DINE TIME: The next Dishcrawl event is Nov. 12. Photograph by Aron Cooperman

It is hard to believe that only 2-1/2 years after San Jose native Tracy Lee put together her initial Dishcrawl event, she would have nearly 400 under her belt—roughly half of which have taken place in the South Bay. The concept is simple enough: basically a pubcrawl, but with food.

Each Dishcrawl takes place within a particular city, downtown area or neighborhood, with at least four participating restaurants, all within walking distance of one another. Lee hopes that this gives diners the opportunity, not only to become more familiar with the restaurants in their community, but to become better acquainted with their community as well.

“The whole idea is really to bring people together over food. We found that as more and more people started coming out, we’ve actually been replacing the concept of the block party. These days there’s not a lot of offline community around because everyone’s online,” Lee says.

Of the 400 or so different Dishcrawls Lee has put together, this upcoming one—at Santana Row on Monday, Nov. 12—is the second in the “Unexpected” series. The idea is to take the already exciting prospect of sampling a bunch of new foods and combine it with unexpected arts and musical performances along the way. “Arts people are usually arts people, and dining people are usually dining people, but why not experience them together?” Lee asks.

At the first “Unexpected” Dishcrawl, which was in downtown San Jose, the arts parts were truly unexpected—diners really had no idea when or where to find them, which made for a truly spontaneous experience for some, while others missed the performances altogether. This time around, the organizers have assigned each of the eight performers to one of the eight different participating restaurants. Some of the groups include the San Jose Ukulele Club, ComedySportz and live sketches drawn by Suhita Shirodkar.

The ticket price of $40 covers all the food for all eight restaurants (drinks are sold separately). Diners will get to experience everything from elegant sit-down restaurants (Left Bank) to street vendors (Bombay Wraps). Two of the eight restaurants (Lark Creek Blue and Lavazza) are new to the Santana Row dining scene, so even seasoned Santana Row diners will have something different to sample.

“Think of it as a treasure hunt through all these different restaurants. As you go and discover these different restaurants, there will be a dish at each place,” Lee says.

Dishcrawl
Monday, Nov. 12, 5-8pm