Showing posts with label san jose new restaurants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose new restaurants. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

San Jose's Evergreen area is getting a Chick-Fil-A 🐔

Normally this wouldn't be news, but one of the most popular posts of all time of this blog was about a Chick-Fil-A opening in North San Jose. Soon, Evergreen residents won't have to go far for their controversial chicken sandwich fix.

Chick-Fil-A paid $4.5 million dollars for a parcel that is currently a parking lot in front of the Target on E. Capitol Expressway and Silver Creek Road. It's in the same shopping center as a Chevron, The Boiling Crab and Pho Papa (or for any San Jose OGs, where Beef Noodle #1 used to be).

The land is about 3/4 of an acre and it's unclear whether it will be a traditional single story building or one of the fancier designs that Chick-Fil-A is building starting in 2024. One variant even has the drive-through going through the middle of the building with in-restaurant dining on a 2nd floor.

The new Chick-Fil-A could be open as soon as next year, but there doesn't appear to be an official ETA yet.

Source: The Merc

Monday, October 2, 2023

Rollati Ristorante - Downtown San Jose's newest flagship restaurant

I had the chance to try out Rollati across from San Jose City Hall on opening weekend and am happy to say it lived up to the hype. This restaurant is brought to you by the same group responsible for Left Bank, LB Steak, and Meso Mediterranean at Santana Row. I like all of those places, but Rollati is my new favorite.

Quick disclosure that this was not a sponsored meal. I paid for everything and my wife and I crushed seven courses and four cocktails, so we got a pretty good feel for the place. We also dined at 5pm since we have a baby at home. I'm bummed we had to leave before we could see Sonic Runway light up in front of City Hall through the massive floor to ceiling windows, but we'll leave that for another trip.

First off, it's gorgeous. Right when you walk in there is modern yet homely feel. The bar looks awesome and was completely packed by the time we left. You can see through to the kitchen and brick pizza oven and there is small shop by the host desk for take-home items and Italian condiments. Eventually they will also set up outdoor seating with fire pits and planters for privacy.

We started with the namesake dish, the Eggplant Rollatini with roasted garlic ricotta, spinach, and marinara. This alone was worth the trip. One of the best Italian dishes I have ever had, full stop.

We washed the Rollatini down with a Limoncello Spritz using housemade Limoncello, Elderflower, and Proseco and one of the most unique cocktail's I've even had... an Heirloom Martini with olive oil washed vodka, heirloom tomatoes, basil, and white balsamic. Yup, balsamic. It was like a taste of Italy in a Martini. I wouldn't order it on its own, but surprisingly it paired perfectly with the food. 

Next up were the Gnocchetti Alla Bava with pancetta and crispy sage. This was almost as good as the Eggplant Rollatini. We also went with a Traditional Caesar which sounds a bit basic to try at a trendy new restaurant but it had crispy parmigiano crisps and a rustic crouton that made it one of my favorite Caesars of all time. They nailed the sauce with just the right amount of anchovy flavor.

For the next round of drinks we got refreshing Bufala Negra which is bourbon with basil, balsamic, and ginger ale (yup another drink with balsamic) and a Black Manhattan which uses bourbon and multiple Italian Amaros. These were definitely up to "craft cocktail" standards and honestly I would be perfectly happy coming here just for the drinks at the bar.

Finally the real show, the main courses. A Spaghetti Alla Limon with Dungeness Crab. This had a lemon cream sauce, parmigiano, and breadcrumbs. We added on the crab as an option and it was outstanding. And then just when we think we've had our favorite course...

...a "Thousand" Layer Lasagna with Beef Short Rib Ragu. This was really something else and unlike any other Lasagna I've had before. It was crispy, soft, cheesy, and meaty in all the right proportions.

We were crazy so we also ordered a Braised Rabbit with polenta, pine nuts, and currants. This was my wife's favorite. It didn't taste gamey at all and was much more flavorful than let's say a chicken dish.

We were completely stuffed at this point. There were no leftovers, we ate everything. However, when every single dish is this good, you have to assume they are going to have great desserts as well. So we squeezed in a Fig Leaf Panna Cotta and I have no regrets. It was served with a Florentine cookie and fig compote.  

Final verdict? Was it worth $250 for two (in all fairness it was probably a meal for three or four)?

