Monday, July 8

Cafe Stritch - San Jose

"When did downtown San Jose become such a popular place to hang out?" my friends and I wondered as we sat on the sidewalk dining area of Cafe Stritch on South First Street. Many of us had driven through some high traffic streets on our way there, passing by what looked like a Latino concert, and some very loud open mic night karaoke singing down the street.

I don't remember what business used to occupy the space that is now Cafe Stritch because I never went down to this area, mainly because I did not want to get shanked to death. That's right, the club Wet used to be on this street and it closed down because a brawl broke out and I think someone died. Fortunately now South First Street has remade itself to become it's own district, SoFA, what?! Is downtown even big enough for districts? In any case, I like it. I can now eat with friends at a sidewalk area and have no concerns about my safety.

I've been to Cafe Stritch twice and I really like it. You can expect to read a positive summary in the Overall Impressions at the end of this post.  

($8) An Old Fashioned -  an old drink made popular again by Don Draper, that dashing Mad Man.

This drink has no name. I asked the bartender to make me something fruity with St. Germain (my favorite alcohol of all time) and she made me this passion fruit mixture. Loved it!

($2) Espresso without the ubiquitous picture of a leaf drawn with foam.

($7) Cubano sliders - these pork sliders were pretty good. A bit on the dry side but still tasty.

($8) The ever popular chicken and waffles. I highly recommend these. If there's one thing you should get here, it is the chicken and waffles. Not as good as Roscoe's but still really good and comes in a large portion. For $8, it's a good deal.

($7) I believe this is the Butcher's Delight Pizza - It tasted mostly like a sausage pizza with a lot of sausage.

($7) Steamed Mussels - Next to the chicken and waffles, this was my second favorite dish of this order. I only wish there were more mussels but it is actually a fair amount for $7. It's a bit odd that the small plates price is only $1 away from the chicken and waffle or the pizza price.

 On another night, we got the Jambalaya which was actually pretty good. A bit sparse on the seafood but not too bad.

 ($7) Stritch Fizz - Gin, lemon, pineapple, and soda. This is too sour. I also don't like gin, which I forgot about until I had this drink.

My friend who ordered this drink with Maraschino liquer also didn't like the drink. Apparently the only time we liked our drinks was when we ordered beer or when I had the bartender customize.

The first time I dined here, I loved it. We ordered at the counter, brought a number sign back to our table, and food came out quickly. It was delicious and for a good price.
The second time we ate here, there was a live jazz event which took up the entire restaurant and we were served outside. Service was slow, my sliders took a long time to come out, and there was a salad mix up in our group's order. Cafe Stritch comped the salad and by the end, made amends for any service issues that had happened. Because I had a good first experience here, I didn't think too much about the mix ups the second night. It did not ruin my time. They do have a few kinks to work out with their service but I still recommend this place. The food is good. Everything seems to cost about $7-$8 each. The ambiance is relaxing. You are not going to be wowed by anything you eat, drink, or see here but you will have a good time and you will still have money left at the end of the night. Sometimes, that's all that matters, right? I think downtown San Jose needs more places like this. Cafe Stritch is one of my new favorite hangouts.

Cafe Stritch on Yelp Cafe Stritch on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I love Stitch. The food not so much. I had a cold burger that had uncooked bacon on it. Ew! After I complained about the burger the owner got my email and said he would email me a gift certificate since I didnt want to order something else on the menu. Unfortunately he never emailed back. Ive had a couple more food mishaps after that.I still love the bar, ambiance and live music. Great place, just not for food



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