San Jose Journals

Out and about in Downtown San Jose

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A March 2001 trip to San Jose by Cheryl Morgan

Tech Museum of Innovation Photo, San Jose, California More Photos
Quote: I spend getting on for half the year in the San José area so I know the area quite well. What is more I have had to make a study of tourist attractions as part of my involvement in staging the 2002 World Science Fiction Convention (ConJosé) in the city.

Out and about in Downtown San Jose

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Overview

Foreign Guest Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
San José is the capital of Silicon Valley. As such it is only appropriate that one of its main attractions should be a museum of technology. The Tech is a fun place for geeks of all ages. In the food line I particularly like Mongo's. This is Mongolian Barbecue with a difference. You can really get inventive with your meal here. I also highly recommend Inca Gardens for something really different. Finally, a quick word about the Plaza De Cesar Chavez. First, having a statue of an Aztec god is seriously cool. And second the fountains are really useful on a hot summer's day. I will be adding to this journal piecemeal as Kevin and I get to try out more of San José's attractions. ...Read More

Mongo's

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Restaurant

Mongo's Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
Hopefully all of you are familiar with the concept of a Mongolian Barbecue restaurant. If not the basic idea is that you pick out your own food which is then stir-fried right in front of your eyes on a huge circular hot plate, thus supposedly imitating how Mongol warriors cooked on their shields around a camp fire. The great thing about Mongolian Barbecue is that you get to eat precisely what you want. You just go up to the counter, select a bowl full of meat, vegetables, sauces and spices, and away you go. The bad thing about it is that usually you are limited to the standard ingredients of Chinese cooking. Not any more. Enter Mongo's: a fusion Mongolian Barbecue. The idea behind fusion cuisine...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 9, 2001

Mongo's
83 S. Second Street
San Jose, California
(408) 280-1738

The City Grill & Bar

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Restaurant | "The City Grill & Bar"

The City Grill & Bar Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
I had lunch at the Hilton one day after a morning spent touring facilities with other members of the ConJosé staff. There were 10 of us, we had walked a long way, and a few of us had not had breakfast. That translates to a lot of ravenous people, which ought to be just what a restaurant needs. The City Grill & Bar is a classic American style restaurant serving burgers, pasta, sandwiches and a variety of mainly Italian-inspired other main courses. As you might expect from a major hotel restaurant, the surroundings are very pleasant and comfortable. The menu is extensive, and quite a few of us found it hard to decide what to choose. Out of the 10 of us I think we ordered 8 different dishes. ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on April 9, 2001

The City Grill & Bar
300 Almaden Blvd
San Jose, California 95110
(408) 287-2100

San Jose

Restaurant | "The Coffee Garden - DoubleTree Hotel"

Quote:
The DoubleTree has several restaurants, but the only one I have eaten in is the Coffee Garden. This is the low end of the hotel's offering, but even so it tries hard to be innovative. You look at the menu and think, "oh, these people are trying to do a fusion version of an American grill". There are all the usual sandwich-type meals, but with a few strange twists. I had a grilled salmon burger, which apparently came with horseradish sauce. I had eaten all of the salmon, and most of the rest of the meal, before I discovered the horseradish spread on the other half of the bun, hidden underneath a very large lettuce leaf. Why it was there and not with the salmon I do not know. Some of the others in...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 9, 2001

San Jose
2050 Gateway pl
San Jose, California 95110
(408) 453-4000

Trial's Pub

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Restaurant | "Trials"

Trial's Pub Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
I'm not sure that I would have found this place had it not been for the journal on San José by my fellow guide, cls223. I'm very grateful to her for the information because in 2002 I shall be welcoming a few hundred of my fellow Brits to the city and I know that the first question that they will ask is, "where can I get a decent beer?" Trials is a British pub in the heart of San José. It is close to the law courts (hence the name) and is therefore a couple of blocks away from the city centre. It is, however, right on the light rail line, and that runs all night, so you can get home regardless of how many pints you have had. The owners, who ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 9, 2001

