Tuesday, September 3

Dishcrawl Downtown San Jose

My second event in the South Bay Dishcrawl series was last week's event in downtown San Jose. I found Dishcrawl so nice, I went twice.

San Pedro Square Market has been my stomping ground lately and it's always nice to see it in different ways. The group met up at Vino Vino, a wine bar on the outside corner of the market. I found a table set for four but occupied by three so I figured life was sending me a sign to fill in that empty seat. I made friends with three cool guys, one of which turned out to be a talented photographer, Sean Whitmore, who gave me photo tips for the night.

The weather was great for serving appetizers in the outdoor seating area. A simple mixed greens salad with three types of crostini. My favorite one was the pesto and smoked salmon
Left: smoked salmon with pesto
Middle: Brie, fig jam, and proscuitto. I think mine is missing brie. *sad face*
Right: Bruscetta

The next stop was On a Roll for Vietnamese food. It's nice to see Vietnamese food represented in a decidedly non-ethnic neighborhood.

This salad with fresh green mangoes tossed in a vinaigrette was simply delicious. Fresh ingredients, interesting textures, subtle citrusy dressing. Exactly what I know and love about Vietnamese food. As they say on Facebook, "Like."

I was impressed with this pork banh mi. Tastes almost legit. The spring rolls and peanut sauce were also really good. I have high standards for Vietnamese food because my palate has had a lifetime of training in this food category. I can see that these flavors and textures were generalized for a more American set of taste buds but it was all still good.

The third stop was at SP2, the new kid on the block. Our group was really impressed by the elegance and grandeur of the decor. The chef also came out to introduce the food - classy touch.

SP2 served a trio of their manchego and cheddar mac and cheese, the signature ginger soy glazed ribs, and roasted beet and watermelon salad. I'm sure people are still talking about, thinking about, and drooling over those ribs. They were fall-off-the-bone-and-into-your-mouth good.

I had a really strong hunch that Dishcrawl would choose Treatbot for dessert. Treatbot and Sam's Chowder Mobile are the only trucks I will buy from now. I know I know...expand your horizons and etc but sometimes the stomach wants what it wants. And I want Treatbot.

Treatbot changes up their flavor offerings and on this night I tried the strawberry and nutella flavor. It was good enough but didn't wow me. I was expecting something more rich and creamy and this bordered on sorbet texture. I'm waiting on bated breath for Treatbot to bring back the ice cream that made me fall in love with them - black marble raspberry. Kudos for finally catching their karaoke night though. Here's a question: How did the Treatbot truck get into the building? Was it built around the truck?!? These are life's most pressing questions.

So proud of Dishcrawl for bringing August's event back to their hometown and headquarters. I have eaten at every place on this itinerary before but never tried these specific menu items so there was still something new for me to experience. My favorite dishes of the night were the salad and banh mi from On a Roll and the ribs from SP2. Similar to the Sunnyvale event, Dishcrawl provided no shortage of fun and great networking opportunities. I network alot for work, for my MBA, and at food conferences. Sometimes its nice to just mingle over a planned event with an intimate group of strangers. Afterall, on a Tuesday night, who really wants to do more work after work? Not I.

Catch me at the Campbell Dishcrawl on 9/17 and watch out for my recap of that event and the company to round out the Dishcrawl series. Buy your tickets here.

In order of appearance: 

And because no one was stopping me, I took some practice shots of SP2.




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