Monthly Archives: April 2016

Top Ten Eats in San Jose

From food trucks to 50+ year old establishments, San Jose certainly has a restaurant to satisfy any craving you could possibly have. In no particular order, here’s our top ten places to get your fill.

Plate

  1. Falafel’s Drive-In

2301 Stevens Creek Blvd

Celebrate Falafel’s Drive In’s 50th year in business by treating yourself to a classic falafel–a pita sandwich filled with falafel balls (deep-fried chickpea heaven), lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, tahini sauce, topped with the restaurant’s famous hot sauce.

As seen on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, this classic middle eastern restaurant continues to serve up the same fresh dishes like tabbouleh and hummus as it did when its door first opened in 1966.

Burgers and fries round out the menu for less adventurous, but you’d be cheating yourself to miss out on a juicy steak-filled gyro or a sweet-crisp pocket of baklava.

ChaChaSushi

(via yelp/Dean C)

  1. Cha Cha Sushi

547 W Capitol Expy

Move over free chips and salsa!  Cha Cha Sushi has COMPLIMENTARY mussel appetizers!  Who does that?! (Cha Cha does, actually)

Not only that, this popular sushi bar has an extensive menu of specialty rolls like you’ve never seen.  Whatever raw/cooked fish combos you can dream up, they’re already two steps ahead of you and it’s on the menu.

Customer favorite Brandon’s roll (pictured above) is a plateful of sushi heaven with mixed fish, cucumbers, unagi sauce, rice crackers and the whipped topping of Japan–spicy mayo.

ASONY

  1. A Slice of New York

3443 Stevens Creek Blvd

If your pizza slice ideal is that it’s a little greasy and best eaten folded in half, then get yourself to A Slice of New York.

Walk in to the storefront on Stevens Creek and pick up a couple of slices of owner-recommended cheese to-go or order a full size from their NYC-inspired menu.  Can’t pick from the delicious line up?  Try customer favorite Munchie Lunchie–topped with pepperoni, chorizo and jalapeno so you KNOW it’s good.

CityFish

  1. The City Fish

30 E Santa Clara St, Ste 140

There are few indulgences better in life than a perfectly done box of fish and chips and The City Fish dishes up the best plate going in all of San Jose.

Come for the generous portions of expertly battered and fried fish, but stay for the garlic fries and fresh oysters as far as the eye can see.  Check out The City Fish’s happy hour specials with cheap fish tacos and $1 oysters on the half shell.

FreshlyBaked

(via yelp/John D)

  1. Freshly Baked Eatery

152 N 3rd St, Ste 101 (look for the red umbrellas)

Looking for a great fantastic deli downtown?  Freshly Baked Eatery has got you covered with classic sandwiches like you’ve never had before, thanks to their, well, freshly baked sourdough house loaf.

Freshly Baked Eatery is the perfect spot to stop in for a quick and cheap, but super tasty lunch.  Try the pastrami and turkey (pictured above), or if you need a hearty meal to hold you over to dinner, ask for the Special, which features their homemade-and-cooked-in-beer sausage.

(via yelp/Glenn L)

ChezSouvan

  1. Chez Sovan

923 Oakland Rd

If you haven’t tried Chez Sovan’s amok, you 100% have not lived.

The amok (steamed fish with curry and spices served in banana leaf, pictured above) is hands down the fan favorite at Chez Sovan.  This unassuming, lunch-only Cambodian restaurant serves up beautifully prepared fish curries and stir-fry noodles that you absolutely need in your life right now.

BillsCafe

  1. Bill’s Cafe

1115 Willow St

Everyone needs a hearty brunch spot in their weekend eating repertoire and Bill’s ticks every omelette/french toast/scramble box you’re looking for.

The real stars of Bill’s Cafe breakfast/brunch are the Benedicts.  From the classic smoked salmon to the riskier crab cakes to the El Paso (think corned beef skillet meets traditional benedict), you’re sure to find a benedict for everyone in your brunch party.  Don’t forget to wash it all down with a chilled mimosa, or else, does it even really count as brunch?
(via yelp/Anita M)

SlidersBurgers

  1. Sliders Burgers

1645 W San Carlos St

Buffalo wings?  Check.  Chilli cheese fries?  Check.  A selection of unusual meat choices for supremely tasty burgers and cheeseburgers?  Check and check–Sliders Burgers has you covered for a solid night of burger-ing.

From wild boar to elk to ostrich to good old fashioned beef, Sliders grinds all meat in house for the freshest burgers you’ve ever had from a diner-style restaurant.  Start by selection what meat you want as your burger base and add-on favorites like grilled mushrooms or avocado until you’ve crafted a burger that’s all your own.

MilkWood2

(via yelp/Lily T)

  1. Milk & Wood

387 S 1st St

What’s that you say?  Thought you could only choose your toppings when you go out for fro-yo?  What madman would dare dream up customizable popsicles?

The awesome crazies at Milk & Wood, that’s who.  You pick your flavor of popsicle (green tea kit kat is unmissable), you pick a chocolate to drizzle, you pick your toppings (I see you there, Fruity Pebbles), and top it off with another drizzle of chocolate and/or condensed milk.  Your choice, your prerogative.

