Some eating experiences from my weekend back in the South Bay:
I needed a quick dinner while home and found a menu from Checkers Pizza in my parents' kitchen. I ordered a garlic chicken pizza, which came with chicken breast chunks, Italian sausage, red and green onions, mushrooms, and a white garlic sauce. This was the best delivery pizza that I've had in a very long time (and I'm only a year out of college so I've eaten a lot of delivery pizza). More like a loaded pizza bread than NY or Chicago-style. The dough was thick, well-seasoned, and crunchy on the outside/soft on the inside. The toppings were generous without overwhelming the crust. While I couldn't see the sauce or pinpoint it's specific taste, I think it enhanced my enjoyment of the pie. Definitely different but very good. They have some other interesting specialty pizzas that might be worth exploring. Small specialty pizzas were $9.99 and will feed 2.
4157 Hamilton Ave
San Jose, CA 95130
A friend took me to The Wine Cellar for lunch on Saturday. I liked my pear and prosciutto salad, which was a special on the menu, but it was nothing extraordinary. My beef stroganoff was an upscale version of the homey classic but I think it lost something in the translation. The fettucine noodles were cooked too soft and the sauce lacked the richness and sour cream taste of the real stuff. We shared the choclate fondue for dessert, a pot of semisweet with marshmallows, chocolate cookies, macaroons, bananas, oranges, and a Snickers bar. Not too impressive. Overall, I'd say that the food is edible but doesn't pass beyond mediocre. Maybe I ordered the wrong things because as I walked out, I saw several tables happily eating their sandwiches, which might be the strong point here. Prices were a bit high too with entrees in the $12-20 range for lunch. It's a nice atmosphere though and service couldn't have been better.
The Wine Cellar
Old Town Shopping Center
50 University Avenue
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Tel: (408) 354-4808 Fax: (408) 399-1914
I couldn't leave without getting in on the Dungeness crab mania so not only did we buy 2 crabs and have them with our Thanksgiving meal, my family made a quick stop at Viet Hoa before my 7:30 flight at San Jose. This Cantonese-restaurant is more of a neighborhood place and has Vietnamese influences. We ordered a $38 set menu which came with an imitation crab and egg soup, walnut prawns, black pepper beef on iron skillet, fish fillets in a spicy tomato-y sauce, steamed baby bok choy, and whole steamed fish. We added a salt-and-pepper crab for $12. Not refined, high-end cuisine, but down-home and fulfilling at a great price. Plus, we got in the door at 5:45 pm, were out the door again at 6:20 pm, and I made it to the airport by 6:35.
Viet Hoa Chinese Restaurant
1144 N 4th St.
San Jose, CA