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Sep 15, 2010 08:04 PM

Fri 9/17/10 San Jose Underground Market!

We're getting a SJ Underground Market in conjunction with AbsoluteZER0 Street Festival - 2010 01SJ Biennial. I've tried Kitchen Sidecar which makes a good banh mi burger. What else should I try?

Vendor list for this Fridays Underground Market in San Jose below.

Where: S 1st st between San Carlos and Reed St. , San Jose

When: Friday, Sept 17th, from 5pm-midnight

Allison Hobson
Golden Roots Catering
Culture of Change
Fresh Bite Baking
Bakesale Fruit Crisps
Bread Project
Good Foods Catering
Venga Paella
Fat Alley Foods
Jeannie’s Jam’s
Sweet Francisco
Luscious Liquids
Kitchen Sidecar
Kitty’s Kreations
Zukra Bakery
Thrive Holistic
JERK. (Matterson’s Authentic Jamaican Cuisine)
SF Delicious Catering
Saucy Dumplings
A Humble Plate
California Cane & Fruit Co.
Dr. Steve’s Magic
Socola Chocolatier
Hella Vegan Eats
Mali Num Num Treats
Angela’s Blackbottom cakes
Empenada de mi pueblo
Good Foods Catering
Raw Daddy Foods ‘ jimmi jam’
Suite Foods
Cocoa Blossom Chocolaterie
Sajen Foods
Farm Curious
Rokas Armonas
Nosh This
Tamale Nation
Sweet Lauren
Earth Alchemy Chocolate

Venga Paella
453 66th Street, C Oakland, CA

2948 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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  1. i went to SubZero during the summer and got "the 408" and "eastside horchata" flavored ice cream from a truck... delicious ice cream, though i forget the name of the company...

    1. Does the San Jose Underground Market occur every Friday evening at the same location? If not, how often? Could you provide a link describing the event (unless its solely connected to the street festival)? Thanks!

      2 Replies
      1. re: sairuh

        A quick search yielded a Yelp announcement and blog post. Looks like it's a one-time even, unless I misread.

        1. re: sairuh

          Yes, it's a one time event, they added more info on the main Underground Market website with their offerings. I can't wait & hope to read other reports after the event.

      2. Thanks for posting this! I'm pretty close to it, will be sure to check it out. Earth Alchemy Chocolate, A Humble Plate, and Sajen Foods are looking pretty good right now. (Especially since I can't think of any Laotian or Indonesian restaurants around here.)

        2948 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        1. Just got back from here, and a few good finds but to be honest overall it was a bit of a disappointment.

          The setting was pretty amateur-ish, it just felt like people brought their wares in with heat trays or portable cookwear and sold it on the street. That in itself wouldn't have been a bad thing but for the lack of professionalism and portion sizes most things were overpriced (bites averaged ~$5, which was $1-2 overpriced for most things) which adds up when you need 3-5 bites to make a meal. For instance, smaller than average tamales, with about a tbsp each of white rice and pinto beans, from Tamale Nation were $5 -- lowering the price at the end of the night to $2 (!!!) still didn't make them look any more appetizing.

          Also, I don't eat refined carbs or pork, which eliminated well over half of the items. I'm fine with ordering a dish that normally comes with white rice asking for "no rice," for instance, but it's a bit harder to do with sandwiches. Too bad the French Taco with beef and a horseradish creme fraiche came on a homemade white flour taco -- that I othewise may have ordered. The one booth that had a good looking brown-red rice, A Humble Plate (Laotian food), only had pork shoulder.

          What I found that I could eat & looked appetizing:

          Sajen - Indonesian food. They had a chicken soup - small cup for $5 but it did look worth a try. The ladies were very nice and explained all the ingredients and spices they used -- turmeric and other antioxidants, and potato cakes. They also put sticky rice cakes in but I ordered it without that. It was good, though not spectacular.

