We've been meaning to try the Garage bistro in San Jose, and tonight was perfect . . . long day, late meeting, looking for something a cut above but not too fancy.
The Naglee Park garage is at the old Freddie's ice cream location on 10th and San Carlos. You order at the counter and then the servers bring your dinner. There are a handful of tables inside and a few on the patio.
I had a half chicken and my husband had trout. There were lots of interesting choices including tritip, lamb chops. The menu is basic, but covers enough ground. Sides are a la care. We shared roast potatoes and brussel sprouts. My husband had a draft Fat Tire and I had a glass of pinot grigio ordinaire. When I went to the counter to get my second glass of wine, the servers suggested that next time I just wave and they'd come by.
Louis, the cook, makes everything behind the counter in full view. The food was well prepared, tasty and satisfying. The only thing I thought was missing was bread. I saw some baguettes, and I'm wondering if maybe we were just missed . . . our server said she was new. In any event, we had more than enough to eat. And it's hard to argue with the prices: The whole thing with a beer and two glasses of wine came in under $50 including the tip.
The place is warm, quirky and friendly. Louis came and introduced himself. Once a month there's live music, and once a month there's an outdoor movie. If you were traveling abroad and you found a place like this, you'd send postcards home.
San Jose could use more places like this. Any place could.