—by Andrew Brawley
Author's note: I know we still have a mid-week match against the LA Galaxy this week prior to the away match in San Jose this weekend, but try to look past for our purposes here. Thanks.
Do you know the way to San Jose? It’s basically down I-5 a ways, then take a right at I-505, and…well, you can figure that part out.
San Jose is definitely the neglected middle child of the Bay Area. However, I have a hard time even labeling it the “Peter Brady” of that section of California. I’d say it’s closer to a “Cousin Oliver,” as that’s about equal to the level of respect it gets compared to its much hotter family members Oakland and San Francisco. And here’s the really sad part: the Earthquakes don’t even play in San Jose. They play in Santa Clara, a suburb-of-a-suburb-of-a-suburb. It’s all a confusing mess that I just don’t have the energy to find more analogies for.
My helper this week is my mom’s cousin Julene. She’s lived in Los Gatos (another suburb-of-a-suburb-of-a-suburb that’s connected to San Jose) as far back as I can remember. She gave me a very large dictionary as an 8th grade graduation gift, and used to drive an 80’s era Porsche. I basically used those things as a weird, distant form of motivation to do work my tail off in school, thinking that’s what it would take to acquire my own Porsche. As it turns out, I’m too tall for a Porsche anyway, and inflation has me forever waiting patiently for a large SUV with Knight Rider technology.
Julene’s recommendations are below. Please drive (and/or fly) safely.
In downtown San Jose, the Gordon Biersch Microbrewery (33 E San Fernando St.) has nice pub food and great beer. Has both inside and outside seating...fun place.
Expanding a bit to the Los Gatos / Campbell area, the Sonoma Chicken Coop (200 E Campbell Ave. in Campbell) is a large restaurant with good value and a good selection – excellent breakfast/brunch, too.
Also in Campbell, Hawgs Seafood (1700 W. Campbell Ave.) is a small restaurant, and you can eat at the counter. Very fresh seafood, plus excellent paella and Caesar salad. Great all-around neighborhood place.
Over the hill in Santa Cruz, Stagnaro Bros. Restaurant is out at the end of the Santa Cruz Pier. It’s an old diner type restaurant, but don't be fooled by the casual nature of the place. It's been around for 70 years. The clam chowder is excellent, and all the seafood is very fresh. Yummy!
Also in Santa Cruz is the Crow's Nest (2218 East Cliff Drive). Great place for fried calamari, crab Louis and margaritas. Overlooking the ocean and adjacent to the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor.