Silicon Valley Eats: Seasonal French, Cheffy Hot Dogs, and Fests Galore

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It’s a busy week for eating down in the South Bay, with a Bacon and Brew Fest in the works, chef-inspired hot dogs for eating, and destination-worthy French food to seek out.


Let’s not dally with the promise of bacon and beer—the San Mateo Bacon and Brew Fest is happening next Saturday, September 27 in Central Park from 11 am to 5 pm. Yeah, that’s a lot of time to eat and drink yourself silly. Tickets ($15, get them here) include a free large beer or glass of wine (or soda for the kids; those under 12 are free!), plus access to a swath of local food vendors, bands, burlesque, and more. Breweries involved include Widmer Brothers, Kona Brewing, Red Hook, and many others. 

Also on September 27 is the Redwood City Salsa Festival, a free event held downtown from 12 to 8 pm. (so in theory, you can do both!). Salsa has a double meaning, with all kinds of live Latin music, and fiery tastes of the edible stuff (including a salsa eating competition). Expect beer, wine, and food vendors on hand, too.

In restaurant opening news, we’re excited to announce Zola, a bastion of seasonal French food in downtown Palo Alto next Wednesday. Chef-owner Guillaume Bienaime, previously of now-closed Marche in Menlo Park has put together a great-looking menu of classic French dishes with decidedly California touches—think a salade de tomates with watermelon, feta, and mint, or a tender roast chicken served with fresh corn “coush coush.” French and California wines will be on offer, as well. 

In Mountain View, Scott’s Seafood reopened as Mixx on September 13, a lunch and dinner spot with a food ethos influenced by the diversity of the area. The extensive menu includes everything from sticky ginger pork ribs with a Thai slaw to a Bronx “pastrami board” featuring hand cut meat. Emmenthaler cheese, and rye bread. Mains range from chicken and waffles, to steak frites, to tofu and greens stir fried with Szechuan spices. Lunch includes a selection of sandwiches and salads, and there’s a daily happy hour from 3:30 to 6:30 pm.

Last month saw the opening of Stumpy’s, a chef-driven burger and hot dog joint from Jim Stump of The Table in San Jose. Echoing the fast-slow-food ethos of spots like Super Duper, Stumpy’s local meats and other ingredients when possible. Menu items include a bahn mi-inspired pork sausage dog called The Bui, topped with pork pate and pickled vegetables, a classic Chicago dog, and burgers topped with everything from pork belly to braised short rib. Fries and tots are on offer as sides, along with beer, wine, and Straus soft serve. 

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