          Flax Seed Cones (I forget the name of the booth) -- cones made out of flax seeds and spices and then stuffed with your choice of raw savory fillings. I got the italian, which included "cheese" made out of cashew and almond butter, sun-dried tomatoes, and zucchini pesto. The $5 cone, while not huge, was stuffed pretty full -- a decent price for designer vegan food. They also had a mushroom one which looked good (but I didn't sample): it had polenta, wild mushrooms in truffle oil, and mustard sauce.

          After walking around a few times I really needed some good carbs, so best I found for that was Zukra. Most of their desserts are made with whole grain flour. I bit the bullet and got the everything cookie even though it had agave nectar (which is really just one step above corn syrup) but fortunately it didn't have too much of it as it wasn't too sweet. It was made primarily with whole grain oats, brown rice flour, coconut flour, and almond meal and had raisins, walnuts, and dark chocolate chips. This one was a winner, and probably one of the better deals at $3 for a pretty big cookie.

          At this point I was getting hungry for something more substantial but couldn't find it here, so I walked over a few blocks to El Grullo & got a juicy bowl of birria. Mmmm!

          El Grullo Restaurant
          797 S Almaden Ave, San Jose, CA 95110

          2948 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          3 Replies
          1. re: Radical347

            if i may just respond to the first paragraph of this...keeping in mind that you didn't even taste most of the food you are critiquing (due to self imposed dietary constraints)...

            if you had ever been to an underground market you would know that most of the items are between $3-7 because the vendors spend a lot of their own money to create their food (not including the cost of gas to get to events, kitchen rentals if they don't have a large enough space at home to produce their food, etc.) and need to actually turn some sort of a profit! while you may think things are overpriced, what you don't know is that those people who are serving 'smaller than average tamales with a tablespoon (exaggeration) of rice' were probably up until 2am making all of their food from scratch in between their regular jobs, school, families, what-have-you. and i know for a fact because i participated in the event and tasted their food (delicious) that this particular vendor started off at $5 for a plate consisting of t"amale or empanada, rice and beans" then when they sold out of rice and beans were doing individual empanadas and tamales for $2.

            i just wanted to clear that up since the facts were not all there...and maybe next time you could hold off on criticizing people's food until you actually taste it!

            1. re: desim

              These dietary restrictions are not "self-imposed." Regardless, I don't think that they're that unreasonable considering this type of setting. (I'm not going to expect great things from, for instance, a steakhouse, if I were a vegan.)

              'Tablespoon' was not an exaggeration.

              What "facts" weren't all there? I'm not expecting these things to be dirt cheap and I know the work that can go into them. That doesn't mean that I'm going to think that $5 for a bite is always something worth paying.

              The first point of food, before taste, is look and value. If it doesn't pass these then it's fair to criticize the look/value. For instance, I didn't see the point in buying something for $5 if you can easily get very good ones for $1.50. It's logical to think that it's not likely to be 3 times as good. Nowhere did I complain about the taste of anything I didn't eat.

              Also, it's not true that I "didn't taste most of the things I critiqued"; there's four things that I specifically critiqued, the three things I bought and the tamale, which was the 1/4 that I didn't eat. Other things I simply mentioned but didn't critique. Perhaps I was being harsh by singling that one out, but I don't think so as it was the most striking example of being overpriced, which I thought was more or less a running theme of the event. If you are selling something, then your product is fair grounds for criticism.

              1. re: Radical347

                very true that criticism is going to come if you are selling a product. again, fact: everything at that market is $3-7. i would challenge you to find anything for $1.50. and if you did expect to find that, then yes you were expecting things to be 'dirt cheap.'

                look and value? how would you know the value if you didn't sample the item? quantity does not mean quality. a sandwich or bbq plate or anything could very well be 3 times better at this market than you would find elsewhere for cheaper.

                i agree certain items are 'bites' and therefore can be overpriced...for instance, my friends love the cake lollipops but they are $3 for literally two bites (we are not talking plates of food, or items that have vegetables, considerable meat content, all organic and free range products, etc.)...and cake is just sugar, flour, and chocolate...