San Jose Catering Takes Its Cues from the Bay Area Restaurant Scene
- Christina Mueller
- 5 Min Read
Even though San Jose catering is influenced by the same restaurant trends that breeze into San Francisco, a lot can — and does — happen in the 50 miles that separate the two cities. As the San Jose Mercury News notes, a number of Korean fried chicken restaurants opened first in Silicon Valley. And the first Shake Shack will debut in Palo Alto before it makes its way to San Francisco, according to San Francisco Eater.
The San Jose restaurant scene is a diverse and inclusive one. There’s room for all manner of tacos and pizza. Meanwhile, other trends, like mini desserts and greens in every style and shade, are driven by code jocks and other tech professionals throughout the area. Here are just a few of the trends that are shaping San Jose catering.
Chicken Is Everywhere
San Jose catering is all about chicken. KFC — and, of course, that stands for Korean Fried Chicken — is just one of the big chicken trends that have come to the center of the plate in San Jose restaurants. But you’ll also find chicken and waffles, Middle Eastern takes, and Asian flavors all over the San Jose restaurant scene.
“We noticed that people are aware of gochujang and are more comfortable now with spicy heat,” says Tommy Nguyen, Operation Manager for Koja Kitchen. “Chicken Koja [sandwich] used to come with a tame sauce but as more people are receptive to spicy heat, we switched it spicy gochujang sauce.”
Here are some other ways, fans of all parts of the bird continue to find ways to enjoy this ever-popular protein.
- The Kebab Shop’s Carved Chicken Döner Boxed Lunch features spit-roasted chicken and saffron rice, along with salad fixings, like carrot slaw, cabbage, and tomato, to satisfy the heartiest appetites. The included garlic yogurt and spicy cilantro sauces kick the classic grilled chicken dish up a notch.
- The Original BBQ Chicken Pizza remains California Pizza Kitchen’s most popular pizza. It’s layered with red onions and gouda. And it’s as classic as ever. But, now, you can also order it with a cauliflower or gluten-free bread crust.
- Marinated in yogurt and spices and baked in a clay oven to give the skin a shattering crispness, Tandoori Chicken Tikka is one of tastiest dishes at Gulzaar Halaal. Hummus and Vegetable Samosas are just a few of the other familiar items on the menu. The Naan, prepared Afghan-style, is also cooked in the clay oven and is not to be missed.
Tacos Move Beyond Mexican
Inspired by the food truck movement, which put just about every ingredient imaginable inside of a tortilla, the taco movement has steadily built steam for years in the San Jose restaurant scene. And, it shows no sign of slowing. From Korean beef with kimchi, to regional Mexican flavors, and wherever else a chef’s imagination might take them, tacos are the new bread, crossing every cultural line to make any region’s cuisine more approachable.
Hand-held and party-friendly, they are the ultimate social food, as these local favorites demonstrate.
- Sushi tacos are a fun change of pace on the Blush Ice Bar menu. Choose seared tuna, seared salmon, or crab. Try them as an appetizer or as a main course at lunch or dinner.
- The tacos are vegan at Live Organic Food. Stuffed with avocado, a walnut-tomato filling, and basil pesto, they are guaranteed to fill you up. And they’ll keep you energized for all day after.
- The Short Rib Taco at Powered by Pork combines Mexican and Vietnamese flavors, layering pho braised short ribs with mung bean, Thai basil, and sri-roja salsa.
New Desserts Take Over
The tech companies in Silicon Valley, always have something to celebrate. There are office birthdays, sure, but also new product launches or sales goal achievements. And to keep those celebrators well-fed, San Jose catering has answered the call with new takes on dessert.
“People really want to celebrate special milestones,” says Jenn Barrett, Director of Sales for SusieCakes. “We work with a lot of corporations that provide lunch, not just to celebrate, but to get people together as a group and have a treat.” SusieCakes recently offered a Caramel Corn Cupcake, topped with “butter” frosting and caramel popcorn, which, Barrett says, gets people talking.
Here are a few other ways desserts are dominating the San Jose restaurant scene.
- Mochi, or the Japanese delicacy of ice cream wrapped in a sweetened rice cake is the specialty of California Mochi and Teaspresso Café. Salted Ice Cream Mochi is a local favorite frozen cream-filled cake. Or, try the Brownie Mochi stuffed with brownie filling or Cheesecake Berry Mochi. These dumpling-like desserts will get the whole office talking.
- SusieCakes offers Miniature Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes, which is a big surprise to Barrett. “I would have bet we would never do any flourless desserts, but they are popular because they taste great.” And small cakes are not only associated with less guilt but are great for sharing.
- At CREAM, the Ice Cream tacos are must-haves. Flavors such as French vanilla or mint chocolate chip are nestled into a waffle cone taco shell.
- As they say, life needs frosting. And at Cinnabon, the classic cinnamon bun and the Caramel Pecan cinnamon bun are available as Minibons. Who says they can’t be dessert?
The San Jose restaurant scene is loaded with globally inspired options for anyone looking for something fresh and new, something with a bit of heat on it, or something simply delicious.
From new takes on chicken and tacos in all shapes and flavors to classic desserts and new takes on gluten-free, San Jose catering gets more interesting each day.