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Joel's Corner: Around and About in Silicon Valleyby Joel Benford

Do you have a favorite restaurant, dive, or little known Santa Clara County gem? Tell us about it!

Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Joel Benford

  • Tee Nee Thai

    California Fish Grill

    We are getting some ease of restrictions! Some restaurants are opening up to outdoor seating. With the distinct flavor that makes it so good, I have a suggestion for you, Thai food! Tee Nee Thai is taking reservations, DoorDash, and takeout. Some of you may be happy that the variations of rice is served on the side and you can ask them to make the spices as hot or as cool as you like. For the menu and information visit Tee Nee Thai. Do you have a favorite restaurant, dive, or little known Santa Clara County gem? Tell us about it!

    For the menu and information visit Tee Nee Thai.

  • California Fish Grill

    California Fish Grill

    We haven't featured many chains but the California Fish Grill in San Jose is REALLY good and they do takeout, pickup, and curbside! It's one of those places where you have lists of options that you get to chose, like which fish, which sauce, which sides... You know how some types of fish are pretty tasteless, dry, or rubbery? Well, the chefs here make every kind juicy and rich and the takeout is just as good. For gourmet quality at takeout prices, you can't beat them!

    For the menu and information visit California Fish Grill.

  • Support Your Local Restaurants

    Siena Bistro

    This month I actually have two places which I couldn't decide. They are both top notch places for everything from fast food to gourmet. The kitchen table and the dining room. The former is more casual and utilitarian and the latter more formal. We all know the current situation going on right now, so we are recommending you support your local restaurants for pickup and delivery.

    For information such as protection and myth-busting, here are the official links to The World Health Organization and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • The City Fish

    Siena Bistro

    Who loves seafood?! I do! Here is a great small place in Morgan Hill. The City Fish has some excellent meals with fish or chicken, including the all-time favorite classic, fish and chips. I had the swordfish and a big green salad and there was a kids menu for the niece. All was great and I want to go there again!

    (There are two other locations but I haven't been to them yet.)

    For more information visit The City Fish, Morgan Hill .

  • Craft Roots

    Siena Bistro

    For all you vegans and curious connoisseurs, I have for you a vegan bar and grill... and it's very good. Right in downtown Morgan Hill stands Craft Roots Bar and Veggie Grill. For the Kombucha lovers, they serve both non-alcoholic and alcoholic varieties from tap. The meals are well-crafted, better than your average bar and grill standards. I want to go there again!

    For more information visit Craft Roots.

  • Siena Bistro

    Siena Bistro

    If there is another restaurant to put on the MUST TRY list, this one would be at the top. Siena Bistro is top grade gourmet style Mediterranean, where the food, wine, and dessert all nail it. Located in Willow Glen on Lincoln Avenue, parking is right in the back, as is the entrance; it makes for a convenient experience... and the food is REALLY good!

    For more information visit Siena Bistro.

  • Flower-Flour


    Here is a very interesting café and bakery in Willow Glen, on Willow Street. At Flower-Flour you can order your coffee and croissants, some very delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches, a whole assortment of desserts, and/or order your wedding or party cake! As a place to eat, it is very charming with some really good food. Check it out.

    For more information visit Flower-Flour.

  • Café Nur

    Café Nur

    There is a great little place in downtown Los Altos. Café Nur. They serve some very good Mediterranean food. Although their sign says "Casual" Mediterranean, I would say the food is way better than casual. However, casual dress is all you need for entry. They have vegetarian and omnivorous selections and an online menu.

    For more information visit Café Nur.

  • The San Jose Spiders

    The San Jose Spiders

    Do you know that we have our own American Ultimate Disk League (AUDL) team, here in San Jose? The San Jose Spiders! It's kind of a mix between basketball and soccer, with a frisbee! They are home based at Foothill College. Unfortunately, the season just ended, but be sure to check it out next year in April. Regular games start in April through July, with playoffs and championships in August. We went to one of the championship games this month and we had to let you know about it!

    For more information visit San Jose Spiders at AUDL and the AUDL Wiki page.

  • Honba Sushi

    Honba Sushi

    Are you arriving hungry from a long flight to San Jose International airport? Maybe you are early for departure? Do you want something better than just a fix? Some real food? Honba Sushi is right around the corner, on Technology Drive, to save the day and you don't have to have business with the airport to enjoy it. Give it a try.

    Visit the official web page at:

  • Dry Creek Grill

    Dry Creek Grill

    This place was REALLY good! We ate there for Easter and I want to go again. Dry Creek Grill is an upscale bar and grill restaurant in the Willow Glen area with a relaxing dim-light ambience and gourmet meals from burgers to really fine dishes... and they have the Impossible Burger! This place is definitely one to check out.

    Check out the official web page here.

