The Best of San Jose

Let’s get to the point.  My main goal of my Dad’s visit to see us was to convince him that we live in the coolest place ever and that he needs to come visit us as often as possible.  I succeeded.  We did all of his favorite things and ate the best food we could find.  I see another visit from him in our near future.  

I woke up in just enough time Saturday morning for a 30 minute workout.  I jumped on the treadmill and did 4 miles and then drove straight to the airport to get my Dadio.  We brought him back to our apartment, showed him how awesome it is and by then it was 11 and we were all starving!

DSC 3980

You KNOW for a fact that if you go somewhere that the Food Network has featured then it is going to be the BEST meal you have ever eaten. 

Photo 1 copy 2

A bunch of Billy’s friends from school recommended the Falafel’s Drive-In so we took a chance and hit it up.  I had never had a falafel before and I didn’t even know what it was until asked the owner.  I guess it is mashed chickpeas with a bunch of spices and then deep fried.  Basically the smartest thing that anyone has ever created. 

DSC 3977

That falafel will be the top item on my craving list from this point forward.  All three of us could not get over how incredible it was.  I finally had someone to split dessert with me.  My dad and I had the banana shake and I promise I am not exaggerating, both of us said it was the best shake we had ever had.  Will you guys please come visit me and we will all go together to this place and overdose on falafels and banana shakes.  

DSC 3978

The picture does not give the sandwich justice.  

Next up on my mission to brainwash my dad and convince them to come all of the time (okay, my main goal is to get them to move here) was to go to computer heaven. Both Billy and my dad LOVE computers and  the intel museum to them is like Disneyland to me.   

Photo 4 copy

Looking at cars was also on the list to convince him to keep visiting.  

Photo 1 copy

My dad watched Brooke for a little while so Billy and I could take a nap.  Okay, now he and my mom REALLY need to move here.  Seeing my dad hold Brooke is the cutest thing ever and they are already the best of friends.   Next thing to do on the list was to go buy more binkies because those dang things disappear faster than my socks, I think I have lost 12 of them so far.  Then we were off to our favorite street in San Jose, Santana Row with all of the best restaurants and stores. 

Photo 3

See the clipboard in front of Billy?  That is how you order at The Counter.  It was actually kind of stressful having to decide which toppings, dressings, cheese etc. to have.  I take my meals serious, I cannot mess up.   Billy had the brilliant idea to order the parmesan fries, I told you he was smart.  They were perfect.

Photo 4

Here is my burger creation.  I finally got my bleu cheese fix, I don’t know why I don’t buy a gallon of that stuff, it is on my top 5 list for best foods.  

Photo 5

We ended the night with Netflix (Lie to Me… ever seen it?), staring at how cute Brooke is and relaxing on the couch.  The perfect day.  

——————————————————–

Help Kristen out with her fundraiser for Team for Kids HERE!!!

PS Laura Beth… you emailed me about building up mileage but your email didn’t work… will you email me again so I can write you back?!?!

——————————————————–

Do you like the Food Network?  Have you ever tried a restaurant that they featured on that channel… what was it?

Ever tried falafel?  What did you think?

Favorite burger/turkey/veggie burger toppings?

How often do you get to see your dad?  

You May Also Like

66 comments

Reply

I’ve never tried falafel but will definitely do it now!

Brooke looks adorable in your moby wrap- my Audrey is now 10 months old and refuses the baby carriers/wraps now that learned to walk this week! I miss those days when we could cuddle so much, so sweet.

I feel like I have been coming down with a cold/sore throat almost every other week lately – probably b/c I have two germy little monsters- any advice on when you run through sickness or when you decide to rest and not push it? I hate not getting runs in but also don’t want to make it worse by not resting. Thanks!

Reply

How about you do a whole post on building up mileage. I would love some pointers.

Reply

Falafel is easily my favorite food ever!! The best I’ve had so far is from this place called Cava Mezze Grill in Bethesda, MD, probably because they have the fluffiest pitas that it’s wrapped in! I would love to try Falafel Drive-In…I fall asleep every night drooling to Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!!

Reply

Falafels are awesome! I put them on hot naan bread with some cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and lettuce topped with salad cream (a UK mayonnaise type thing), its DELICIOUS and my husban loves it too, especially when we was on a strict diet which meant no red meat (normally he would freak out if there is no meat on the table but the falafels were a hit)!