Yes. 10/10. 

Rollati is the best major new restaurant in Downtown San Jose since Petiscos (which is now San Jose's first and only Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant). If you live in Miro which is directly above the restaurant, I am very jealous and you're probably going to gain some weight.

Protip: you can park for free after 6pm in the neighborhoods around the Miro Towers and all day on Sundays. They also have valet parking and there is 90min of free parking in city-owned garages throughout Downtown San Jose.

Monday, September 18, 2023

La Ca Phe now open on 740 Story Road in San Jose near Vietnam Town

La Ca Phe is a Vietnamese Coffee shop specializing in a variety of specialties that are not easy to find in the Bay Area. Their Eggspresso Hanoi is a special egg-based coffee drink that I last tried in Vietnam and it blew my mind. They also have Ube Coffee and a wide variety of other Vietnamese and Southeast Asian-style drinks.

They have been working on this coffee shop for three years and opened to huge demand. La Ca Phe is at 740 Story Road. Instead of doing your typical Starbucks routine, come try out some unique and truly delicious coffee someplace new!

Source: Insta

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Rollati Ristorante - New 7,000 SQFT flagship restaurant coming to Downtown San Jose

There has been some debate lately on the state of Downtown San Jose. A viral video has been circulating around showing all the empty storefronts throughout Downtown, but it glossed over not only areas that are very active today but failed to point out the exciting new projects coming to our city's core. Rollati is definitely one of those projects.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal snagged an exclusive about the new restaurant. If you have a subscription you can access it here. Below are my notes.

Rollati Ristoranti is coming from the same team behind Left Bank Brasserie, LB Steak, Meso Modern Mediterranean and Camper in Menlo Park. It will be one of the anchor tenants on the ground floor of the Miro apartment towers across from City Hall. The restaurant is 7,000 SQFT large (massive) and will seat up to 189 people between an indoor dining room, bar and lounge, private dining rooms, a retail cafe, and outdoor space. A large outdoor dining area will be on both sides of the restaurant and accommodate up to 52 people.

The "retail cafe" definitely piqued my interest when I read the article. This will be a market that sells pastas, house-made sauces, and some prepared items like meatballs. It's catered towards the residents upstairs and Downtown workers that might want to quickly grab some items to take home.

The CEO of the company behind the restaurant described the menu as a "love letter to Italian-American cuisine" and stated that "a modern American-Italian restaurant hasn't been done in the caliber we're hoping." Bring it on I say!

Two sides of the restaurant space will have floor to ceiling windows to let in a lot of natural light and the vibe is going to be modern yet nostalgic.

The grand opening is slated for some time in September and dinner hours will be 5pm-9pm Sunday through Thursday and 5pm to 10pm on Friday and Saturday. For near real-time photos and additional info as it becomes available, follow The San Jose Blog on X.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, August 25, 2023

2nd Taco Bell *Cantina* opens in San Jose

If you have ever been to Taco Bell and wished there was something with a little more kick to wash those tacos down, today is your lucky day. A new Taco Bell Cantina opened next to the Century Theaters at Oakridge Mall. Unlike other Taco Bells, the "Cantina" variety serve alcohol including blended margaritas and beers and usually stay open until midnight.

It's a surreal experience getting your alcoholic beverages at a Taco Bell, but they were surprisingly good and affordable. I would take this over your typical movie theater food any day of the week.

There is one other Taco Bell Cantina at 19 Market St. in Downtown San Jose. I'll never forget that location as it's the only place where I personally experienced a crime. As I sat down to eat, a young man in a peacoat asked if he could have one of my Cheesy Gordita Crunch tacos. I said I'm good. Then he tried to trade me his peacoat for the taco. While tempting and likely a trade in my favor, I still said no. When I got up to tell one of the managers I was getting a bit uncomfortable, he grabbed my taco and ran away! He didn't even leave the peacoat. Thankfully customer service was excellent and Taco Bell Cantina staff immediately replaced my pilfered Cheesy Gordita Crunch taco at no additional charge. No police report was filed.

True random story aside, if you enjoy Taco Bell this is the best one to go to. Their fancy frozen margaritas can also be made without alcohol and they have nicer seating they your typical Taco Bell. This new one even has a patio with a fireplace.