  • Tomo Sushi

    Tomo Sushi

    Who doesn't love Japanese food? I love showing off my chopstick skills... and the sushi, the teriyaki, tempura, the miso soup and salad, the wasabi, and the service is wonderful. Tomo Sushi does it very well. Right in the middle of a south San Jose neighborhood, this great, independent, solo sushi house stands! I highly recommend it!

    Check out the official web page here.

  • Scrambl'z


    Do you like breakfast? Would you like a fun and interesting place to eat breakfast? Scrambl'z is an all breakfast diner with all kinds of breakfast, including vegetarian options, and it has lots of interesting decor. There are currently 2 locations, Almaden and The Alameda, both in San Jose. My favorite is The Alameda location but they are both great.

    Check out the official web page here.

  • Flames Coffee Shop

    Flames Coffee Shop

    One of our particularly favorite places to eat is a small, quiet place with REALLY good chocolate cake. Flames Coffee Shop & Bakery serves great upper-mid level American style breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, as well as coffee... And if you like big huge, rich chocolate cake, you MUST order the 7 layer chocolate cake which you can easily share between 2 or more people.

    Flames Coffee Shop can be found at 7170 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose, CA 95139

  • Falafel's Drive In

    Falafel's Drive In

    Here is a San Jose, California classic you should try. In 1966, starting with burgers, Falafel's Drive In slowly warmed people up to an array of other delicious meals. Seating is open air in the warm months and covered and heated in the cool, with parking in the front and rear. Still here in 2019, they are definitely doing something right. Give them a try!

    For more information, visit the official web page.

  • Christmas in the Park

    Christmas in the Park

    Have you been to Christmas in the Park? Back in the 1950s, Don Lima built a Nativity in front of his mortuary in Willow Glen and people came to check it out, so each year he added more exhibits and it became an event.

    Christmas in the Park, a free to attend event, in downtown San Jose, CA, in Plaza de César Chávez Park, is chock full of Christmas oriented exhibits. It runs from November 23rd until December 25th. It has food, a Santa for the kids, as well as some neighboring events. It's great for the family, but unfortunately the dog can't come inside the park, so if you have a pooch, leave him home when you go.

    For more information, visit the official web page.

  • Annual NAMI Walk

    Annual NAMI Walk

    Next Saturday, September 22nd, is the annual NAMI Walk, which begins at 9:00 a.m. on the San Jose Arena Green West. Come on out! There is no fee to walk.

    Every year people gather for the NAMI Walk to raise awareness about mental illness. 1 out of 4 people are mentally ill and you probably know a few but don't know it. Thanks to misrepresentation in the media, many people have false ideas of what mental illness is. National Alliance on Mental Illness is here to bust that stigma, help those in need, and to educate those that care about them.

    For the Silicon Valley NAMI Walk page click here or search for one in your area click here.

    For more information, visit the official NAMI website.

  • Bark in the Park, San Jose

    Bark in the Park, San Jose

    Did you know that your dogs have their own holiday? National Dog Day is August 26th of every year. Better yet, there's an event coming up in September for you and your dog/s right here in Downtown San Jose! Whether you have dogs or are curious, Bark in the Park has information, lots of entertainment as well as activities and contests, and there's even activities for the kids.

    For more information, visit the Bark in the Park web page.

  • San Jose Museum of Art

    San Jose Museum of Art

    In 1969, the original wing of the San Jose Museum of Art, in down town San Jose, was founded in the historical building, built in 1892, which was first a post office, and in 1937, a library. In 1991 the new wing was built. They have a large permanent collection of modern and contemporary pieces as well as pieces that come through on tour. If you like art, check it out.

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • Lick Observatory

    Lick Observatory

    Interested in astronomy? In use since 1888, University of California's Lick Observatory is right here in the south bay on Mount Hamilton. Exhibits and a history lesson can be enjoyed by visitors and special Summer Series pass holders can enjoy night visits for talks by scientists, music, and viewing through two of the refractors. Go check it out!

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

    The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

    The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles stood out to me. It's more that you'd typically think of when you hear "quilts." If you go before April 15th, you can see the exhibit by Susan Else. I loved it, and that's one of her pieces seen in the photo. There is also an artist residency for those interested and the exhibits come and go so you can check back to see new stuff.

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • Calero County Park

    Calero County Park

    Do you have a boat of some kind? Like to water-ski, jet-ski? Go fishing? Calero County Park is a place for that! Besides the lake, there's also 18 miles of hiking and equestrian trails. You can bring the horses! The dog can come on select trails only and there are picnic tables around the lake. The season is waxing so if this sounds like you, go check out.

