San Jose Dining: Original Joe’s

April 5, 2008

Original Joe’s Italian Restaurant
301 S. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113

Web Site:

On our third night in the Silicon Valley area, Cheryl told me she was ready for something hearty and suggested Italian Food. I hadn’t eaten a really decent Italian-American meal since I more or less gave up on pasta when I burned my lifetime Fat Pack membership card, so I figured I would treat myself to a nice basic red sauce dish. One place that I knew we definitely wouldn’t be disappointed in was Original Joe’s, which is near the downtown San Jose Convention Center on First Street.

I have been to Original Joe’s on a number of occasions, pretty much exclusively when the summer IDG LinuxWorld Expo used to be in San Jose before they moved the show to Moscone Center in San Francisco — a tragic mistake on part of IDG, in my opinion. The nearby Fairmont Hotel where I used to stay during LinuxWorld made Original Joe’s a convenient place to eat. It’s not fancy stuff, just traditional red sauce classics and steaks and chops, but they know how to do it properly and do it well. They’ve been in business for over 50 years, and the atmosphere is unique — its sort of a Steakhouse-cum-diner-cum-wine bar-cum-Italian mobster hangout. Its always very busy and the place is huge inside, and it’s got a really loud vibe. I love it.

In September of 2007, the restaurant closed for three months and underwent a major renovation. It’s less edgy than it used to be, with hardwood accents and a classier new “speakeasy” look, but in many ways its still the same good ‘ol Original Joe’s I remember from years ago. The food and drink does not disappoint.

The entrance to the restaurant on First.

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San Jose Dining: Chez Sovan

April 1, 2008

Chez Sovan Cambodian Restaurant
2425 S Bascom Ave
Campbell, CA 95008

As I discussed in my earlier post about Cambodian food at Phnom Penh in Cleveland, I’m a freak for spicy and exotic stuff. A local buddy of mine suggested that while I was in town I check out the San Jose equivalent to Phnom Penh, Chez Sovan in nearby Campbell.

Cheryl and I finished our day of Project Management 101 drudgery at our Morgan Hill Training center, leaving the cows grazing in the parking lot and headed up the highway to the San Jose/Campbell area. San Jose has a ton of Asian restaurants, particularly Thai and Vietnamese, but Chez Sovan has the distinction of being the only Cambodian in town.

Restaurant entrance

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