Source: Fox KTVU

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Santana Row getting first Yeti store in Northern California and 3 new restaurants

Yeti specializes in innovative outdoor gear and apparel. They have a strong following of brand loyalists around the world and this happens to be their first store not just in Silicon Valley, but all of Northern California. The store is open today.

In other Santana Row news, Urban Plates will open on September 4th. The restaurants will focus on health-conscience seasonal dishes made from local ingredients. They have two other locations, Dublin (which I've been to and it's fantastic) and Sunnyvale.

In 2024, Fitoor--meaning passion in Arabic and Hindi--will bring an Indian grill and lounge to Santana Row. The team behind the new restaurant launched the Michelin-rated Indian restaurant ROOH in Palo Alto and San Francisco. They are planning an upscale twist on Indian cuisine with cocktails that have "dramatic flourishes" and ambiance they describe as sultry and luxe.

Last but not least, Suspiro is a new Peruvian and Spanish fusion restaurant by the same owners as El Jardin and Zazil. They are planning to capture the best flavors from both types of cuisine in an atmosphere that is visually captivating.

While many shopping districts are struggling right now, both Santana Row and Valley Fair seem to be more than holding their own. If only we had a solution to bypass the traffic getting into the area.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Egghead Sando opens new locations in San Jose and Santa Clara

One of my favorite sandwich places has opened two new locations. You can now enjoy Egghead Sando Cafe in South San Jose at 6201 Santa Teresa Blvd. and in Santa Clara at 3957 Rivermark Plaza (North San Jose area).

They are known for their fluffy egg-centric toasted brioche sandwiches, which are often paired with bacon, spam, or chicken. My go-to is the B.E.C. sandwich which has thick-cut bacon, an over medium egg, cheddar, and house sauce. They also have a specialty called the Eggy which is a poached egg on top of a potato puree topped topped with bacon and chives. It's a perfect complement to any sandwich, especially with tater tots. 

They're open from 7am to 3pm on the weekdays and 8am to 4pm on the weekends. Egghead also has two other locations off of Capital Expressway and in Downtown San Jose.

Source: The Merc

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Downtown San Jose restaurants playing musical chairs

Several Downtown restaurants are making moves to new locations and filling critical corner retail gaps on city blocks. 

Elyse--one of my favorite Downtown San Jose restaurants--has outgrown their previous spot (famous for House of Siam until 2014). They are moving to a much larger corner space previously occupied by Nemea Mediterranean. Elyse is the ultimate date-night spot, with an eclectic French Vietnamese menu and craft cocktails. Hopefully they will keep the romantic atmosphere from their old location.

Next door is Angkor Chef, a brand new Cambodian restaurant. A few doors down from that in the former Pizza Flora spot (RIP, another one of my favs) is Angelou's Mexican Grill. They are moving from North 2nd Street and upgrading to a full bar. If it's anything like the previous location they'll be open until 2 or 3am as well. 

Then we have Mas Pizza from Paseo de San Antonio which will be taking over the Mumbai Local restaurant and nightclub. Like most of the previously mentioned spots, they will be significantly increasing their footprint and the owner envisions turning the pizza spot into an upscale sports bar.

Last but not least, the space that used to be Tony DiMaggio's and Pizza Chicago will become El Cabron Kitchen & Cantina.

The Downtown San Jose food scene continues to evolve, so please support your local restaurants--especially the family-owned unique spots that make Downtown special.

Source: The Merc

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Top coffee shops in San Jose

SJ Today has a great guide to San Jose coffee shops--everything from from traditional American cafes, Vietnamese, Mexican, and even a famous Hawaiian coffee shop in Japantown where you can also get Spam musubi. I think I've been to most of the list with my favorites being Nirvana Soul, Academic Coffee, and Voltaire (all Downtown).

There was one great place that I didn't find on the list and that is Pastaleria by Adega (photo below). It's a Portuguese bakery featuring the famous Pastel de Nata egg custard dessert and many others, but they also have some strong espressos with enough caffeine to make you feel like you're bending time and space. Paired with a pastry, it's a great café worth adding to the list!

To see the full list of San Jose's top coffee shops, head over here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Santana Row Springs Forward with Party-Packed Events and Zesty Restaurant Openings

Santana Row has two brand new restaurants Zazil and Sauced BBQ & Spirits. Zazil is a re-imagining of Consuelo. They did an amazing job of blending indoor and outdoor areas and I really enjoyed the food and drinks there. Sauced is Santana Row's first real BBQ restaurant. You can learn about both restaurants and upcoming events below.

San Jose destination unveils brand-new eateries, community events for Spring

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” and that’s precisely what Santana Row is rolling out for visitors this season! A carpe diem approach to dining, playing and all the little moments in-between because life deserves to be celebrated.

Recent dining additions are offering a zesty range of flavors and palettes for foodies to experience on The Row. Sauced BBQ & Spirits kicked off the party recently with a mid-February opening, and its authentic, smoked meats and ‘southern charm’ style are already capturing hearts. Carnivorous guests can expect to come hungry, and leave happy after one of these meaty meals!

The fun continues with the recent debut of Zazil, a traditional Mexican dining concept curated by the respected Chef Yerika Muñoz Rodríguez. After earning an esteemed culinary background, Chef Yerika has gone back to her Mexico City-roots to bring this vibrant culinary expedition to life. The menu boasts traditional flavors and dishes from various culinary regions of Mexico!

Food isn’t the only reason to get your party poppers out, though - Santana Row’s calendar of events is jam-packed with Springtime celebrations! So, whether you’re looking for food or fun, Santana Row invites you to join the party.

Here are some of the action-packed events you can expect to enjoy in March-April:

Makers Market in The Park
Saturday, March 7 | 11:30 am - 5 pm | Santana Row Park
Saturday, April 4 | 11:30 am - 5 pm | Santana Row Park
Join us for a highly-curated marketplace of local makers and artisans! Enjoy live music as you shop for U.S. Handcrafted goods like jewelry, handbags, ceramics/glassware, soaps, succulents, candles & more! Stop into our Santana Row shop (adjacent to the market area) for libations and more locally-handcrafted goods.

Makers Market aims to bring you products that honor the ideals of American craftsmanship and are Modern + Heritage inspired. Join us in our mission of Rebuilding the Legacy of American Made, while supporting our local merchants and the community.

Spring Festival & Photos with the Easter Bunny
Saturday, March 28 | 10 am - 2 pm | Park Valencia
This EPIC Spring Festival will feature a mini petting zoo, live music, roaming entertainment, face painting, balloon twisting, arts & crafts, and a FREE digital photo with the hoppiest guy around: the Easter Bunny! *This event is rain or shine! In the event of rain, meet in the VIA directly behind Left Bank & Sino.*

Post your favorite Spring Festival memory on social media for a chance to win a special gift! Must include #SpringOnTheRow and tag @SantanaRow to enter.  All entries must be in by Sunday, March 29. A winner will be selected at random, and announced on Monday, March 30.

Spring Fling Wine Stroll benefitting the Junior League of San Jose
Wednesday, April 22 | 6 pm - 9 pm | Santana Row
Enjoy a night out at the Santana Row Spring Fling Wine Stroll! Relax and unwind with wine tastings from local growers, DIY flower crowns, light bites, live music, exclusive discounts from Santana Row shops, and more. Tickets are $40, and event proceeds will benefit Junior League of San Jose.

Voices for Autism Benefit Concert
Saturday, April 18 | 12 pm - 4 pm | Park Valencia
Join us for a day of fun, food, and music in Park Valencia! The Youth Leadership Committee is hosting the 5th Annual Voices for Autism Benefit Concert to increase autism awareness and raise money for the programs at Pacific Autism Center for Education (PACE). The concert will feature youth bands and other musical performances from students around the Bay Area!

This is a free event and perfect for families with children of any age. There will be live music, interactive autism awareness demonstrations, and select restaurants participating in fundraisers to raise money for PACE.
All proceeds from this event benefit Pacific Autism Center for Education. PACE provides high-quality behavioral therapy, education, and residential care for children and adults with autism.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Santana Row future plans

A new Silicon Valley Business Journal interview with a Federal Realty executive reveals ambitious plans for new eateries and development at the Row. Over the next few years, 13 new restaurants are planned! In 2020, we'll see Momosan Ramen & Sake and a new Hot Yoga studio.

Some of the current retail spaces will be converted for other uses. For example, the two-story Urban Outfitters will be broken up into smaller spaces for new retail and restaurants.

Federal Realty also plans to break ground on a five-story building this year with 258 residential units at 358 Hatton Street. Across the street, they are gearing up for Two Santana West, an office building with 375,000 SQFT of office space.

It sounds like Federal Realty still has their foot on the gas even though the original development plan has been completed. The area is going to look quite different with these changes and the Valley Fair Expansion having their grand opening this year.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Santana Row is getting Barry's Bootcamp, Meso Modern Mediterranean, and Blue Bottle Coffee

We finally know what will go into the ground floor of Santana Row's capstone building at the very end of the street. Barry's Bootcamp is opening a 4,454 SQFT gym next summer at 700 Santana Row. They are known for intense combinations of cardio and weight training. Next door will be Meso Modern Mediterranean. This is a new concept by the owners of Left Bank and LB Steak. It's a French take on Mediterranean food and the restaurant is being built from the ground up specifically for this location. Last but not least, the ever so popular Blue Bottle Coffee will fuel the thousands of tech workers at the row by Fall 2019.

It's a solid lineup that has something for everyone. For more details, check out the press release below.

First merchants to move into new office building and modern coffee shop fuels energy in the heart of Santana Row

SAN JOSE, Calif.—October 23, 2018—Federal Realty Investment Trust today announced the signing of Barry’s Bootcamp and Meso Modern Mediterranean in 700 Santana Row, a 319,000-square-foot, Class-A mixed-use office and retail building under construction at the intersection of Santana Row and Olsen Drive, followed closely by Blue Bottle Coffee moving into Santana Row’s, Oak Tree Lounge. Barry’s Bootcamp and Meso Modern Mediterranean will complete two of the ground floor spaces in 700 Santana Row, offering a world-renowned fitness concept and a vibrant eatery, while Blue Bottle Coffee will bring its energy to the heart of Santana Row.

"Santana Row is home to the newest and hottest shops, eateries and fitness offerings in the area. We’re thrilled to add Blue Bottle Coffee, Barry’s Bootcamp and Meso Modern Mediterranean to Santana Row’s unparalleled mix of world-class and innovative merchant concepts,” said Collette Navarrette, West Coast director of marketing at Federal Realty Investment Trust.

      World-renowned fitness concept, Barry's Bootcampcredited as the “best workout in the world” will open its 4,454 SF Santana Row studio in summer of 2019.   Barry’s is the original cardio & strength interval workout. Immersive & high energy, it’s the fastest & most fun way to transform your body and mind! Twenty years ago, the brand innovated group fitness by creating an efficient, and immersive workout experience. Since then, over 60,000 members of the Barry’s community visit the studio each week and use the brand’s signature method to burn fat, tone muscle and push themselves to reach their physical and mental potential.

      Meso Modern Mediterranean is the newest concept by the management team behind Left Bank Brasserie and LB Steak; two established and thriving Santana Row restaurants. Meso will be a one-of-a-kind immersive restaurant concept specially crafted for this location. The Meso experience will deliver genuine hospitality, a stunning environment, and a deliciously curated selection of Mediterranean fare, all in service of creating a modern oasis at the center of urban life on Santana Row.  “We are so thrilled to bring Meso to the diverse community on Santana Row. Meso, is an inspired and relaxed gathering place that offers a French take on Mediterranean cuisine. Inspired by our travels throughout the region, we are bringing to life the rich flavors and delicious lifestyle of the Mediterranean as a whole. We created Meso as a modern oasis, where it’s both a place of adventure and belonging, offering global perspectives with local ingredients – it is both the journey and the destination,” said Obadiah Ostergard, Chief Executive Officer.

Drawing from the rich culinary traditions of the region, Meso offers a fresh & contemporary perspective of alluring Mediterranean dishes. Meso’s distinctive signature dishes will have an emphasis on fish, rotisserie meats, grains, and an abundance of vegetables scented with saffron, za’atar, cinnamon, fennel, coriander, and nutmeg. Dishes include grilled octopus, paella, grilled lamb chops, “moussakah” eggplant, Greek salad, and seared day boat scallops.  Inspired by the nourishing & flavorful menu, Meso is a modern space that layers different craft traditions of the Mediterranean region for a highly textural, evolving, and refreshing experience. The space balances bold architectural elements with clean & modern interpretations of historical forms to create an atmosphere that cultivates a sense of discovery and wanderlust. This warm and vibrant eatery is scheduled to open in fall 2019.

      Blue Bottle Coffee, which started in the Bay Area in 2002, and has locations in California, New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Boston and Japan, has chosen Santana Row as their next home. The cafe will be easy to find, located in the heart of Santana Row, and nestled under a beautiful oak tree. Blue Bottle plans to open in the spring of 2019 and will offer an indoor/outdoor cafe where guests can enjoy drip coffee and espresso, as well as a selection of food, including pastries, Liège waffles, toasts and more. 

For more information about Santana Row, visit

About Santana RowOffering 1.7 million square feet of retail, office, hotel and residential, Santana Row is located in San Jose, California; the hub for high-tech innovation and development. Featuring 615 luxury rental homes, 219 privately owned condos, 376,000 square feet of office space, over 50 shops, 30 restaurants, a boutique hotel and a movie theatre.  Santana Row is a property of (NYSE:FRT), headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit

About Federal Realty
Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Founded in 1962, Federal Realty’s mission is to deliver long term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply. Its expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities. Federal Realty's 104 properties include approximately 3,000 tenants, in approximately 24 million square feet, and over 2,500 residential units. 

Federal Realty has increased its quarterly dividends to its shareholders for 50 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty is an S&P 500 index member and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties,

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cinnaholic rolls out San Jose location

A rapidly growing vegan cinnamon roll bakery has officially opened Downtown at 115 East San Carlos. This is Cinnaholic's fifth location in California. Each gourmet cinnamon roll can be topped with one of 30+ frosting flavors and a selection of over 20 toppings. For more info on Cinnaholic, check out the press release below.

New location will soon grace taste buds across San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. – There is good news for San Jose residents with a sweet tooth.

Cinnaholic, the gourmet cinnamon roll bakery acclaimed for serving innovative, gourmet cinnamon roll creations, has announced that its San Jose location will open on April 27 at 115 East San Carlos Street. The San Jose bakery is the fifth in California.

The grand opening signifies meaningful and continued growth for the gourmet cinnamon roll chain. The new San Jose location joins the current locations in California, Texas, Georgia, Nevada and Florida. Cinnaholic gained national attention after the company was featured on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank.” The brand was recently featured in Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the Top Eight Franchises that have appeared on “Shark Tank.” Cinnaholic began franchising in 2014 and currently has over 40 units in development, including Cleveland, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, Florida, and Edmonton, Alberta.

“There is a tremendous amount of excitement to serve the award-winning cinnamon rolls to the people of San Jose,” said Xicayan Posadas, who has been in the food industry since he was young, helping his mother run her catering truck at a young age and then working as a bakery manager. Xicayan owns and operates the new bakery with his wife, Lizzeth. “Our delicious, vegan cinnamon rolls will fulfill a need for a healthier, sweet treat that locals have been asking for.”

A cinnamon roll experience unlike any other, customers can choose from a variety of Cinnaholic’s signature frosting flavors and toppings to create their very own, mouthwatering cinnamon roll experience. Customers can expect nothing less than the highest quality ingredients, as the vegan bakery franchise was founded upon a commitment that all ingredients must be animal-free and free of dairy, lactose, eggs and cholesterol.

“Xicayan and Lizzeth are the perfect team to grow the Cinnaholic brand in San Jose,” said Shannon Radke, co-founder of Cinnaholic. “Their experience in the food industry is outstanding, and they truly understand the Cinnaholic concept and business model.”

For more information on Cinnaholic, visit

About Cinnaholic
Founded in 2009 in Berkeley, California, Cinnaholic is the only gourmet bakery that allows customers to completely customize cinnamon rolls with more than 30 frosting flavors and over 20 topping choices. Each Cinnaholic cinnamon roll is 100% vegan and free of dairy, lactose, eggs or cholesterol, allowing guests to enjoy their mouth-watering creations without worrying about certain dietary or allergy restrictions.

