Eastridge Center in San Jose is getting some attention in the food scene this coming weekend on May 13, 2017 with a culinary competition to determine who will win an eatery space inside the mall.

Entries from local food trucks and restaurateurs were collected in March and finalists were announced on April 10. The fourteen finalists will convene on May 13 to show off their signature dishes to event attendees. Tickets for admission (they were free) are no longer available, but if you managed to snag a ticket, make sure to bring your appetite so you can try each dish in the competition. Guests will have a chance to influence the outcome of the competition by voting for their favorite dish. See the full list of finalists on the HERE. The winner will be announced on May 19.

The winner of the competition will receive a blank canvas dining eatery space with a fully-equipped kitchen and digital signage, a $50,000 investment, and six months of free rent! That’s a pretty big deal for a first-time brick and mortar owner or small business looking to expand its presence.

I met with Ed of Big Ed’s Buzzard BBQ last week and got a sneak peek of his signature dishes — the smoked tri-tip and beef brisket sliders. Don’t these look mouthwatering? They’re the perfect bite!

Smoked tri-tip slider with housemade au jus & beef brisket slider

Beef brisket slider

While at the event, make sure to take a walk around on the sides of the mall stretching from the 24 Hour Fitness to Sears; there’s also a mural on the AMC theater. The new murals by local artists are worth a look and are perfect for a photo shoot. I love that the mall is now a bit more vibrant and showcases local talent. Check out the short film on the murals on Youtube.

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