We’ve been back in San Jose for a few days now, and we are slowly getting over the jet lag (not easy when there’s a 16 hour time difference between here and Malaysia). It’s been pretty smooth so far, thanks in large part to our good friends who helped to ease us back in. I got a head cold the first day back, and experienced some troubling heart palpitations as well, but they couldn’t stop me from taking us out to our favorite Saturday morning destination: the farmer’s market at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA.
The day before Ash Wednesday (when the Christian season of Lent begins) is known as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. It is celebrated as Mardi Gras in places influenced by French culture, like the bawdy celebrations down in New Orleans. But in Hawaii, it has another name: Malasada Day.
Happy Malasada Day in Hawaii
Reading the obituary for Maria Elena Montellano, I am transported back a few years, to the day I visited her namesake restaurant.
It was one of those gloriously crisp, clear Fall Saturdays in the Bay Area, with the bright sun shining down its warm rays upon a chilly South Bay. I had just dropped Annie off at a friend’s house in north San Jose, near 1st St and Hwy 237. (Annie was catering a bridal shower.) So there I was, alone with the kids and nothing to do.
I didn’t want to head back home – too boring. I also didn’t want to drive too far away, since I needed to be back in a few hours to fetch Annie. So I decided to keep heading North on 1st St and cross over Hwy 237 to the little town of Alviso. With no plan in mind, what would I find?
We took a little time at the beginning of July to have a family vacation in Carmel and Monterey with our good friends. It was to be our last relaxing fling before the craziness of packing up and moving to Malaysia started in earnest. Knowing that our friends love French food, I started asking around for good French restaurants in the area.
Prior to the trip, Food Gal Carolyn Jung had invited us to dinner to meet with Ben the Single Guy Cook and Andrea Nguyen of Viet World Kitchen. Andrea recommended Bistro Moulin in Monterey as her favorite French restaurant. On the day we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we took lunch at Bistro Moulin.