To learn more about Cinnaholic franchise opportunities, call (404) 844-8661. For more information about Cinnaholic bakeries, visit

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mendocino Farms opens tomorrow at Santana Row

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a media preview for the newest Mendocino Farms restaurant, which is conveniently located at the capstone end of Santana Row next to the CineArts Theater. This is only the second Northern Californian location of the extremely popular LA chain--the other being in the Pruneyard in Campbell.

Mendocino Farms is tucked in a 2,822 SQFT space formerly occupied by Thea. That may not sound very large but the soaring 30-foot ceiling and outdoor patio make the space feel expansive. The vertical height is so impressive that they somehow manged to fit a full-sized living tree inside of the restaurant.

Also notable are the craft beers and local wines on the menu. Not often would you find that in a sandwich shop. However, based on what I sampled here this is one of the few places I have been to serving up sandwiches worthy enough to be accompanied by a glass of Napa wine.

Their "Real Old-School Pastrami" is the flagship sandwich of the season. It comes with house hickory smoked pastrami, celery root slaw, butter pickles, and a delicious triple mustard spread. This was the single best Pastrami sandwich I have ever had in my life. Other popular items are the "Kurobuta Pork Belly Banh Mi," a premium take on the Vietnamese classic, and the "Not So Fried Mary's Chicken," which is a virtual fried chicken sandwich with roasted free range chicken breast topped with "krispies," herb aioli, mustard pickle slaw, and pickled red onions.

There is a healthy spin to many of the items on the menu. They even have an "Impossible Taco Salad" with a plant-based Impossible Burger meat for chorizo. Also on the menu are artisinal salads, soba noodles, cous-cous, and premium sodas.

The prices are on par with what you would expect for Santana Row (not cheap). I can say you will get what you pay for in quality and you won't leave hungry.

The official grand opening for Mendocino Farms is tomorrow and they are well worth checking out.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Academic Coffee Grand Opening

Academic Coffee has graduated from being a pop-up at Five Points (awesome bar by the way). They have opened a proper coffee shop at 499 S. 2nd Street and are hosting a grand opening event today from 7am-2pm. To celebrate they are offering buy one, get one free drinks all day long. Next month their hours will be extended to 7am-7pm every day. I'm pretty excited to have another non-chain, quality coffee shop Downtown!

There will be a short ribbon cutting ceremony at 11am with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, State Assemblymember Ash Kalra, County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Mayor Sam Liccardo, and Councilmember Raul Peralez.

For more info and photos, head over to their Facebook Page.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Starbird: super-premium fast food launches in Silicon Valley

Starbird is a restaurant with a very unique beginning as it was actually created by a restaurant consulting company. What better way to show your customers you know what you're talking about than to create your own restaurant from scratch and practice what you preach? They invited me to come and try out their food and I have been back there a couple times since.

I'm not a huge fan of fast food (Chick-Fil-A and The Habit are my two exceptions), but have to say that Starbird does an outstanding job. They use Petaluma Farms free-range chicken, organic eggs, fresh-baked bread, and they make all of their sauces in house. Despite the high-end ingredients, the prices are still reasonable and the food comes out quickly.

My favorite item so far is the Free Range Ranch sandwich--crispy chicken, slaw, bacon, pimento cheese, and Greek yogurt ranch. They also have chicken tenders (the maple aioli was my favorite dipping sauce), wraps with an international twist, salads, breakfast sandwiches, and a house made chocolate-dipped ice cream cone with crushed toffee or almonds.

The decor is impressive for fast food. Starbird really put in a high attention to detail inside and out. The interior was clean and modern with some nice features like the plants in the middle of a communal table. They have a nice patio with plenty of tables and creative lighting. I can't say the seating was super comfortable, but it's not supposed to be for fast food.

Starbird also baked in the latest tech available for restaurants. You can always see the status of your order by looking at a large flat-screen so theoretically they don't have to shout out names or numbers. There is even a smartphone app that allows you to order, park, and have the food delivered to your car (think drive-through 2.0). It really seems to embody everything you would expect from a new fast food restaurant launched in Silicon Valley--not just the tech but the quality of the food, atmosphere, and the desire to innovate as well as challenge people's perceptions of fast food.

The first Starbird is located at 1241 El Camino Real in Sunnyvale. The owners are planning to open 9 more locations in Silicon Valley. For more information, head over to the Starbird website.