Archive for the ‘San Jose’ Category

California Soul: Naglee Park Garage (SJ)

March 8, 2008

Christi considers herself quite the rotisserie chicken connoisseur, and she had been raving about her discovery of “the best roasted chicken” for months. Naglee Park Garage is a cute little brick house (lots of house restaurants in SJ) near its namesake park, close to SJ State.

I would call this place old-school-garage-knick-knacky-cool. There’s even a bike propped up high on the wall. Lots of locals coming through- the cool 30s set, lots of friends of the owner/chef, who is this hot young guy with his head wrapped in a red bandanna. It’s just a fun atmosphere, a neighborhood spot where people can come and chat with each other and crack jokes- love that. They have outdoor seating too.

Started with a mug of Boont Amber Ale. Delish- check out the head! The brewery is in Boonville, north of SF.

We got three sides- the roasted brussel sprouts, sweet potato home fries, and the mac & cheese. Veggies in season, all excellent:

Mike got the duck confit with apricot compote- the apricots were perfect with the duck. Inspires me to start cooking with them too.

We got 2 of the marjoram rubbed 1/2 chickens- surprisingly flavorful all the way to the bone. Not fussy, just herbs and chicken. Simple, I like it:
Of course I ate all the skin. Is that bad? Christi and I had a huge debate about dark vs. white meat. I’m sorry, but white meat bores the hell out of me- it’s usually dry and tasteless. I stopped getting chicken nuggets at McD’s cause they only have the white meat now. BORING. Although it’s probably better this way.

Oh, don’t worry, we got not one, but two of their bread puddings.

Their homemade lightly whipped cream poured over the bread pudding was divine.

I have to say that the sides were hands down the most memorable part of the meal. You would think that roasting vegetables is easy, but very few places actually get it right. I’m looking forward to going back and trying all their other seasonal offerings- they’ve got seafood and ribs and peppercorn encrusted steak, all at affordable price points. I’m a fan of the Garage.

The Naglee Park Garage
505 East San Carlos St.
@ 11th St.
San Jose, CA

T: 408.286.1100

California Soul: Casa Vicky (SJ)

March 6, 2008

Jamie is always taunting me about these deep fried burritos he gets near his place in downtown San Jose- sounds like the best invention ever, right? (Second to a fried calamari sandwich). So of course he took me to his spot, Casa Vicky, when I got into SJ. It’s literally a little house on the corner of the street. Very unassuming- you walk in, and it’s just super casual, with a glass case filled with fresh baked goods, and another with take home tamales and lots of other goodies. You order up at the register- the walls are pink!

It’s sorta hard to tell in this picture, but they have a tortilla machine! Yes, they make their tortillas in-house- Jamie says that he just gets a bag to go so he can make burritos at home. JEALOUS!

Alright so I had a hard time deciding what to get from their expansive, delicious-looking menu, but in the end, obviously I needed to try this infamous Dorado burrito (deep fried burrito). Of course I got it with pork. This came out- super boring looking, right?

WRONG!!! This burrito was SO EFFING GOOD. Like down and dirty good. Like crack good. Like I’m actually-going-to-do-this good: :-o. (You will NEVER see me do that, except on very special occasions.) But seriously, even this lame emoticon with its jaw dropped could never properly describe how good this burrito was.
I’m a real sauce person, so I needed to put lots of salsa on this- I guess my one request next time would be to get some red sauce or something with it. But the shredded pork (carnitas?), SO tender! Like you know it’s been cooking for days, and it just fell off the bone. And it didn’t taste too piggy despite the fact that it wasn’t all spiced out. The pork was just top notch- definitely the highlight.

Jamie got this shredded chicken dish.

But enough about that- back to my burrito. You get super dirty eating this, I loved it. The burrito oozes with grease as soon as you bite in- I know it sounds nasty, but it was so heavenly! If you look really hard, you can see oil dripping off this thing. SO HOT.

The tortilla was delicious- I have a feeling it just tastes better fried like this. Important: the oil didn’t taste all stale and used. If you’re gonna bite into a greasefest, you want it to be fresh grease at least, right?

The aftermath: my hand was lined with grease- I felt so accomplished. Jamie says that he only eats this with a knife and fork. What’s the fun in that?

The best thing about this burrito is that it was so damn SIMPLE! Homemade tortilla and perfectly cooked pork- just using the best ingredients and putting it together. That’s it people! It ain’t rocket science!

Dude seriously, if I were ever to have a wedding, or a quinceƱera, Casa Vicky is so catering it. Couldn’t you just imagine me in a tiara and pouffy purple quinceƱera dress with greasy burrito oil stains all over it? Um, I’m 12 years expired, but I think we should still do it.

Casa Vicky
792 E. Julian St. at 17th St.
San Jose, CA
T: 408.995.5488