After a visit to Santana Row and Palo Alto, the remainder of our trip consisted of an amazing Thanksgiving meal, hanging out with my family, a visit to the San Jose Gurdwara, lots of great food, and my awesome baked goods (see below).
To start off with, my brother-in-law and sister’s home was a mini-vacation in itself. Currently living in an apartment on the east coast, I enjoyed the openness and couldn't get over the amount of sunlight there was in every corner of their house. Almost every room had a view and if you look closely enough, you can see the mountains.
One day I even went lemon picking in her backyard. How awesome is it to have lemons growing uncontrollably in your backyard? I think I'm in loveeeeeeeeeeee with California!
Thursday night we enjoyed an amazing Thanksgiving Meal made by my sister’s sister-in-law (on her husband’s side). It was so great to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and the works. Most people in my family are vegetarian, and for those of us who are not, no one is brave enough to cook a turkey.
And I also interacted with a dog named Duke… this was a big deal for me being that I’m scared of big dogs, ya know? But Duke’s a really good dog, very sweet with a pure soul.
Friday morning my sister made Vegetable Frittata for the family, and I was so happy my cousin, Ankush, was able to join in on all the fun. The frittata was so yummy and healthy at the same time since she incorporated more egg whites and fewer egg yolks.
As mentioned in my last 2 posts, we visited the lovely Santana Row which is a strip of restaurants and designer shops – I LOVED IT! You can read more about Santana Row here.
My husband and I also ventured out to Palo Alto alone which was nice, but sadly I found Palo Alto to be quite boring due to the lack of energy, but pretty. You can read more about Palo Alto here.
We also visited the San Jose Gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship.
If you practice Sikhism or if you are of Punjabi origin or if you are just inquisitive in general, I strongly encourage you to visit the San Jose Gurdwara because it is beautiful. The Gurdwara was built solely on donations by the Sikh community and it is also the largest Gurdwara in North America.
The Gurdwara sits on a higher altitude which boasts gorgeous views of San Jose.
If you look closely, you can see downtown San Jose. Isn’t it so pretty?
Lastly, the Gurdwara is a peaceful place to simply sit and pray, enjoy the soothing music, follow it up with some awesome vegetarian Punjabi food (called Langar), and end the meal with a cup of masala chai. Yes, the Sikhs are extremely generous with their food offerings, and the food here is always delectable. Simultaneously, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains (I think Sierra Mountains) that surround this beautiful place of worship.
LOCATION: 2721 Aborn Road, San Jose, CA. 95121 & lots of other locations in CA. and other states.
MENU: Nothing Bundt Cake Flavors Menu.
RECOMMENDED TO: Everyone
One day we picked up some dessert from Nothing Bundt Cakes (check out their beautiful website) which is a bakery that only consists of well, bundt cakes. The cakes come in all sizes, including mini bundt cakes and larger bundt cakes.
These guys seem to be pretty HUGE in California and Texas, and in general it seems to be a west coast bakery which spans across a few more states. To the folks at Nothing Bundt Cakes - PLEASE OPEN ONE LOCATION IN NEW YORK CITY!!! Such a cute bakery, I love the lighting and pastel colors.
We bought a total of 3 flavors.
I LOVED the Red Velvet Bundt Cake, and my sister loved the White Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake which I found to be a tad bit sweet. The Marble Bundt Cake, a combination of yellow and chocolate cake was good, but nothing amazing. Each regular sized Bundt Cake cost $3.99. Don’t they look delish?
All 3 cakes were super moist, and as you can tell I started off with a little wedge of all 3. YUMMY!
VERDICT for NOTHING BUNDT CAKES: 4.5 / 5
I really loved Nothing Bundt Cakes. My sister went on and on and on about how good they were, and I was like for real? I should have trusted her sooner because I guess the “food snob” gene runs in my family. Haha! I can’t believe I have to travel 3000 miles to visit this bakery – so ridiculous, but worth it. So the next time I visit Cali, I’m so getting the Red Velvet Cake (obviously), the Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and the Carrot Cake which is made with bits of pineapple and alas topped off with cream cheese frosting – drooling!
RESTAURANT REVIEW: IN-N-OUT BURGER
LOCATION: All over California and other states.
MENU: In-N-Out Burger Menu.
RECOMMENDED TO: Everyone.
