Silicon Valley Eats: Hummus, Nepali Cuisine, & a Pumpkin Festival

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It's beginning to feel a lot like fall in the South Bay, those little heat waves aside. Get in the spirit with a spate of restaurant openings, expansions, and the granddaddy of all pumpkin festivals in Half Moon Bay.

The Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival is going down this weekend in the gorgeous coastal hamlet, complete with music, a parade, and the world's largest pumpkin sculpture! As man cannot live on gourd-inspired crafts alone, we're pleased to report that there will be ample pumpkin-centric food and drink offerings, including pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin pie fudge, and cream-filled pumpkin rolls. Look out for local coastal treats, too—locally-grown brussels sprouts and artichokes will be on offer, plus clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Wash it all down with cocktails courtesy of the Half Moon Bay Distillery (including an orange-hued Jack-O-Tini, Maverick's Pumpkin Harvest Ale from the Half Moon Bay Brewery, and local wine, too. It's all happening Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th from 9 am. to 5 pm.

Down in San Jose, the longstanding Fountain Restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel has reopened for breakfast and lunch after a remodel, and a menu refresh. Lunch, in particular, has been decidedly modernized, now featuring everything from kale salad to a vermicelli bowl with sweet chili sauce. There are still plenty of classic sandwiches to offer, though burgers have been given creative, gourmet twists—try yours topped with bacon truffle relish and a fried egg, or with miso aioli, and spicy kimchee.

Oren's Hummus, a Palo Alto favorite, has expanded to Mountain View with the opening of their new location on Castro. Tel Aviv-native Oren Dobronsky specializes in classic Israeli fare, including falafel, sabich, and shakshuka, plus multiple varieties of creamy, hearty hummus. You can get yours topped with eveyrthing from fava beans to Moroccan-spiced beef and pine nuts. Their tasty goods are also available to-go and for catering. 

Also in on the expansion game is Jack's Restaurant and Bar—the family-run restaurant has opened in San Mateo, joining their Pleasant Hill and San Bruno locations. Expect extensive, hearty menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more (including a dedicated mac 'n' cheese menu), and a large bar area.

Burlingame is now home to H29, a coffee shop-wine bar with pastries, cheese, charcuterie, and tasty small plates (see: truffle fries) on offer. Both beer and wine are available on tap.

Finally, meet Third Eye Restaurant—Millbrae's first-ever Indian restaurant (apparently). With food from a former All Spice chef, there's a choice assortment of classic northern Indian curries, as well as Nepali specialities including momo (dumplings) and goat curry. Look out for other unique gems like a Kashmiri-style braised wind dancer rabbit (!), monkfish moilee, and coconut-braised lamb shank. 

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