Spartan-Food-Truck

  1. Spartan Taco Truck

447 E William St

Located within walking/stumbling distance of SJSU, Spartan Taco Truck is the perfect spot to sate those late-night, finals-cramming munchies.

Don’t miss the $1 freshly fried chips and nacho fries–oh yes, you heard right–that’s all your favorite nacho toppings served on french fries.  Open from 9pm-3am, this food truck serves street-style tacos, burritos, nachos and offers a self-serve toppings bar–everything your midnight cravings could ever hope for.

7 Spring Styles to For Attending a Wedding

Just because its not your wedding doesn’t mean you won’t need to look fabulous. Below are 7 wedding styles for attendees that are guaranteed to make you look fabulous but not take away the spotlight from the bride to be.

 

beautiful wedding table decorated with fresh flowers, candles and an invitation
beautiful wedding table decorated with fresh flowers, candles and an invitation

 

Wedding-Attendee Rule #2 is that you can’t outshine the bride.

 

Rule #1, if you’re interested, is put your iPhone away already.  Don’t be the jerk ruining the photos your friends/family spent their life savings for and instead, gasp, actually witness the event through your own eyes and not through your iPhone screen.

 

Back to Rule #2–you can (and should!) still look amazing, wipe the floor with the bridesmaids, but maybe save that sex-bomb hair and heavy contouring for your big day.

 

We’ve rounded up the perfect hair and outfits to make you shine with a dewy-freshness for your best-looking spring wedding season yet!

 

Hair

Braids and soft curls are your best bet for a demure and classy wedding guest look.  Here’s our top three subtle and pretty styles, sure to get you some double-takes as you hit the reception dance floor!

 

  1. Braided Crown

Braided Crown

Watch the Twist Me Pretty tutorial here.

 

  1. Old Hollywood Glamour Curls

 

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Find step-by-step photos over at Grey Likes Weddings

  1. Messy-but-classy side pony

messy-ponytail-how-to

 

Get the tutorial for this dreamy style from Cup of Jo.

 

Clothes and accessories

In keeping with softly styled hair, match your simple do with soft and sweet threads.  Don’t be afraid to venture outside of floral dresses–we are crushing on jumpsuits this season, too!

 

  1. H&M’s Floral Jumpsuit with Espadrilles

hm jumpsuithm espadrillesjpg

  1. Forever21’s Floral BodyCon and Nude Wedges

Forever21 BodyConForever21 Wedges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Patron’s of Peace Maxi Dress with Full-Tilt Necklace

POP Maxi FullTilt Necklace

 

Don’t settle for a being a wallflower this wedding season!  There are so many gorgeous, sweet, and demure hair styles and outfits that will keep you looking your best without completely stealing the show!

7 Benefits of Yoga You Probably Didn’t Know About

Yoga began as a sacred form of worship and a way to reach enlightenment by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization more than 5,000 years ago in northern India.  

 

In recent years, it has gained traction in Western cultures as it transformed and adapted to promote longevity and quality of life, however, it’s often dismissed as a “fitness fad” or reason for women to wear extremely comfortable pants all day.

 

What you might not realize is that yoga actually has astonishing health benefits that go far beyond a flat stomach and toned body.

 

  1. Increased Flexibility

With so many yoga poses focusing on increased flexibility, you might be wondering why there is so much attention on flexibility.

 

Flexibility is just the term used to describe the range of use our muscles have–if you have little flexibility, you’re not using your muscles to their full potential.  Our muscles naturally lose strength through lack of use and even loss as we age, which leads to aches, pains and stiffness in our joints.

 

Consistent practice of yoga, in any form, will help you slowly stretch and strengthen muscles you didn’t even know you had, extend their range, and increase your flexibility to give you a strong body.

 

  1. Additional Strength Training

While free weights and machines at the gym definitely have a place in your strength training circuit, yoga also holds its own for building muscle.

 

Yoga poses like chair pose or the humble plank feel easy enough at first, but after just 30 seconds of holding (and probably for a few days after), you’ll notice it’s not just your arms and legs that are burning.  As with most yoga poses, your entire body is engaged, and you’re often supporting your own body weight.

 

Think of yoga as free weights, but you’re lifting the weight of your own body!

 

  1. Better Posture

Posture is more than just old-fashioned dinner table manners–it actually informs how well (or how poorly) your muscles and ligaments are aligned in your body.  

 

Good posture ensures muscles are in their correct place and you’re not placing undue stress on any one muscle or muscle group.  Unaddressed poor posture can not only cause muscle strains and injury, but can also lead to digestive and breathing problems in the long term.

 

  1. Protection From Injury

As already mentioned with flexibility and posture, yoga actively keeps your muscles aligned correctly in the body, with each muscle in its intended place and being used within its full range.

 

One benefit of this is protection from injury, with many runners and top athletes engaging yoga as part of their injury-prevention toolkit.  For instance, a long distance runner may use poses like standing forward bend or low lunge as a means of keeping the muscles between the hamstring and knee strong and flexible to prevent a serious knee injury.

 

  1. Lowered Blood Pressure

Yoga is equal emphasis on focused stretching and focused breathing.  While overall fitness can certainly contribute to lowered blood pressure, research shows that focused breathing can provide immediate and long-term positive effects on blood pressure.

 

This breathing technique in yoga is called pranayama, which translates as “control of life force”, and is the incorporation of intentional breathing with various poses.  Although this controlled breathing temporarily causes blood vessels to widen, research indicates that, over time, it can continue to keep low.

 

 
  1. Stress Management

“Stress sends the entire physical system into overdrive,” says Garrett Sarley, president and CEO of the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Mass. “The muscles tense, the heart beats faster, breathing patterns change, and if the cause of stress isn’t discontinued, the body secretes more hormones that increase blood sugar levels, raising blood pressure. Yoga is one of the few stress-relief tools that has a positive effect on all the body systems involved.

 

Several studies on the effectiveness of yoga as a treatment for depression and anxiety provide compelling evidence of the practice’s benefits. Some of these studies focus solely on the effects of frequent yoga on women, while others take a play a large role at the area to provide the most complete picture possible.

 

Participants in these studies reported lower stress levels, improved mood, and relaxed nerves in every case.

 

  1. Effective Pain Relief

Numerous studies have been done on how yoga can specifically help alleviate low-back pain, although, as we’ve already seen, when the body begins to work as it was intended, undue stresses to joints and muscles are reduced and related pains alleviated.

 

If you’re experiencing chronic pain, it is absolutely worth consulting with your doctor about incorporating yoga into your pain management program.  The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has consistently found that patients who practiced yoga for three or more months experienced significant and sustained improvements, even more than usual medical care.

Why You Need Fro-Yo In Your Life

Why You Need Fro-Yo In Your Life

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(via menchies / facebook)

 

I love ice cream.

 

Like, let’s move in together, maybe get a dog and merge bank accounts, love ice cream.

 

But, as it turns out, ice cream doesn’t love me.  Well, it loves hanging around on my thighs, otherwise, it’s just a bowlful of sweet, sugary stomach-ache waiting to happen.

 

For most of my life, I didn’t let the inevitable post-binge regret stop me from downing a pint on my own.  That is, until a few years ago, when a friend dragged me to our local frozen yogurt shop, touting its benefits and carrying on about how it “tastes just like ice cream.”

 

I was skeptical.  Don’t get me wrong–I like yogurt.  At that time, I was eating yogurt with breakfast 3-4 times a week.  And because I was eating yogurt 3-4 times a week, I knew that it, in no way, resembled ice cream.

 

Again, as it turns out, I was wrong.

 

It did taste like ice cream.  And, more surprisingly, I wasn’t left with the post-ice cream blues.  This got me thinking.  If it tastes good and I don’t feel bad after eating it, is it too good to be true?

Frozen Yogurt

     (via adobe stock)

 

As it stands, 95% of Americans already think that frozen yogurt, or “fro-yo”, is healthier than ice cream.  After some quick investigation, I found that, on the whole, they weren’t wrong.

 

Low Fat Content

Frozen yogurt typically contains 0.5% fat, whereas ice cream clocks in at a weighty 15%, thanks to the taste (and waist) maker, heavy cream.

 

Keep in mind, though, often when you have a sweet treat that’s low-fat, sugar could be lurking to boost taste.  Many soft-serve frozen yogurt vendors add as much, if not more, sugar to balance the biting tart of the yogurt.

 

Say it together with me, folks, “everything in moderation.”

 

Probiotics

You’re a smart person.  I’m a smart person.  We both know that yogurt is full of healthy, gut-improving bacteria called probiotics.  Since fro-yo is made with *drum roll* yogurt, fro-yo also gives you a healthy dose of the digestive-boosting little guys.

 

While not every frozen yogurt chain is created equal, many are keeping up on the forefront of health and technology by ensuring the probiotics found in their fro-yo are hearty and can withstand the freezing process, so not only will your mouth be happy with your frozen treat, your gut will be, too.

 

Happy gut, happy life!

toppings2-2

(via adobe stock)

 

Fruity Options

Let’s be real for one minute.  The last time I had fro-yo, I got cake batter, peanut butter, and red velvet cupcake flavors, which probably wasn’t so bad, but then I buried them in cookie dough bites, peanut M&M’s, and chocolate sauce.  I’m not proud of my choices that night, but it happened and I own that.

 

No matter where you decide to pick up fro-yo from, everyone will have a plain or “tart” option, which, if you’re trying to stay on the squeaky-clean side of dessert-dining-out, is going to be your safest bet.

 

You’ll also find every topping bar stocked with fresh cut fruit and chopped nuts to top your sweet treat.  Adding fresh fruit to the top of your tart fro-yo adds a sweet pop of flavor, while nuts will satisfy your need a “candy coated shell”, not to mention getting caught up on your vitamin and protein intake for the day!

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