Reply

Falafel is so amazing. I love it on pita with Hummus and some lettuce, or just dipped in hummus, yummers!
Favorite veggie burger toppings are more veggies of course, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo on a wheat bun.
I love the Food Network but we haven’t had cable for years so I haven’t seen it in a long time.
We used to live in Lexington, KY and Guy did Diners Drive ins and Dives from the most amazing sandwich place called Wallace Station. You would love that place, everything is huge!
I see my dad maybe 4 times a year. My parents live in PA and I live in MO so it is an 18 hour drive or a very pricey flight.
Getting ready to go back to KY this week to run the Bourbon Chase, an overnight relay from Louisville to Lexington along the Bourbon Trail. I am so pumped!

Reply

I have never had falafel either – but I might have to try it sometime if it is that good!
I love food network, but unfortunately I don’t have cable anymore :-( But I have been to at least one place that has been featured there – Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City, MO. It is the BEST BBQ ever!

Reply

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is the coolest show ever! My husband and I are on a mission to eat at as many of the restaurants all over the country as possible. So far we’ve made it to ones in Memphis, Albuquerque, Kansas City, and a few more that I can’t remember off the top of my head! California has a ton of them so you should definitely start playing this game :)

Couldn’t help but notice the little sign for ice cream sandwiches on your table. You mean you didn’t get one!?

And, to answer your question, I don’t get to see my dad nearly enough :(

Reply

Falafels are the best, especially dipped in hummus (apparently I’m a hummus fan ha)!

Reply

Banana shakes = BEST EVER!

Reply

Oooo, that falafel looks tasty! We ended up eating at THREE restaurants visited by that same Food Network show this summer–one in Duluth, MN and two down on the Outer Banks of NC (two of them are long-time favorites of ours; Guy Fieri just happened to finally figure out he needed to eat there, too)!
So glad to see you trying the Moby wrap–it’s nice to be able to snuggle and still use your hands, lol!

Reply

I had to laugh at your post (well I usually do because you are so funny) but every time my parents come visit (we’re in Calgary, Alberta, my parents are in Quebec, Canada) we try to show them the best time in hope that they’ll move here….slowly but surely I think we’re getting through. LOL

I’ve never had a falafel but I definitely have to try one now…hope its as good as the ones you had.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend with your family….off for my workout:)

Reply

I have that same shirt. I love target! Those fries look amazing. Cute family pic. You guts are adorable.

Reply

I meant u guys. Lol! Darn auto speller!

Reply

>OK, that’s seriously just nasty. So ppolee sit there wiping their hands on the seating instead of using napkins or what?! Most restaurants do use vinyl or leather seating for sanitation purposes (perhaps they foresee the dirty handwipers?). I agree with you clean that seating then cover it with plastic.

Reply

I have that same shirt. I love target! Those fries look amazing. Cute family pic. You guys are adorable.

Reply

Brooke looks so snuggly in your moby! Baby carriers are the best. I don’t like to put my daughter in the shopping cart, I’d rather her snuggle with me.

Falafels are the bomb. I love Greek food!

Reply

Awwr that’s so great that you had such a good time with your dad. I’ve always been Daddy’s Little Girl, and even now that I’m away from home I still see my dad pretty often because I help out at our family business, so I see him at “work”. Next time, bake ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies to lay on the bribery even more!

Reply

I love falafel and also love Lie to Me! I’m a psychologist and the show is actually really accurate… Ekman, who is a research psychologist who studies faces, is a consultant on it and most of the science is true! Pretty cool huh?

Reply

I want to go to the west coast after seeing all your finds! We (the SO and I) just moved 1,000 miles away from our family for med school. We’re like y’all- finding all these cool places and the family just doesn’t understand! Haha. Question tho…how did you build up mileage. I took a long break from running. (Use to run half marathons) and I’m trying up get back into it but I’m getting discouraged! Help me!
Thanks!!
Ps Brooke is the cutest! But that’s a given.

Reply

I had no idea what falafel was either… Sounds interesting and pretty darn delicious! I’m glad you guys had such a great day! Sounds like a great “dad day” to me. I don’t see my dad enough – probably 3-4 times a year? He lives in AZ, so it’s always a treat when I see him!

Reply

I love falafels! So good.
Favorite burger topping is pickles and ketchup.

I see my dad 1-2 times a week.
Ok those fries look amazing. My stomach is growling! Off to hunt up some grub :)

Reply

I never get to see my dad enough, but I do see him every couple of months. And I savor every minute. We are moving back up to Atlanta in March and I will FINALLY be close to my family once again.

I’ve been to the Marietta Diner that was on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives because its back where my mom lives. It was awesome! Triple D is seriously one of favorite shows, I so want Guy’s job!

Reply

I LOVE falafel, it’s one of my favorite foods!! And I love The Counter too…a turkey burger with blue cheese and pineapple is one of my favorite combos too, I’m so excited!!!

I see my Dad twice a year which is frankly rubbish. I hate that about living in California. SO glad you’re having fun with yours.

Reply

Yay! Aren’t dads the best? I have heard a lot of great things about that falafel place, so glad you liked it, now I will have to drive to San Jose and try it!

Reply

If I didn’t have NorCal life envy before, I sure do now! When I was vegetarian, falafel was a diet staple for me. I so so so love them!! So glad your dad got to meet your little cutie pie!

Love Billy’s Giants hat! Have you all become fans??

Reply

Glad you have a Moby wrap! They are so awesome for being out and about. I always hate seeing people lug their babies around in those carseats all the time.

Looks like your dad had a FUN time and you’re about 1 step away from getting him to move there. Maybe you should convince your sister first, then the whole family could relocate. :D

Reply

I want to visit CA and do all of those fun things and eat falafel! My boyfriend and his dad travel together every year and always check out DDD restaurants in each town. They love it and have eaten at some pretty cool places. When I lived in Memphis, we went to a Dive that they featured. I thought the food was excellent!

Reply

Before last year I didn’t know what falafel was (the name doesn’t even give you a clue!) but since first trying it, I get a sandwich almost every week. It is just so good!

Reply

I love The Counter! And is Billy now an SF fan? Please tell me it’s not about proximity or the fact that they NAILED the NL division playoff spot last night ;)

Reply

LOVE the food network, especially DDD.
Fav burger topping is guacamole and bacon.
Not sure if I have had falafel.
Saw my Dad briefly last night.

The Kidless Kronicles

Reply

I miss my Dad :( He’s a 3 hour flight away out east (Newfoundland) and I’m here in Ontario. At least I get to fly home in less than 2 weeks to see my parents!!!!!!!!!!

Reply

LOVE falafels. That is what I made for my turn at out baking club because Ross and I love them so much and no one had tried them before. Let me know if you want me to send you my recipe. And that is what I get when I go to Pita Pit. Their falafel pita is pretty stellar.

There used to be a Counter restaurant in SLC and Ross and I have been, but it was a couple of years ago.After seeing you and Billy’s burgers, I think I am going to have to make sure it is still there and pay them a visit! yum!

Pat’s BBQ in SLC was featured. It was just okay IMO. But this place (http://joesfarmgrill.com/) was featured and every time we go to Arizona to visit my brother we go there and it is SO delicious!

I see my dad at least every week or two. Hopefully you will get to see your dad again soon as well! What a fun visit!

And 4 miles in 30 minutes? You speed is coming back nicely!

Reply

Hey girl! Get a binkie clip! You will not loose Brooke’s binks! And it will save you $$ and time!! You can get them at babies r us/buy buy baby or you can find some cute ones on etsy. Just make sure they work for her specific bink! :) Love all of the updates!

Love,

A fellow foodie & person who also obsesses over her daughter! :)

Reply

Wow- you basically just described all of my favorite places to go in San Jose, and where I work (Intel)!!! Glad to see your dad is loving the bay area, too :)
I grew up here but had never been to Falafel Drive In until I moved to Portland for work… I brought a friend back home to visit over New Year’s vacation 2 years ago and they were the ones who told me about the deliciousness that is that falafel place. Now I want some!

Reply

love falafels-the sandwich looks great.glad you had a good time with your dad

Reply

I have to know what was on that burger! Yum! I was thinking about putting grilled pineapple on my turkey burger last night but couldn’t really imagine what else I could put on with it.

