Category Archives: Public Service Announcement

WWDC 2017 in San Jose: Places to Eat & Visit

Apple made a big splash when they announced that WWDC would be in San Jose, CA in 2017 for the first time since 2002. I just finished a 6-year gig in San Pedro Square which is 4 city blocks from the McEnery Convention Center. What follows are a my thoughts on downtown San Jose. This list of places to eat isn’t exhaustive. These are some of my go-to’s. YMMV. I’ve also included some sights.

San Jose has seen a boom in housing recently. Two new apartment towers have opened in the last few years with more on the way. This is helping the restaurant/bar scene have more customers after dark. San Jose may never shake its reputation of being a sleepy town but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to have a fantastic time.

Stones Throw from McEnery

Original Joe’s. You’ve just stepped into a 1950’s eatery and expect Frank Sinatra to start singing at any moment. Must have starter: sautéed spinach with bacon.

Pizza My Heart. Local chain that has thin crust pizza by the slice, salad and drink down cold.

Specialty’s Cafe and Bakery. Open during business hours only. A chain but I always find good stuff here.

Scott’s SeafoodMorton’s Steakhouse and McCormick and Schmick’s are also some anchors in the area.

Tandoori Oven

Lots of people like Il Fornaio. However I’m not a fan.

Psycho Donuts if that’s your thing.

Philz Coffee

Gordon Biersch Brewery

La Victoria Taqueria  Often a go-to for late night eats and they have a surprising number locations around downtown. This location open until 3am!

Venues: City National Civic (Cap. 2,850); The Frank Lloyd Wright designed Center for the Performing Arts (Cap. 2,677); the California Theater (Cap. 1,119) is where Apple announced the 4th Gen iPad and iPad mini in 2012; and the Tech Museum of Innovation with IMAX domed theater. I expect things to happen here.

Walking Distance (> 3 blocks north of McEnery)

This starts to be where I have the most experience.

San Pedro Sq Market – just a few years old (but restored from the turn of the last century) and a true gem. Think food court with indoor and outdoor seating. All local businesses. Something for everyone. Includes a barber shop! Great coffee at B2. I highly expect events to take place here.

Firehouse No 1 is my old stomping ground with great food and just a bar after 10pm. SP2 is another great spot just outside the Market. Olla Cocina and the Farmers Union are notable too. We also have a gamers lounge called AFK. A local pub to try out is O’Flaherty’s and Five Points.

Togo’s has a long history in the Valley. Check them out if you want to know what it was like in the 70’s to have lunch in the Valley. They used to be everywhere and often served alcohol for those 2-hour lunches.

La Victoria Taqueria  Various locations downtown. This location is open until midnight; 3am Thur, Fri, & Sat.

Back A Yard – Caribbean cuisine

Long Walk

Freshly Baked – Hole-in-the-wall, only open for lunch but worth the walk. Cash only. Maybe consider splitting sandwiches with a friend.

There is some speculation the keynote will be at SAP Center at San Jose (capacity 19,000). Just a block from there is our newest Whole Foods Market which has an onsite brewery and outdoor seating area. A littler further down is Chipotle, Five Guys and two local hot spots: the small and intimate Zona Rosa and Tee Nee Thai.

Nearby (a drive) 

Falafel Drive In.  This hole-in-the-wall is worth the drive. The special is a falafel and banana shake. My go-to is the gyro salad, humus and banana shake.

Lincoln Ave in Willow Glenn, an upscale neighborhood in San Jose is a tree lined street with great places to check out. Bill’s Cafe for breakfast (a local institution) and Crepevine too but they are also open much later. The Table in San Jose recently expanded and has a must-see neon sign. Aqui Cal-Mex is always popular – in part because of their slushy machine serves alcohol. Powell’s Sweet Shoppe for all your candy needs. Willow Glen Creamery for ice cream (all kinds); including Dole Whip if you need a Disneyland fix.  There is another Pizza My Heart here too. I’ve really just scratched the surface of what’s here. Oh, and check out the “must see” Hicklebee’s books store – be sure to find the “author signature” covered walls in the back.