Trial's Pub
265 N 1st Street
San Jose, California 95113
408 947 0497

Peggy Sue's

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Restaurant

Peggy Sue's Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
This is what McDonalds ought to be like. Ok, let me elaborate on that. Peggy Sue's is a traditional American burger bar located in San José's San Pedro Square restaurant district. The type of food it serves would be instantly recognisable to anyone who has ever eaten at that place with the big yellow M. You get burgers with a variety of fillings; you get fries in a variety of shapes; you get milk shakes and coffee. You even get to order at the counter, just like you do in any fast food outlet. So what is the difference? Firstly what you get is food, not processed organic produce that has been scientifically optimised to p...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 9, 2001

Peggy Sue's
29 North San Pedro
San Jose, California 95110
(408) 298-6750

Inca Gardens

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Restaurant

Inca Gardens Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
So how many Inca restaurants are there in the world? How many of those are outside Peru? And what is Inca cooking anyway? Fear not, dear reader. Inca Gardens will not feed you the left overs from some bloodthirsty pagan sacrifice. The food here is classic South American cooking and features signature Peruvian dishes. There is a lot of fish, rice, beans, and of course Peru's greatest gift to the world, the humble potato. When Kevin and I first looked at the menu we felt absolutely spoiled for choice. There was so much that was different and interesting. For my starter, I tried the Papa Rellena: potato stuffed with meat, raisins and olives. I...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 9, 2001

Inca Gardens
87 E San Fernando Street
San Jose, California 95113
(408) 977-0816

Tech Museum of Innovation

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Attraction | "The Tech Museum"

Tech Museum of Innovation Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
As befits a city that is the capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose's main museum is not devoted to history or art, but to science. The Tech describes itself as The Museum of Innovation. That, then, doesn't just mean science, it means the cutting edge of science, both in what is on display, and in how it is displayed. This year being 2001 there was the inevitable space exhibit. Much of it is based around the science fiction art of Robert McCall, but the premise behind the exhibition is to look at how far science has actually come in reproducing what science fiction predicted. As might be expected, The Tech revels in computer-based exhibi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 9, 2001

Tech Museum of Innovation
201 South Market Street
San Jose, California 95113
(408) 294-8324

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

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Attraction | "The Children's Discovery Museum"

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
Doing a museum for kids is, I think, very hard. How do you keep the little darlings interested, when all they really want to do is run around and yell? Not only does everything have to be interactive, but it has to relate well to the kids as well. San Jose's Children's Discovery Museum does an excellent job of presenting science to kids in interesting ways. Take, for example, the latest exhibition. It is entitled, "The Science of Oz". What science? I hear you ask. Surely The Wizard of Oz is a fantasy film. And so it is, but it is a film that kids love, and with a bit of imagination they can be taught a lot through thinking about the film. For exampl...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 9, 2001

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
180 Woz Way
San Jose, California 95110
(408) 298-5437

Machu Picchu Folk Art Gallery & Books of the Americas

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Attraction | "The Machu Picchu Gallery of the Americas"

Machu Picchu Folk Art Gallery & Books of the Americas Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
As cultural museums go, this one is fairly small and disorganized. But then who would have thought to have found a Peruvian cultural museum in San José at all? The Machu Picchu Gallery of the Americas shares its home with the Inca Gardens restaurant (see separate entry). Despite what it might seem like from outside, you do not have to eat at the restaurant in order to view the Gallery. Just walk in and ask the restaurant staff if you can look around. The Gallery is the brainchild of the restaurant's owner, Olga Enciso Smith, and it represents her attempt to preserve the culture of her native Peru in her new home of the USA. Given...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 9, 2001

Machu Picchu Folk Art Gallery & Books of the Americas
87 East San Fernando Street
San Jose, California
(408) 280-1860

Peralta Adobe & Fallon House

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Attraction | "The Adobe and Fallon Houses"

Peralta Adobe & Fallon House Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
Looking around at the gleaming towers of San José's high tech corporations it is hard to imagine that you would find anything historic in such a city. Look hard enough, however, and a couple of small gems come to light. If you walk past all of the restaurants on North San Pedro Street you will come to West St. John Street and a small remnant from the very start of California's history. In 1774 an adventurer named Juan Bautista de Anza set off from New Spain (Mexico) with a few soldiers to survey a land route to San Francisco. He made it as far as Monterey, returned home in triumph, and the following year set off again with 245 settlers. The journey took a little longer with such a big train, but...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 9, 2001

Peralta Adobe & Fallon House
175 West Saint John Street
San Jose, California 95110
(408) 993-8300