First off, A big congratulations to all of 2019’s newly minted Michelin winners. There were no surprises in the Bib Gourmand awards, which are given to establishments that serve “exceptionally good food at moderate prices.” The three South Bay restaurants that won last year—The Bywater, Orchard City Kitchen and LUNA Mexican Grill—all retained their title.

As for the highly coveted Michelin stars, Silicon Valley is well-represented, with seven restaurants earning at least one Michelin star. Chef David Kinch’s Los Gatos eatery, Manresa, was given three stars for the fifth consecutive year, while Palo Alto’s Baumé maintained its two-star rating.

Five others received one star, including the Plumed Horse, Madera, Protégé, Chez TJ and Maum. All are Michelin veterans except for Maum, which claimed its first-ever star.

SpreadZ Out
Remember the De La Cruz Deli? From their opening in 1974 until closing up shop three years ago, the Northside staple was known for giant sandwiches and catering. Their former space, at the intersection of Charcot and O’Toole, had remained empty until recently.

Not to be confused with Spread (sans-Z)—Spreadz is using a little more than half (3,200 square feet) of the 4,800-square-foot former De La Cruz shop. Most of that space has been taken by the kitchen, which produces house-made bread, soups and sides, and prepares select meats, like their grilled tri-tip, chicken and salmon. Like the previous tenant, Spreadz also goes big with their sandos and caters. A personal favorite, their thick-cut house pickles strike a delicate balance between sweet and sour.

Sweet Smoke
Just in time for summer, the SoCal-based Cauldron Ice Cream has landed in San Jose. Located at the corner of Oakland and East Brokaw roads, Cauldron is infinitely Instagrammable. Employees whip up ice cream on the spot, using an industrial-grade standing mixer, which is cooled with smokey liquid nitrogen. Then there are the rose-shaped “scoops” and the “puffle” cones (essentially Belgian waffles), which come in three flavors: original, red velvet or churro.

Anchors Away
Anchors Fish & Chips has opened in its second location at the former Mavericks Mexican Grill on Meridian Avenue and Willow Street. The menu mimics that of the original location at San Pedro Square Market. They continue to serve all the pescatarian favorites, from chowders and oysters to lobster rolls and even cioppino.

Ramadan ended on June 4, but eating Halal is always on trend—and it’s gotten a lot easier with the recent opening of a second Halal Gyro Express in San Jose’s Cambrian neighborhood. Formerly a street cart stationed near SJSU, Halal Gyro Express has taken over the original Al Castello location at the corner of Camden and Bascom avenues. Their freshly skewered lamb, chicken and beef kabobs are served over a bed of expertly seasoned brown rice and make for a delicious, quick

bite year round.

Pho Show
Eastside favorite Pho Ga An Nam has been sold and is now under new management. A remodel banished the bizarre, dried palm frond-adorned tiki bar that once greeted patrons. A fresh paint job, new fixtures and sleek LCD TVs showing daily specials, menus and foodporn is in its place. Pho Ga An Nam’s menu, which had been entirely chicken-based, has also been revamped. It now includes a full complement of Vietnamese favorites, including beef stew, beef pho and the sweet-and-spicy bun bo hue. There’s even a version that comes with ox penis (a.k.a. pizzle).

Food Coma
Speaking of food-focused TV, there’s a brand-new food challenge in the South Bay. Created by TAOB Pit Stop, “The 66” is a mammoth 6.6-pound burrito, loaded with hand-cut fries, mac & cheese and all of TAOB’s smoked meats (pulled pork, ribs, tri-tip, sausage, chicken and pork belly). It comes topped with their own rendition of Orange sauce. It costs $66, but if patrons can eat the entire thing in under 66 minutes it’s on the house. San Jose legend Joey Chestnut already crushed the challenge, putting it down in less than 10 minutes.