gallo for extra flavor (they had a little salsa bar available for customers to add what they liked) and totally enjoyed her meal.

Santa Maria Burrito $6
Large chunks of chicken packed this burrito. My coworker is a typical male that can pack away hefty burritos and sandwiches and the only thing he mentioned to me was he wished it was bigger – yet it was still a very decent size. I didn’t get a picture of it because he devoured it so fast!

Because my fiance and his coworkers were there as well – there were a few more opinions available on different menu choices:

The Nuevo Mexico Tamale Pie $5
Tamale Pie
I took several bites, I couldn’t help it – it was pretty good. Here’s their description: Tamale pie with fresh masa, roasted corn, shredded pork and earthy, flavorful red chile sauce.

The LA Fish Taco $1.50

The fiance says “It was good. Fish was cooked well. Tasty. It wasn’t fried!”

And last but not least…

Cajun Chimichanga $6

“Red beans & rice, jambalaya, blackened chicken, wrapped in a warmed flour tortilla and deep fried!” It’s a mix of their two trucks – which I thought was a pretty cool idea. I didn’t get to taste it myself but was told that the person who ate it did comment that he felt it needed a bit more meat inside, but overal it tasted good.

Man I’m hungry just going through this list.

Where can you find these truck?

Louisiana Territory
Tomorrow Tuesday, September 28th
Netgear parking lot!
350 E Plumeria Drive
11:30a – 1:30p
LT FacebookLT Twitter

No Way Jose
Tomorrow Tuesday, September 28th
iControl/Microsoft
3101 Park Blvd, Palo Alto
12:00a – 1:30p
NWJ Facebook

Food on Wheels in the South Bay

You know when you were little and you’d hear familiar music outside and realize OMG THE ICE CREAM MAN! There was someone in a truck out there bringing food to you! Then of course, you might also be familiar with the oodles of “taco trucks” – they’re nothing new. But for some time now a new flavor of food trucks have been popping up. Trucks that bring you Korean BBQ, Ice Cream and Karaoke, Lobster Rolls, and Cupcakes.

“Whuuuuuuuuut?”

YES. The world is a lovely place. Let me share a few yummy truck-filled treats with you and where and when you can experience them for yourselves:

Treatbot

TreatbotI had never heard of them until last Friday. My friend Jessica told me that there’d be an “ice cream karaoke truck” at the SJ Bike Party pre-party in the SoFA district and that was enough for me to be intrigued. Did you have to sing for your ice cream? No. But if you did, and you got over 95 points – your ice cream was free. Sweet deal – but hard to achieve. The level is set on hard for everyone – so you’ve got a challenge! It was fun listening to people sing, my favorite was the rendition of New Kids On The Block’s “Hangin’ Tough”. The truck has a karaoke machine on the side complete with a fancy light to make you feel like you’re ON STAGE. Sort of, but it’s something! They also have unique flavors like “Mexican Chocolate” (there’s a little spice to it, it was quite tasty!), Macapuno (coconut), Green Tea, Eastside Horchata, and my favorite (for now) Banana Almond Fudge – just to name a few. Get your ice cream in a cone or cup OR if you’re feeling extra cheeky, sandwiched between cookies (Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate Chip, or Chocolate Chocolate Chip.)

Treatbot Karaoke Ice Cream truck
Twitter:
@Treatbot
Facebook:
Treatbot
Gimmie!:
June 3rd, Music in the Park, Plaza de Cesar Chavez / June 4th SubZERO Festival, SoFA District / June 21-26 Left Coast Live, Downtown San Jose


MoGo Korean BBQ Taco Truck

MoGo MenuSo I have to admit, I’m pretty new to Korean food. This coming from someone who had two best friends in Jr/High school that were in fact, Korean. I just didn’t really dive into the food. Anyway – again, SJ Bike Party pre-party and I was again informed by my friend that this food truck was going to be there. This is where we decided to get dinner that night, from the truck with the tasty meaty smells coming from it. They had tacos and burritos filled with either chicken, pork, tofu, or short ribs. The burritos had kimchi fried rice and a spicy chipotle sauce. But that’s not all! In addition to that, they had a quesadilla option (cheese, spicy pork, tofu, or kimchi). I think their most unique items had to be the Sliders, Bay Area Dog, and Dirty Dog. The Sliders were filled with short rib meat, spam, jack and cheddar cheese. They had the yummy spicy chipotle sauce as well. The Bay Area Dog and Dirty Dog are similar, both have kimchi, jack and cheddar cheese and the chipotle sauce – but the Dirty Dog is wrapped in BACON.