I’ve never had falafel (I just had to look up at other comments to see how to spell it!) but it sounds delish. Now that we live in AZ (family in MI) I see my dad 3-4 times a year and it is not often enough. :(

9 mile run today! I have never done this before!!

Reply

Falafel is a staple in our house…we love it on pitas with tabbouleh and hummus. I used to tell my son they were chicken nuggets & now that he’s 7, I’m like, “Siiiiiiike, it’s Falafel. See, you love it!”
When he was little, he’d say, “Eww, flaffle. Mom, can you make those chicken nuggets that *look* like flaffle?”
Ha.

Reply

I’m going to have to stop reading your blog because it’s too hard to see all the things I miss about my hometown all the time:). I crave those banana shakes often!! My parents still live in San Jose and I’m in SD now so I only get to see my dad a few times a year:( You would think that we could get together more often, only living an hour flight apart but life gets crazy when you have a kid:)
Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Reply

I love falafels!!! And we have a Counter in my neighborhood here inChicago, it’s so much fun to make up my own burgers!

Reply

Hi Janae,
That’s so great that your dad is visiting. I have never had falafel but it sounds amazing! I don’t get to see my dad very often, I had to move from New Jersey to Florida last year for work and he doesn’t fly. I love the food network but its dangerous because every time I watch I get way too starving! I actually just started to blog! It’s just to keep track of my mileage and keep me on track to finish my first full marathon next year as I am just starting out. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Reply

I’ve tried several of the restaurants featured on the food network! One of them was chaps pit beef in maryland, it was also in the show the wire! I love falafels! I make them a lot.

Reply

Um, my ultimate road trip this past summer was centered around restaurants featured on The Food Network. Best vacation ever.
Your dad and my husband would be BFF’s; computers + cars = heaven for him.
I love blue cheese on my burger but the picture of the pineapple above gives me some ideas.
Enjoy your visit with your dad!

Reply

Wow all of your eats look amazing!! I’ve tried falafel once and really liked it. Unfortunately, I’ve never eaten at a restaurant featured on Food Network…maybe one of these days.

Reply

My husband is a computer/technology geek. I need to take him to the museum.
There’s a BBQ place in Pacifica that was featured on DDD and every time I drive by it, there’s a huge line. I’ll have to stop in sometime.
Also the Taco Bell across the street from it is known for being the most beautiful fast food location in the country.

Reply

I have never heard of the Falafel Drive In and my husband and I make it a point to go to all places that Guy has been to. That’s now been added to our list!

It’s quite a drive, but Gott’s Roadside in St. Helena (if you make it up to Wine Country) is another DDD spot. We go every year for the 4th of July! It’s basically burgers, fries and all sorts of amazing milkshake combos. Oh, and when there’s a long line, the feed you watermelon while you wait.

Reply

I can’t believe you’ve never had falafel before?!?!? It is such a common item. I seriously cannot fathom accomplishing all that you have (college, job, marriage, child, crazy marathon times, etc. ) and going 20-something years without having them.

Almost makes me want to not visit Utah knowing that it kept you away from seriously good food.

Your family is so adorable and I wish you the best in convincing your whole family in coming closer to you! I always miss my family, as I live in a different major city than all of them.

Reply

I’ve never had a falafel before but, they sound great! K, I need to book my flight to come see you, Brooke & eat falafel’s & banana shakes ASAP! :)

It’s so great that your dad was able to visit! The Intel museum would be right up Rocky’s alley as well. :)

I love the food network. esp. triple D!! Mad Greek cafe in Baker was featured on triple D & we sometimes stop there to eat when we’re en route to Vegas. I wonder if Hash House has been featured?

I love turkey burgers. I think the teriyaki turkey burger from Carl’s Jr. is pretty tasty! :)

enjoy your Sunday beautiful mommy!!! xo :)

Reply

Awww Janae, the picture of you and your dad is the sweetest thing ever, how cute is he!! My dad lives a long ways away too and you’re making me miss him like crazy!! Hehe I love your idea though, now I have new ideas to make him want to move here. I am already planning his next trip- it will involve lots of computers, cars, remote control cars and airplanes (he loves those.. especially when everyone has one and you can have derbies! Also where I get my weirdness!) and of course, good food :)

Reply

Another reason to come the NYC area: THE BEST FALAFEL at Mamoun’s! I’m not surprised you love falafel because it’s part of Mediterranean cuisine, just like Greek food! You should try your palate at middle eastern and Mediterranean cuisine more in your new home. Here is a little something to make your mouth water. http://mamouns.com ENJOY!