There are two big malls near by. Valley Fair contains the Apple Store and has a large food court. It’s your typical upscale Westfield shopping mall (fun fact. It’s half in San Jose and half in Santa Clara). It’s currently undergoing an expansion so a bit of a mess. Bazille restaurant inside Nordstrom is a hidden gem. There is a Cheese Cake Factory if that’s your thing.

Across the street is Santana Row which is where the Tesla Store is. European style outside mall: housing/offices above the first floor. First floor stores and restaurants. Tends to be where the cool kids go. Downtown businesses were very frustrated Santana Row didn’t happen downtown – one of the main reasons is parking is free at Santana Row. Too many food places to mention but here are some: Tacolicious, Village California Bistro, Pizza Antica, Maggiano’s, Left Bank, LB Steak, Fogo De Chao, The Counter, Consuelo’s Mexican Bistro, Blowfish Sushi, Amber India. (I may have only mentioned half the restaurants)

IMAX vs. IMAX Digital

IMAX Corporation in their infinite wisdom have chosen not to differentiate between (film based) IMAX and IMAX Digital.  More information on the differences can be found on Wikipedia.  In the San Francisco bay area the following cinemas have IMAX and their type:

IMAX (film based)

AMC Loews Metreon 16 – 101 Fourth St. San Francisco, CA 94103

Regal Hacienda Crossings IMAX – 5000 Dublin Boulevard, Dublin, CA

Digital IMAX

AMC Mercado 20 – 3111 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95054

AMC Cupertino Square 16 – 10123 N. Wolfe Road Cupertino, CA 95014

AMC Eastridge 15 – 2190 Eastridge Loop San Jose, CA 95122

AMC Bay Street 16 – 5614 Shellmound Street Emeryville, CA 94608

Update: Here’s a link to lookup theaters in your neighborhood.

How many engineers does it take…

I just came across an old email and thought I would share a silicon valley war story. This may prove to be prophetic as we’re expecting a wafer from the fab soon… and then packaged parts… around Thanksgiving. Uh oh.

How many engineers does it take to pick-up a package from FedEx? 4

How many trips does it take to pick-up said package from FedEx? 3

Friday, November 28, 2008 Black Friday – The day after Thanksgiving.

  • We were expecting a package from Advotech with packaged parts. It was shipped Wednesday for Friday delivery.
  • Jarie checked FedEx tracking. Received in Sunnyvale at 7:26am. At 7:31am FedEx says, “Holiday – Business closed” Ruh-ro.
  • Jarie calls FedEx to find out what happened.
  • Gerrior decides to drive to FedEx in Sunnyvale. Jarie waits at Tagent for package – just in case.
  • At FedEx Gerrior encounters the surly Kathy. “We called all the businesses and you said you were closed.” I ask, “We’re a 10 person company. Who did you speak with?” She goes off to check only to find out they didn’t call and that businesses who don’t get daily pick-up are assumed to be closed today. The package is in an airplane shipping container. It won’t be opened until Monday AM. If I arrive Sat can I get it? No. If I arrive Sun can I get it? No. She tells me, in the future call the night the package is shipped to indicate we’ll be open for business (huh? What schedule is that?). She promises a refund. Gerrior leaves dejected.
  • Upon return to Tagent, Anno and Daniel have arrived. We all 4 decide to drive to FedEx to get the package… manpower to help move packages if nothing else.
  • Back at FedEx Kathy is pushing back and Jarie asks to speak to the supervisor.
  • Dave, the supervisor, and his assistant “Bruno” (we must have freaked Kathy a little when half the Company showed up) says he’ll have some guys at 3pm to get into the shipping container. We leave them a sample package to assist in looking.
  • We leave Sunnyvale and as we’re getting off the Whisman exit from 237, Dave calls and says they found the package. It was just inside the container.
  • We make a u-turn and drive back to FedEx.
  • We return to FedEx all smiles and handshakes and pick-up the package at 11:12am. The package says, “Fri – 28NOV Priority Overnight”.
  • Back at Tagent at 11:30am to begin work!

FedEx – when it absolutely, positively has to be there in 5 days.