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Thursday, August 23, 2012

@Dishcrawl: Discover your Food Neighborhood

A very fruity Sangria from Oryza
By Tina - FIVE STAR must do!

I love when a new adventure comes to town.  And when that adventure combines meeting new people, discovering new restaurants and getting a little bit of walking in-between courses it's downright incredible and all-out fun.  You will experience all of this when you partake in DISHCRAWL.

Dishcrawl was founded by Tracy Lee, a vivacious entrepreneur who happens to be from the Bay area and even went to the same high school as my own 3 girls.  So it was with extreme pleasure that I got to catch up with her, find out about Dishcrawl - and experience it first hand.

The way Dishcrawl works is you check out their website and see what events are happening in a particular area.  Perhaps there is one in a  nearby city you've been meaning to check out and this gives you even more reason to do so.  Or maybe your business or personal travel just happens to take you to another city such as Austin, Toronto, New York or San Francisco (and more) then you can see if a local Dishcrawl is on the books during your stay.  You'll be fortunate if that is the case because you will meet new people, savor delicious food from a variety of amazing restaurants and walk the neighborhood in the pursuit of the next mouth-watering treat.

Our plate of finger-licking appetizers from Oryza.
I recently attended the August 20 San Jose event that took place at Santana Row.  It started at 7:00 pm at the Oryza Bistro Asiana in Westfield Valley Fair Mall.  Once we got there we checked-in, got our official Dishcrawl name tag and then found a table with some other adventurous food souls.  After ordering drinks (which are not included in the price of the ticket), a wonderful plate of tuna tartar, chicken wings (with an addicting, finger-licking marinade) and beef bites was placed in front of each hungry ticket holder.  It was pure gastro indulgence, food for the heart and soul.  What I love about this whole concept of Dishcrawl is we tried out restaurants that we did not know about but they are now on our list of restaurants to frequent.  When we have guests in town we now have an arsenal of restaurants that we have tried out and recommend. In the past we'd hem and haw about where to take our out of town guests.  Now they will think we are bonafide foodies.

Our group walking to Hot Tamales - notice the astounded little boy to the left.
In total we went to 4 different restaurants including Hot Tamales, Bombay Wraps (which is actually a food stand between the Container Store and Best Buy) and  Cocola.

While each of these restaurants starts at a different price point and has a different atmosphere and specialty, they each have a place on our now growing list of restaurants to frequent.

Our hosts for the evening, and one of the chefs in the background
Bombay Wraps in particular was an interesting mix on our crawl as they are a simple food cart between two large stores as I mentioned.  But the four guys who run it have a great selection of freshly prepared wraps including lamb, beef and chicken.  My husband really liked the chicken wrap that was served to us.  It was definitely fresh and had a nice spicy kick to it.

Another thing we enjoyed was the chance to meet the chefs at each of the restaurants.  They took the time to talk about their menu and what went into the dishes we gobbled up.

Sweet treats from Cocola - amazing.
The whole experience from start to finish was really satisfying down to the last bite.  We can't wait to try it again and bring some friends along.

Dishcrawl is great for a date night or evening out with friends. Check out the calendar of events and discover what's in your neighborhood.

Have a suggestion on a future Dishcrawl?  Then make a suggestion or even check out how to become a Dishcrawl Ambassador.

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