Reply

Falafel is pretty awesome stuff :)

The picture of you and your dad really gets me…so sweet, so loving!

Reply

I love falafel!! There’s a late-night falafel place in DC that gets SO crowded at night, with a DIY toppings bar!

Reply

LOVE Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives! That show is so much fun to watch, but I always end up wanting a hamburger after I watch it! ;)

We went to 5 Guys today, and I got a burger with ketchup, mustard, and pickle. And I ordered fries, which I dretched in malt vinegar and ketchup. My belly is full, but very happy right now!

Reply

My favorite burger toppings are pretty classic: crispy bacon and melted cheddar cheese!! I also like onion rings, bbq sauce, & pineapple. Basically, I love burgers.

I only get to see my Dad about twice a year but when it happens its the highlight of my life! My Dad ROCKS!

Reply

Oooh, ooh ooohh!!! pleeeeeeease pretty pretty please do a whole post on the milage thing?????? You’re already my most amazing favorite blog but it would be soo cool if you posted some running tips like that, Janae! You’re amazing :)

Reply

I have never had a falafel but will be trying one asap after your rave reviews. It’s one of those things I always think I should try but then when it comes to decision time I always go with something I know I love – like a greek salad or hummus/pita combo! Yum.

Any burger is perfect in my book as long as it is covered in bbq sauce. Bbq sauce is basically the best condiment ever. Actually, grilled pineapple and bbq sauce on a burger is really really good. Try it!

Reply

I wonder if I ran as much as you do would I have the same metabolism. You seem to eat so much yummy stuff (sugar!) and you’re still so tiny! You’re already running farther than me, even though you just gave birth. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Maybe I need to eat some candy ;)

Reply

I was just visiting my Mom in Palo Alto and we did our Santana Row trip. I love that place and will have to try The Counter.

Burgers are all about the onions….grilled, raw, or fried. The more the merrier

Reply

I LOVE falafel. I usually make my own.

I adore the food network, but haven’t really eaten anywhere featured, except by accident. Rachael Ray came to SB for $40 a day and ate at some places we eat.

I haven’t spent time in San Jose, but we do visit friends in Mountain View.

I love avocado and grilled onions on burgers.

My dad died on Christmas Eve 2007. My mom passed last year. My poor baby lost two grandparents before he was born! But I guess that was true for me too. My dad was 44 when I was born, and his parents were born in 1892 and 1893. Crazy!

Reply

Ooh darns. I have a coupon for The Counter that expires at the end of October (buy one burger, get second free!). I’ll hand it off to you (or Billy) if I ever see you around San Jose :)

Reply

Oh and binkies just disappear! With my first, we eventually found them under his crib. He was launching them.

Reply

Falafel is so good! I can’t believe you’d never had it before.

I love Lie To Me. That show is so fun. Soon you’ll be watching people in public and being like “see that nervous tic? He’s clearly hiding something!”

I see my dad about once a week. My parents live 4 miles down the road.

Reply

You went to The Counter! Yeah!!!! [It’s slightly stressful the first time; after that, you will spend the next few days dreaming about creations that you didn’t make, and will be totally prepared the next time you go. :)]

Reply

The best invention EVER is the binkie strap!! I ordered two on Amazon and the binkies on those two are the only ones my son hasn’t lost! And look under the crib/bassinet pretty sure that’s where binkies go to hide :)

Reply

I have this Target shirt too ;)

Reply

The picture of you, Billy, and Brooke is absolutely perfect! :) LOVE IT!

Reply

I haven’t been the the Falafel frive in in years! Thanks for reminding me. I must go get some :)

I LOVE the counter. those parmesan fries are to die for. delicious!

I see my dad every day. I work for him. Currently he is at his desk quoting prints. And i am cleaning parts. :)

Glad you are getting to spend time with your dad!!

Leave a Reply to jan Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *