Mendoza’s on McKee is the place to be!

Chicken Enchiladas with rice,beans and salad

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Did you know….

The history of enchiladas can be found pre-Colombian times when the Mayas first invented the tortilla. In the time of the Aztecs, they would wrap tortillas around small fish or other bits of meat. There is also evidence that they would fry the tortillas in grease, then put them on a plate and pour salsa over the top, add cheese, then another tortilla, cheese, salsa and so on. They would then top the stacked enchilada with a fried egg and some lettuce.

The history of enchiladas is actually quite interesting. It’s progressional history, I might say. We have taken an ancient dish, gave it a name; (in 1885, the word enchilada first appeared in print, meaning “chili filled”) and transformed it. We now stuff tortillas with cheese, shrimp, beef, pork, and the most famous of all, the chicken enchiladas. We have taken something from the past, and brought it through to the future. The Tex Mex enchiladas that are drowning in red sauce are a far cry from the Aztec times, but the enchilada has survived anyway.(claimjumper.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Mendoza’s Restaurant – Mckee Rd. San Jose,Ca 

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

Carne Asada Burrito, Chicken Enchildas

If you live in California or Texas then you definitely have had your fair share of Mexican food.

You probably have a few favorite Mexican restaurants that you dine at on a regular basis; and you even have your favorite dishes that you order regardless of the Mexican dinner location.

Maybe you like dry burritos, or wet burritos, or taquitos or tacos…

Bottom line, Mexican food is delicious and here in the Bay Area we have many restaurants to choose from and you will see me write about my fav’s here and again.

Today we will talk about one of these restaurants close to my stomachs heart and that is Mendoza’s Restaurant in San Jose, Ca.

Let’s talk about it…

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Fillmore San Francisco Jazz with Pizzazz!

BBQ Oysters, Seafood Gumbo

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Did you know….

Though jazz and classic blues are really early twentieth-century black music innovations, certain characteristics found in jazz do have their roots in much earlier musical traditions. Call and response, improvisation, the appropriation and reinvention of elements from Western art music: black music in the twentieth-century has never held a monopoly on these musical practices. For instance, the era American historians call “antebellum” (roughly 1815-1861) holds much of interest to researchers looking for the deep roots of jazz.

There was one condition that had to be met for a black tradition unique to North America to develop. There had to be a creole population in place, i.e. a population of blacks born not in Africa but in America. Historically, and for various complicated reasons, slaves in the United States began reproducing their numbers after the closing of the African slave trade in 1808. The creole birthrate actually climbed in the United States, as opposed to most Latin and Caribbean American colonies. Unlike in Brazil or Cuba direct African infusions into black American culture were much less pronounced in the early and middle nineteenth-century. After 1808, blacks in North America began remembering–as well as forgetting–African musical traditions, reinventing them to fit their needs in an entirely different American context. This is an important thing to remember, especially if you hold with Amiri Baraka that “Blues People” have always been curiously American “Negroes.”(allaboutjazz.com)

Today’s Vendors

New Orleans Catering – Seafood Gumbo

Aroma Concessions – BBQ Oysters

Fillmore Jazz Festival – San Francisco, Ca

Average Cost

Free for the Festival. Beer $8 and food venues vary but around $10-$12

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

There will be different food vendors every year so go with taste buds and enjoy the shows!

Sunny weekends are great for barbecue and festivals!

This 4th of July weekend is one of the best festivals in the Bay Area held off Fillmore street in San Francisco..

What festival? The Fillmore Jazz Festival with all types of live Jazz music with great food and alcoholic beverages galore!

Let’s talk about it…

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The Music goes Boom Boom Boom at the Redwood Room!

Pastor Tacos

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Did you know….

The English translation of al pastor is “in the style of the shepherd.” Mexican shepherds adapted the Lebanese style of spit-roasting lamb, using pork instead, and al pastor tacos became a beloved Mexican food the world over.

Tacos al pastor are made from thin strips of pork that have been marinated in spices and chiles and then stacked onto a long spit called a trompo. In many — but not all — cases, a pineapple and onion are placed on top of the spit. As the meat cooks, the outside layer gets crispy from exposure to the heat. The taco-maker shaves off the outer layers straight into tortillas, and might top the pork with sliced pineapple, onion, cilantro and salsa.(huffingtonpost.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Redwood Room – Clift Hotel – SF

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

9.5

Recommended Dishes: 

Tacos, Any Appetizers

Happy 4th of July everyone!

We just spent the day at the Fillmore Jazz Festival here in San Francisco and boy was that a blast!

Now after taking a nap in our room at the Clift Hotel

I decided to come down for a drink and a small appetizer at the Redwood Room while my wife is sound asleep upstairs.

She’s light weight when it comes to alcohol and boy did we get our fill at the Festival.

I’ll write more about the festival in my next blog.For now, let’s talk about the Redwood Room

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I’ll Drive in Traffic Bumper to Bumper for a Massive Meal at Claim Jumpers!

Half-rack of Baby Back Pork Ribs paired with your choice of Grilled, Fried Shrimp Enbrochette

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Did you know….

Founder, Craig Nickoloff, opened the original Claim Jumper Restaurant in Los Alamitos, California on September 27, 1977. Today, there are 43 locations throughout Arizona, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.

Claim Jumper Restaurants are popular with a large audience including families, children, seniors and business professionals. Our friendly environment is ideal for celebrating special occasions, hosting a business lunch or gathering for a delicious meal with friends and family.

Open daily for lunch and dinner, Claim Jumper offers a selection of freshly prepared items using only the finest ingredients available. Favorites include Certified Angus Beef® and USDA Choice steaks, fresh fish, rotisserie chicken, baby back pork ribs, fresh baked pot pies, specialty salads, wood-fired pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, burgers and more. Claim Jumper’s baked goods and desserts including our Six-Layer Chocolate Motherlode Cake, I Declair, Scratch Carrot Cake, Jumper’s Mud Pie and deliciously rich cream cheese pies are popular favorites with our guests. (claimjumper.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Claim Jumpers – Fremont,Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

Ribs, Shrimp, Pizza, Pot Pie

So it’s my son’s graduation from college and man am I stoked!

Time for the hen to leave the nest and fly on his own..

Time to get some hair on his chest..

Time to celebrate his great accomplishment!

One place that we hold our big celebrations is at Claim Jumpers in Fremont,Ca.

Great food, large portions and a massive size restaurant for plenty of room to enjoy with family and friends.

Let’s talk about it…

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I’ll get to acting like Billy Bob Thornton for a Steak at Morton’s!

RibEye Steak

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Did you know….

While the beef cow is still alive, different parts of its body perform more work or bear more weight than other parts. All of this strain and exercise can make those areas more lean and tough. The more tender cuts of meat are located in sections of the cow that didn’t perform as much work or bear as much weight, such as the upper rib cage. This is the section of beef rib which provides such popular cuts as prime rib, standing rib roast, bone-in rib steaks and the boneless rib eye steak. When the rib section is trimmed but not separated, it is sold as a standing rib roast. If the rib section is separated into individual ribs but not deboned, it is sold as rib steak. Only when the rib bone is removed and other undesirable tail pieces are trimmed away can it be sold as a rib eye.

Because a ribeye steak contains significant ribbons of saturated fat or marbling, it become especially tender during the cooking process. The fat between the muscle tissue slowly melts into the meat, creating a very smooth and satisfying texture. This is why rib eye steaks are ideal for direct heat cooking methods such as grilling, broiling or pan frying. Slow roasting a rib eye steak would only cause the fat to render out of the meat, leaving a very tough and dry piece of beef in its wake. Most ribeye steak recipes call for at least a two step cooking process; a quick hot sear, followed by a slower direct heating method. Steakhouse cooks typically grill ribeyes on a grate over hot coals or gas burners.(wisegeek.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Morton’s Steakhouse – San Jose, Ca

Average Cost

Above $61 for full dinner menu unless you can get there for Happy Hour at bites start at $7

Rating (1-10)

8.5

Recommended Dishes: 

Ribeye, Crabcakes- ask for extra mayo

Miniature Crab Cakes Served with mustard mayonnaise sauce

So it’s Happy Hour time and I am in the mood for something elegant in flavor today and delicate to the bite.

What better place to have a couple of drinks in a ritzy setting than Morton’s Steakhouse in Downtown San Jose.

Time for some live action eating! Let’s talk about it..

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You’ll need a Romantic Room after Dinner at Pasta Moon!

skirt steak, salmon, lasagna

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Did you know….

Cross-cultural influence on the early identity of the Italian peninsula was amplified by Italy’s proximity to the great kingdoms of the Etruscans, Greeks and, later, the Saracens from the Arab empire making contact across the Mediterranean. Though the origin of the Etruscan people is uncertain, the major contribution of the Etruscans to Italian cuisine was a kind of porridge eventually called pulmentum, a mushy-grain dish that was a predecessor to the cornmeal-based polenta popular throughout Italy and internationally (once corn arrived in Europe from America). The maritime Greek nation popularized the kind of fish chowder recognizably called bouillabaisse in French and brodetto throughout the south of Italy (Root 1971). The Arabs were especially influential in the south and especially Sicily, where the origins of dried pasta production can be traced. A predecessor to the modern lasagna, called lagana, existed in ancient Rome and points to an older customs of making dough out of flour and water, but the technology of the kind of dried pasta in extensive use today has clear Arab origins (Capatti and Montanari 2003). Other notable imported cultures include the Germanic Lombards who left their mark in the north of Italy as well as the Hapsburg Spanish influence especially on the rich and savory aspects of Neapolitan cuisine (centered around the city southwestern port city of Naples) .(randomhistory.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Pasta Moon – Half Moon Bay

Average Cost

$31-$60

Rating (1-10)

9.5

Recommended Dishes: 

Lasagna, Skirt Steak

So it’s been a long time coming and me and my fiance are finally getting married…..

Time for the rehearsal dinner and we wanted to make sure we ate somewhere romantic and elegant that would set the occasion off perfectly.

Thanks to our dear friend Tigist, we found a perfect spot for a luxurious experience of decadence and scrumptious grub at Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay!

Let’s talk about it..

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Talk to me later when I’m eating a Baconator!

image

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Did you know….

The history of Wendy’s began with the dream of one man: Dave Thomas. Born in 1932 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, he was adopted at birth by Rex and Auleva Thomas. When Dave was 5 years old his adoptive mother died, and he spent a great deal of time with his grandmother while his father traveled around the country looking for work. At the age of 12 Dave found work at The Regas, a restaurant in Knoxville, Tennessee. He lost the job, but this experience would have a lasting impact on him and his dream of starting up his own restaurant.

History of Wendy’s – The Beginning
History of Wendy’sAfter Dave lost his job at The Regis he got another job at Walgreens as a soda jerk, but that didn’t last either after his boss found out he was not yet 16 years old. These setbacks didn’t deter Dave however, and when he was 15 he and his father ended up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Dave landed a job at the Hobby House Restaurant. His family would relocate but Dave stayed behind to continue working at the Hobby House Restaurant, dropping out of high school in the process.

At the age of 18 he joined the Army and when he came back resumed working in the Hobby House Restaurant. In 1956 Dave, together with his boss Phil Clauss, inaugurated The Ranch House Restaurant and it was at this point that he first met Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the three entered into an agreement and Dave ended up owning four KFC restaurants. During this time, the KFC branches were struggling, and Sanders, impressed with Dave’s work at the Hobby House restaurant, offered him a business partnership deal if he could turn them around. Not only did Dave manage to make a profit with the restaurants, but he made enough money to open more restaurants.

In 1968, at the age of 35, Dave sold his KFC restaurants back to Kentucky Fried Chicken and the following year, finally realized his long cherished dream of opening his very own restaurant. In 1969, Wendy’s Old-Fashioned Hamburger Restaurant was opened in Columbus, Ohio.(fastfoodmenuprices.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Wendy’s – San Jose, Ca 95116

Average Cost

Under $10

Rating (1-10)

8.5

Recommended Dishes: 

Son of the Baconator, Baconator, Any of their burgers, Chili

If you love fast food then I’m sure you have your favorites..

Taco Bell for those crunchy delicious tacos, McDonald’s for those ridiculous scientific created fries or Popeye’s for that delicious creole style chicken.

The main issue with fast food is the eerie feeling in your stomach you feel after. It is usually so good while you are gorging it down your throat but an an hour or so later you feel like gagging.

I usually feel like this with most fast food places but there is one place that I go for a fast food burger that makes me feel like I grilled the burger myself and tastes even better than most gourmet restaurants.

That’s Wendy’s Old Fashioned Burgers! Let’s talk about it..