MoGo Korean BBQ Taco Truck
Twitter: @mogobbq
Facebook: MoGo BBQ
Gimme!:
No future listings on their site, but follow their Twitter or Facebook page and you’ll be updated day-of and maybe they’ll be near you!


Cupkates and KaraVan (Kara’s Cupcakes)

Cupcakes on wheels! More admitting on my part – I’ve only tasted cupcakes from Kara’s Cupcakes. They’re good – I remember the lemon one being pretty lemon-y. How’s that for a description? I’m a little biased when it comes to cupcakes because I love to make them myself – it’s one of my “things”. I’ve made all sorts of wacky flavors… but this isn’t about me. It’s about food on wheels. And there’s a way you can get your cupcake fix. Cupkates flavors: Salted Caramel, Strawberry Swirl, Twinkie, and Lemon Raspberry all sound super tasty. Kara’s Cupcake flavors: Sweet S’mores, Kara’s Karrot, Banana, Raspberry Dazzle, and Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Ganache to name a few.

Cupkates
Twitter: @cupkatestruck
Facebook: Cupkates Truck
Gimme!:
Looks like a lot of Oakland/Berkeley area listings; tomorrow 5/28 they’ll be in Emeryville (64th / Hollis at 12pm)

Kara’s Cupcakes (and KaraVan)
Twitter: @karascupcakes
Facebook: Kara’s Cupcakes
Gimmie!: Nothing noted soon in our area, but keep watch on Twitter/Facebook. Also you can always stop by their Santana Row location to get your cupcake fix!

Sam’s Chowdermobile

Alright everyone, if you weren’t hungry by now – this might just do it for you. First, lets say you are a lobster lover. Well, actually even if you’re just so-so this might change your mind. Sam’s Chowder House, located in Half Moon Bay, is home to the famous Maine Lobster Roll (voted one of the top five “Best Sandwiches in America” by NBC’s The Today Show) Thick juicy chunks of lobster, soaked in butter in a toasted bun. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Seriously, you have to try it. And thankfully – Sam’s now has a mobile unit! I found out today, thanks to Mercury News article about it, and frankly it inspired this whole post. They offer other tasty food, but it’s the roll that will win your heart.

Sam’s Chowdermobile
Twitter: @chowdermobile
Facebook: Sam’s ChowderMobile
Gimmie!:
June 10th and 24th, 11:30-1:30p, 111 Market / St James

Antiques Roadshow San Jose


The PBS series Antiques Roadshow was in San Jose and the South Bay in August 2009 to tape three episodes.

The first episode debuts this Monday, May 10, as host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Rafael Eledge visit the Winchester Mystery House. Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Bruce Shackelford visit the historic Fallon House in the second episode. In the third episode Mr. Walberg and appraiser Nicholas Lowry visit Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

The episodes debut on KQED Mondays May 10, 17, and 24. KTEH debuts the episodes Thursdays May 13, 20, and 27. KQED, KTEH along with KQED Life re-broadcast the episodes various days and times.

Channels and Airdates

Maker Faire 2010!

Where to? It’s that time of year again my friends, the Maker Faire is just around the corner! I’ve written about the Maker Faire a few times (09, 08); here’s a little description for those unaware of what the Maker Faire is:

“Maker Faire is a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It’s for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things.”

Getting there is easy as there are plenty of public transportation options available (and always recommended that you carpool if you can) but this year there is a special call out to Maker fans encouraging them to bike to the event.

Where: San Mateo County Fairgrounds
When: May 22nd and 23rd
Tickets: Online or at participating retailers

Advance Pricing (through midnight 5/12/10):
Adult – $20.00
Student (13-20), student photo ID if 21) – $10.00
Youth (4-12) – $5.00
Children 3 and under are free

South Bay Blog Roundup #2

It’s been nearly a year since our first South Bay Blog Roundup, and there’s been a few changes in the local online scene. San Jose Revealed is long gone, at least one newsblog has become a spam factory, and there’s a couple of newcomers you’ll really want to read:

As before, I’m sure I’ve missed some good blogs. If you know one that isn’t listed here, let us know in the comments!

