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[whitespace] Bye-Bye to Jon-Jon's

He's leaving downtown, but John Erwin will still dish up BBQ at his old eatery

By Christina Waters

AN AUTHENTIC BIT OF THE OLD SOUTH just left downtown San Jose, and fans of barbecued soul food are crying in their beer. Jon-Jon's hefty ribs and tender, juicy chicken were the stuff of many a downtowner's spiciest food memories. Jon-Jon's was the real thing, and while many devotees will truly miss this local institution, the good news is that owner John Erwin is keeping his original location stoked. The original home of Jon-Jon's hearty, authentic barbecue, located near Highway 101 at 1305 Old Oakland Road, will serve the same great food until around 3pm daily. "This place was a great lunch spot," says downtown SJ foodie and Jon-Jon's aficionado Shari Campbell. "I'll miss it."

Fanny & Alexander Do SJ

You loved it in Palo Alto (you even loved the screen version by Swedish cinema maestro Ingmar Bergman). You'll soon be able to love it in Burlingame. And right now you can love Fanny & Alexander in downtown San Jose. Since November the bastion of rockin' Pacific Rim food ideas has ensconced itself on that very hip strip of San Pedro Street that positively reeks of turn-of-the-century historic ambiance (there are two entrances, and the official address is 72 N. Almaden Ave., 408.287.1737). No matter how dotcom the ambiance, this lively dining room majors in beautifully crafted foods exploding with flavor. The cognac-cured salmon carpaccio is a destination dish. I love the way the rich, sensuous seafood contrasts with crisp potatoes and mustard dill aioli. The house signature nori salmon, stuffed in nori with shrimp, mushrooms and black bean sauce, is one of our personal favorites. Not all "house specialties" live up to the name--this dish does.

Chef Update

Eric Tosh, the new chef at Eulipia, emailed a few choice details about his culinary background and foreground. "We are a couple of weeks out on a new menu," Tosh told me. "Keeping some of the old favorites but with a new flair using only the finest of ingredients. I'd guess you would call it New American in style." Tosh also reminded me that he had not worked for Cafe Marcella (as was previously mentioned in this column), but that he had cooked at Saratoga's illustrious Sent Sovi, at the JW Marriott Hotel in Bangkok and at One Market and Aqua in San Francisco. All of this after he'd gotten his degree from the California Culinary Academy. Thought you'd like to know who's creating the current excitement over at Eulipia (still located in the SoFA district of San Jose).

Email me! Readers, restaurateurs, chefs: Please send any news items, tips, menu changes, openings, special events and juicy gossip to [email protected]

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From the March 23-29, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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