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I’ll Place all Bets on Grilled Chicken on a French Baguette!

Southwest Chicken Sandwich - Grilled Chicken Breast, Crushed Avocado, Tomato, Onion, Cilantro, Jalapeño Peppers and Chipotle Mayo on a Toasted French Baguette

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Did you know….

Southwestern cuisine—from the region that covers New Mexico, Arizona, the bottom of Colorado, and Utah—looks and sounds a lot like Mexican, born of Spanish influence on indigenous tribes like the Hopi and Zuni. It relies heavily on regionally available produce in its fresh and preserved forms: squashes, blue corn, chiles like the Hatch and Chimayo. Green chile is king; sopaipillas, a kind of fried bread, are as commonly found as tortillas south of the border. Preserved in amber until the early ’80s, Southwestern cuisine was mostly a tourist attraction to non-natives—just another stop on the road trip after the Grand Canyon.(firstwefeast.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Cheesecake Factory – San Jose, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

Southwest Chicken Sandwich, Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp, Chicken Potstickers, Spinach Dip, Cheesecake!!

It’s Friday people and time to get rid of the exhaustion from the work week and begin the weekend relaxation!

Today may be a burger night..a pizza night or maybe a salad night.

But if you are in the mood for a combo of slight spice, mixed with tender chicken and a baguette crunch that locks in all of this phenomenal entertainment then the Southwest Chicken Sandwich at Cheesecake Factory is the choice for you.

Let’s talk about it…

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Words can’t express, Thai food at its best!

Tom Kha Kai, Calamari in Garlic Sauce, Chicken in Thai Basil

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Did you know….

Coconut oil, high in saturated fat, has many a use in the kitchen from frying to candy making while coconut milk is a highlight to many cuisines characteristic of the tropical islands. Coconut milk is popular with curry dishes, quite often infused with the spice. In Burma, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand curry and coconut milk go together like butter and toast in the Western world. It’s a pretty simple recipe. Coconut milk is cooked over a high heat so that the milk and cream break down allowing the oil to separate. The curry paste is added at that point and mixed well, and then all other ingredients from seasonings to vegetables and meat are added and left to simmer to steep and converge. A delicious dish!

Coconuts trees bloom up to thirteen times a year and though it takes a year for the coconuts to mature, new fruit is constantly being produced. One full-blossomed tree may produce 60-180 coconuts in a single harvest.(milk.gourmetrecipe.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Siam Thai Cuisine – Cupertino, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Tom Kha Kai Soup, Calamari in Garlic, Chicken with Thai Basil

If you like spicy flavorful food then Thai food is a delectable treat for you!

The savory nectar of rich and exotic flavors is what makes Thai food one of my favorite dishes!

One of my favorite places to go to get my injection of this sinful pleasure is Siam Thai Cuisine in Cupertino, Ca. 

Let’s talk about it…

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You’ll need a Bib and a Fork to Eat this Pulled Pork!

Roasted Pulled Pork with house made bbq sauce & celery seed slaw on a burger bun

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Did you know….

The process of smoking pork was created when the Spanish settlers first arrived in the United States. They watched natives building a smoky fire underneath their game, and took notice of how the process kept bugs away and preserved the meat. This is said to be the first known barbecue process. Over time, the process evolved, with the migration of Africans and Europeans to the South. Pigs became a main source of meat for people in the Southern colonies, due to their cheap price tag and easy maintenance.

Paired with a little barbeque sauce, cole slaw, and a bun, pulled pork makes for one of the best sandwiches out there. In Mexican cuisine, pulled pork is refered to as carnitas and is paired with onions, cilantro, beans, and guacamole, and makes for a delicious taco.(thedailymeal.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Flavor – Half Moon Bay, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

8

Recommended Dishes: 

Pulled Pork Sandwich(Ask for BBQ Sauce on the side), Any of the burgers(Ask them to add you favorite sauces, mayo, mustard and ketchup)

Something about pork makes most people happy…

Maybe it’s because of the nursery rhyme “This little piggy went to market..”

Maybe it’s because of the great acting a pig did in Charlotte’s Web..

Or maybe it’s because we just love the oink sound a pig makes..

Whatever it is; pork can have people that are fast asleep running to the kitchen for that aroma lingering delicious smell of a this great tasting savory meat of desired sensation!

Let’s talk pork sandwich!

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