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Aug 21, 2011 10:43 PM

Santa Clara/Sunnyvale/mountain view recs - good stuff at low prices

Hi chowhounds,

I just moved to sunnyvale, now I am in search of everyday food locations. I get almost all my meals at restaurants, so I am looking for reasonably priced everyday food that's good! With all the restaurants around here, there has to be a lot of those! I eat pretty much everything, although frequency wise, mexican probably ranks high, then vietnamese, japanese, salads and sandwiches. I live around Tasman and fair oaks and work at Santa clara (montague and 101) .
I have got some good places to try for weekends from the forums, but need recs for weekdays.

So far I have tried Dish N Dash and Chavez market, I'll go back to both, but need a lot bigger list.
here is some I am looking for:

1) Taqueria's
I am sure there are plenty of family owned low key Taqueria's, a few names will be nice. Also, I am wondering if there are places that make innovative burrito's and Salsa, if anyone has been to sacramento, there is a small chain named Dos Coyote's, that's the kind of place I am looking for. It's a little more upscale than the average mexican place, but still cheap and really good.
2) Vietnamese Pho places.
3) Salad's - Places similar to Pluto's where I can make my own salad's.
4) Great sandwiches.
5) Desperately need to find some coffee places. Been to the 2 at sunnyvale downtown, wasn't really impressed. Looking for places with the best barista's!
6) Brunch/Breakfast (This is not in the cheap category, more for weekends) - classy, imaginative brunch buffet? or just regular steak and eggs or corned beef and eggs. I had a few regular places in Folsom, one of them (Sienna at el dorado hills) always had an unique/different item for their sunday brunch, been there 5/6 times and every time they had something different.

Any other recommendations are welcome too (ethnic or otherwise). I really do eat everything.

Thanks in advance, I know it's a big list, but I didn't really get a good vibe by just driving around, so had to come here!

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  1. Not on your list, but we recently went to Kunjip for Korean ox tail soup and were very impressed.

    1066 Kiely Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051

    1 Reply
    1. re: Martin Strell

      Had the bibim naeng myun at Kunjip on Monday -- it was outta this world! Great banchan too.

      1066 Kiely Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051

    2. I'm a fan of Taqueria La Bamba's carnitas and have been for more than 20 years. They now have 3 locations in Mountain View so you don't have to deal with the original and it's dearth of seats at lunch time. The carnitas are tossed on the griddle before being added to whatever you've ordered (I like them in the tacos, burritos, and on top of nachos), so they come have a crisped exterior that I like better than moist carnitas that are swimming in juices. Pretty much old school, so don't expect to find innovative burritos. I've had Korean burritos from the BBQ Kalbi truck when it parks in Mountain View (had been Thursday nights near Books Inc., I don't know what it is now).

      Great sandwiches? I like the ones I've gotten from the Eat on Monday food truck when it's in town. Pork belly is particularly good, so are the braised short rib sandwiches. A wee bit further afield, I had the torta cubana at El Gallo Giro in San Jose and really enjoyed it. Not a traditional cubano in that it has breaded beef, pork leg, and head cheese in addition to the ham, pickles, and cheese, but really tasty. I'm sure the mayo they smeared on the bread before throwing it on the griddle didn't hurt!

      My family like Pho Vi Hoa in Los Altos (El Camino and San Antonio, so nearly in Mountain View). Pretty traditional stuff, but we find the flavor of the broth just that much better than most of the others we've had in Mountain View.

      Can't say anything about coffee places. I avoid that brew like the plague unless I'm truly desperate from caffeine. ;-)

      Salad's? I'm not saying you'll like this, but the only place I can think of for make your own is Fresh Choice on El Camino in the San Antonio Shopping Center.

      La Bamba
      2058 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View, CA 94043

      El Gallo Giro
      1720 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

      1. Have you been to Barefoot yet? If not, you should.

        Barefoot Coffee Roasters
        5237 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051

        1. Sorry to say Stingray, but I have looked for years, but never found a Dos equivalent down in the Bay. It's a must stop any time I drive up to Sac/Tahoe for me, if only for the nostalgia factor... ahh the paella burrito, she calls me still.

          Fiesta del Mar is more upscale than the garden-variety tacqueria, but it actually serves Mexican food, unlike Dos.

          1. I'm also new to the area, but I've been to Country Gourmet in Sunnyvale twice now for brunch and I've been really impressed. The food is traditional brunch food, but often with an interesting twist. For example, the eggs benedict comes on top of buttermilk biscuits instead of English muffins, and the cheese omelet contains cream cheese along with two other cheeses. They even ask how you want your poached eggs done on the benedict (soft, medium, or well).

            The service style is a little odd. You place your order at the front counter, and then you go pick a seat and they bring the food to you. You get your own coffee/drinks. I personally don't mind this, but I could see some people being turned off.

            Country Gourmet
            1314 S Mary Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087