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Jul 8, 2009 10:04 PM

Suggestions for big group dinner in San Jose

My son's water polo team will be in the San Jose area at the end of July for a tournament. We're staying near the airport, but can drive a bit. Can you recommend some restaurants for teenage boys with big appetites and their parents, a group of 30 or more? We would like good quality, somewhat healthy for $15 or less, and relatively quick service. Maybe something "fast casual," too. And nothing too exotic to upset their stomachs! (Too many restrictions?) Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. From reading your list of needs you might want to try Sonoma Chicken Coop , they have several locations. It's been several years since I've been to one but I think it might work for your big group. It's a "order, pay & pick up your own meal" type place. You can seat yourself so it makes it easy to accommodate large parties.

    The food decent, basic fair. Chicken, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, etc. in a casual comfortable setting.

    I've been to the downtown San Jose location at 31 N. Market St. ...and also the city of Campbell location. Both locations are conveniently located by parking garages that are free at night & on weekends. Also street parking is available.

    But it looks like you might be in luck they have opened another location right by the airport.

    Apparently you can also "preorder" you food online or by cellphone. It's the option on the bottom left hand corner of their home page. (It also shows you the exact price of the meals.) This might help if all 30 of you arrive at the same time!

    1 Reply
    1. re: rilkeanheart

      Thanks for the suggestion--that sounds like exactly what we are looking for!

    2. Across the street from the Sonoma Chicken Coop in Campbell is Aqui, which is delicious Southwestern Tex-Mex. It's not at all greasy (some dishes are even pretty healthy), and not at all spicy nor exotic for teenagers, and the margaritas and desserts are terrific. Not expensive, either, since you seat yourself, and there's free refills on sodas and ice tea. It's about 10-15 min from the airport.

      If you really want cheap, good, all-you-can-eat, try Sweet Tomatoes (5 miles from the airport). It's mainly vegetarian, but has great soups, salads, pizza, muffins, breads, ice cream bar, etc.

      Aqui Cal-Mex Grill
      201 E Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA 95008

      Sweet Tomatoes
      1210 Kifer Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

      1 Reply
      1. re: Claudette

        Thanks, rilkeanheart and Claudette-- just got back from our trip, and everybody enjoyed Aqui and Sonoma Chicken Coop! Your suggestions made me look good, but I gave the credit to Chowhounders!

      2. Have you thought about the Spaghetti Factory? Its right near the Sonoma Chicken Factory on Market St. The prices are great, the wait for a table can be long but maybe since you have a group you can call ahead. My teenage Nephews love the spaghetti with Italian sausage. Also, the bread is served warm and most meals come with Spumoni ice cream which is quite yummy.

        1. Oops, O.K. so I'm tired and didnt see your message that youve completed your trip. But next time your in town Try the Spaghetti Factory next time your in town with the Kids.

          1 Reply
          1. re: 2sjfoodies

            Spaghetti Factory was actually the first place I tried, to set up a team dinner. But after calling 3 times and never getting the call back that was promised, I gave up. It would have been ideal, though--thanks for the suggestion!