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • The Palo Alto Art Center

    The Palo Alto Art Center

    Do you like art? You can see art and do art at The Palo Alto Art Center. Created in 1971 by the community and now owned by the City of Palo Alto, the art center has various exhibits, classes, and activities for adults and children of all ages.

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • San Jose Dance Theatre

    San Jose Dance Theatre

    San Jose Dance Theatre is a local gem, we are pleased to highly recommend. They will be performing The Nutcracker again for its 52nd year this season.

    San Jose Dance Theatre is the place for all ballet enthusiasts whether you like to watch or perform. With classes for all ages, at any level, anyone can learn. The Nutcracker, as well as other famous performances can be seen and it just might be the perfect athletic outlet for the kids... and maybe even you. Sound interesting? Go check it out!

    Erin went to the San Jose Dance Theatre's Nutcracker production last year and was amazed that they perform to a live orchestra. Go to the website, and book yourself an awesome holiday experience!

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • Guadalupe River Park

    Guadalupe River Park

    Right in the middle of downtown San Jose is a nice retreat. Guadalupe River Park is lush and beautiful and has many features including gardens, wildlife, a memorial, basket ball courts, a carousel and playground for the kids, and even the Children's Discovery Museum. It's free and accessible by bike trail and light rail and there's parking. Events may charge fees. Go check it out!

    For more information, visit this web page.

  • Martial Cottle Park

    Martial Cottle Park

    Martial Cottle Park is one above the rest. After 150 years of heritage, this land is left to Santa Clara County to be celebrated for its mark in history. The organic farm is running, wildflowers flow in the waxing season, beautiful landscape year round. Take a walk, ride your bike, reserve a group picnic, walk the dog. It's a very beautiful park.

    For more information, visit the official web page.

  • Independance Day

    Independance Day

    Independance day is here again! July 4th, 1776 is the day the United States of America signed for it's independence from the British Empire, 241 years ago. Traditionally celebrated with fireworks, parades, and barbecue parties, the 4th of July is a great day. If you're looking for something to do this Independence day, we have some ideas here for you.

    Here is a link to a San Jose event, and if you scroll below, you will find other events around the bay area for the 4th of July.

    For historical information, visit the Wiki page.

  • Golfland


    How 'bout a fun break for the entire family, while the days are hot and the evenings are warm? Golfland has something for everyone. Hit the waterslides while it's hot or take shelter in the arcade. Then as it cools off, enjoy the beautiful scenery with the cool mist spray of the fountains while you play a fun, relaxing game of mini-golf.

    For more information, visit the official web page.

  • City National Civic

    City National Civic

    Looking for a show? From comedians and concerts to sporting events, City National Civic is a great venue. Formerly the San Jose Civic Auditorium, first opened in 1936, it has hosted many historic events. It is easily accessed with nearby parking and light rail stations and the Convention Center light rail station is directly across the street.

    For a list of events and parking, visit

    For historical information, visit the Wiki page:

  • Alviso Marina County Park

    Alviso Marina County Park

    Want that beach-like air but don't have the time to drive over the mountains? Alviso Marina County Park in San Jose just might be your fix. The breeze over the salt ponds and marshes is refreshing and you can spot some of the many wildlife inhabitants. There is hiking and biking around the marina, fishing from boats only, and dogs must be on leash.

    For more information visit

  • The Tierra Bella Bicycle Tour

    The Tierra Bella Bicycle Tour

    Like cycling? The Tierra Bella Bicycle Tour is coming around again on April 1st. While it may or may not be too late to register this year, this event is annual. Starting at Gavilan College in Gilroy, there are four distances, beginning with an easy loop suitable for family. There are rest stops with aid, routes are patrolled by SAG vehicles, and a meal at the end is included with registration.

    For more information visit

    (Image is property of Almaden Cycle Touring Club or ACTC)

  • Tread Bikes

    Tread Bikes

    As spring approaches, outdoor activities are on the rise! How does a refreshing cruise on a bicycle sound? From cruisers to competition, even rent for the day, you may want to check out Tread in Campbell! Maybe you just need a tuneup or some repairs. Tread has some great mechanics, great customer service, a selection of apparel and accessories, and they can answer all your questions.

    For more information visit

  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

    Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

    Did you know there are mummies here in town? Actual mummies! In the Rose Garden neighborhood of San Jose, we have the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Rosicrucian Park. It's the largest Egyptian exhibit in the western United States. In it you'll learn about what went on in ancient Egypt: how they lived, ruled, built, their pet companions (my favorite), and even a planetarium.

    For more information visit and the Wikipedia page:

  • Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch

    Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch

    Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch, dating back nearly 200 years, is a historical park up against the foothills of south San Jose. It's a beautifully restored property with group or self guided tours. I personally like the live chickens. For the hikers, the trail in the back connects to Santa Teresa Park and Rancho Santa Teresa.

    For more information visit