Ghost Towns in the Silicon Valley

Most people image ghost towns being located in dusty, arid regions of the United States, however, there are a handful located in the South Bay. While some of these aren’t easily accessible, I’ve found it to be an excuse to spend a couple hours outdoors and do some other exploring. Here are some highlights:

  • New Almaden – This is the only truly accessible ghost town located in the Silicon Valley. Located on Almaden Road, this was the biggest source of mercury used to extract gold from ore during the Gold Rush. A small museum located at Casa Grande will teach you more about the area, and the role New Almaden played during the Gold Rush.
  • Holy City – There’s not much left of Holy City other than the Holy City Art Glass Workshop and a handful of structures and walls of old buildings. Founded by cult-leader William Riker in 1919, Holy City was situated on old 17. Today, only the old post office stands, which serves as the Holy City Art Glass Workshop. You can get there be following San Jose-Soquel Road.
  • Lexington and Alma – Now located under the waters of the Lexington Reservoir, these two towns were also located along old 17. These were important rail stops when the logging industry was going strong in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Recently, Lexington was last seen when the reservoir was drained for maintenance in 2009.
  • Drawbridge – Formerly the home of drawbridge operators that operated Southern Pacific Railroad’s draw bridges crossing Mud Creek Slough and Coyote Creek Slough, it later became the home of speakeasies and brothels during the prohibition. Unfortunately, to the town is now restricted, however a display about the ghost town is available at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

2009 Caltrain Holiday Train

Holiday Train 2009This weekend (December 5 & 6) the Caltrain Holiday Train, a special non-passenger train decorated with more than 40,000 lights, will be making stops at nine different Peninsula Caltrain stations; four on Saturday four other stations on Sunday, and begins at the San Francisco station on both days.

This free, family event gives you a chance to sing along with live holiday music (various chorus and bands) and the kids get a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus along with other holiday favorites, including Rudolph and Frosty. Performances at each station begin about 30 minutes before the train’s arrival; see the schedule below.

Visitors are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy or book to drop into toy barrels at the stations for the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program and the Salvation Army’s holiday toy drive.

The Holiday Train’s second stop on Saturday will be in Redwood City. The City has incorporated the Holiday Train into its annual Hometown Holiday’s event beginning 10:00 a.m. The outdoor party includes snow, a parade, fireworks and a late-night holiday movie.

Also, on Saturday at the Menlo Park station the West Bay Model Railroad will be open to visitors from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The display, which dates from the mid-century, features HO, S and O model rail cars zipping through tunnels and over bridges.

In addition, on Saturday the Holiday Train will make its final stop of the evening at the Santa Clara station, home of the South Bay Historical Railroad Society. The display in the historic depot, which will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., includes HO- and N-scale model railroad displays depicting various railroad eras.

Entertainers will give a performance at 4:45 p.m. before the Holiday Train departs from the San Francisco station on both days.

Saturday, December 5 (Festivities begin at the times indicated):

Burlingame Caltrain Station – 5:20 p.m.

Redwood City Caltrain Station – 6:00 p.m.

Menlo Park Caltrain Station – 6:55 p.m.

Santa Clara Caltrain Station – 7:20 p.m.

Sunday, December 6 (Festivities begin at the times indicated):

San Bruno Caltrain Station – 5:10 p.m.

San Mateo Caltrain Station – 5:45 p.m.

California Ave. Caltrain Station (Palo Alto) – 7:00 p.m.

Sunnyvale Caltrain Station – 7:35 p.m.

Cruise for a Cause

La Villa Deli - Willow Glen

La Villa Deli - Willow Glen

Sunday the Rompacoglioni Car Crew will start their engines for the ‘Second Annual Cruise for a Cause’.

This classic ‘car cruise’ is happening September 6th – 9 AM to 3 PM on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Willow Glen.

Everyone is welcome to look at the cool cars. Please bring canned food and/or financial donations to the La Villa Deli parking lot.

Every $1 donated will help the Second Harvest Food Bank (750 Curtner Ave.) provide two nutritious meals.

San Jose 1948 an Aerial View

markc09_blue_biplane_with_red_wings_1In 1774 wild cattle wandered under giant willows and through blackberries that grew in a swampy area that is now known as Willow Glen. As I try to fall asleep I rather imagine my bed among the fruit trees that flourished here in 1948.

To see what was once where your bed is now try Historic Aerials (can be slow to load). Put in your address, zoom in, zoom out or pan the image. I enjoyed looking at our valley in 1956 with ‘Major Roads’ on, to see where the freeways of the future would be. To get a look at Park Ave. as it runs through what is now Plaza De Cesar Chavez Park use 170 S Market St 95113 (The Fairmont Hotel). Panning the image can be a bit fussy and slow, but it is a good way to navigate to a spot if the address is not known. Set it to 1948, zoom out – pan around our valley and just look at the orchards.

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