Another night, my husband and I headed to In-N-Out burger to get the World’s BEST Burgers. Unfortunately In-N-Out only offers beef burgers (no chicken, no veggie), and as you can guess, all my beliefs of what I can and cannot eat went right out the window, yes people, I indulged in red meat, or rather a CHEESEBURGER after 6 years and I don’t regret a single bite of it, it was delicious! The beef patty was thinner than what I've seen which was great for me.
My husband, sister, and brother-in-law requested a Meatless Burger with Cheese, so a burger without beef. And guess what, that was amazing too. The secret is in their sauce – definitely a mayo-ketchup combination. The fries were very average, but who cares, the burger tasted amazing.
VERDICT for IN-N-OUT BURGER: 4.5 / 5
The beef burgers at In-N-Out are amazing! I had a bite of the Veggie Burger with Cheese and that was very tasty as well. The Strawberry Milkshake was thick and frothy, delicious! I found the Fries here to be average. Personally, I like my fries crispy and golden brown, and In-N-Out didn’t deliver the perfect fry. Regardless, a must-do whenever you visit California.
On Sunday morning, my sister dragged everyone to the Local Farmer’s Market. Look how fresh the vegetables are.
Initially I was all whiny like, why do I have to go? But I went and actually had fun. It was so scenic. Sometimes I can’t believe the most basic places in California have so much beauty. Everyday here is a freakin’ vacation. I need to find a job in the valley!
RESTAURANT REVIEW: LE BOULANGER
LOCATION: 4898 San Felipe Road, San Jose, CA. 95135 & Silicon Valley Locations only
MENU: Le Boulanger Menu.
CUISINE: French Bakery/Café
RECOMMENDED TO: Everyone
Early Monday morning we headed to Le Boulanger for breakfast. My sister kept pronouncing this charming French bakery as, “La Boulanger”, basically the way it is written. Okay, okay, so did I. The correct pronunciation is “Luh Boo-lawn-ZHAY.” So French, and I love it!
I loved the variety of baked goods.
My sister went for the Vegetarian Medley Omelet. In the omelet was spinach, mushrooms, red onion, roasted red peppers, jack cheese, and avocado all served on sliced sourdough bread. Her omelet was pretty good, and I really liked the creaminess from the avocado, nevertheless I’m not really a huge fan of omelets.
My brother-in-law went for the Italian Frittata made with egg, roasted peppers, and provolone cheese served on ciabatta bread. He said his omelet sandwich was good, but my sister’s meal (Vegetarian Medley Omelet) was better.
But seriously, who wants an omelet when you can have an unhealthy, artery clogging b-bu-but-buttery croissant with spinach and mushrooms, hello heaven! My Spinach & Mushroom Croissant was so freakin’ delicious that I still can’t believe I only ate 1. Also, in my observation, this is the first time I am encountering a Vegetable Croissant, why aren’t there more of these sold? Why must a croissant always be sweet?
My mom visited California a few days before I and ate at the same French Bakery THREE TIMES and she too loved the Spinach & Mushroom Croissant. It’s amazing! I’d love to make this particular kind of croissant for my mom because I don’t think I would have the patience to do it for anyone else. It’s about time I step it up with my baked goods. Just look at the filling.
The coffee was full bodied and very strong, and so I added lots of cream, some brown sugar, and a little water to get the right consistency.
VERDICT for LE BOULANGER: 4 / 5
Although I really loved my meal and have never eaten a vegetable croissant in my life, I gave this café a 4 because the omelets were okay, not amazing. Having said that, the coffee at Le Boulanger is very good regardless of whether you like it mild or strong.
Once again, this café only exists in California, only in Silicon Valley to be exact. I wish they would open more places like Le Boulanger in suburbs all across America so you’re not restricted to the usual Denny’s or IHOP. It’s nice to have a little French in your life, no?
And lastly, my baked goods, I baked 2 amazing desserts. Cointreau Walnut Brownies which were moist and flavored with orange liquor.
And I made the BEST Banana Cake which I found on the internet. We all devoured this super moist heavenly Banana Cake topped off with none other than Cream Cheese Frosting. Both recipes coming soon.
Last but not least, I’d like to thank my sister and brother-in-law for hosting us in their cozy and beautiful home. We appreciate all that you did and thank you for taking us to the local spots. And a special thanks to my niece and nephew for entertaining us with their funny stories and being so sweet. Saying goodbye during sunset to the beautiful San Francisco.
TELL ME: Have you visited San Jose or the Silicon Valley? If so, where did you stay and eat?