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[whitespace] Fresh N Healthy Vegetarian


How Fresh? Fresh.
Fresh N Healthy Vegetarian, 388 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose

By Kelly Luker

AN IRONIC NAME for a restaurant that has provided your friendly food inspectors with a barrage of evidence to the contrary, no? Fresh N Healthy is your classic hole in the wall. Barely 10 feet across with enough room for only three or four tiny tables, the Vietnamese restaurant is tucked in under the wing of an old flophouse. A steam table proffers various hot foods, and several to-go lunch items are on the counter. Fresh N Healthy's biggest problem was rodents that were getting a little too fresh 'n' healthy on this restaurant's condiments. When droppings in the spice containers, gnawed box corners and a couple of dead mice were found by inspectors in February, Fresh N Healthy was ordered to close down---for a whole four-and-a-half hours.

It had another violation endemic among Asian sandwich shops that received violations; no date or time stamped on the takeout lunch items. Pre-packaged food is supposed to be thrown away after two hours on display, but there's no way of knowing if that bao has been there two hours or two weeks.

Who ever died from a vegetarian bao anyway? With that in mind, we sunk our teeth into one of the most delicious buns this side of Saigon. The outside dough was an exploded cotton ball--huge, soft and mildly chewy. We have no idea what constituted the vegetarian insides, but it was tinged with a healthy dose of lemongrass and cilantro.

Some folks pay thousands to scour far-off exotic locales looking for that memorable dining experience. Save yourself a chunk of money and live adventurously--right in your own neck of the woods!

RATING: 4 forks

Introduction: Bottom Feeders.

Making The List: The methodology and ratings.

Not on the Menu: Gruesome complaints and bizarre things allegedly found in food.

Wok on the Wild Side: Asian restaurants still get disproportionately high rate of poor inspection reports.

Chew Fly, Don't Bother Me: Tory's Restaurant in Cupertino.

A Fowl Feeling: Mai Garden Restaurant in San Jose.

Fast Food Frightmare: Mr. Chau's Chinese Fast Food in Palo Alto.

Overly Greasy Spoon: Bob's Surf 'N Turf in San Jose.

Not Cool Enough: Gordon Biersch in Palo Alto.

Pastor Its Prime: El Mexicano Taqueria in San Jose.

Chill Is Gone: Nola in Palo Alto.

How Now Stale Bao? Thanh Mai in San Jose.

Coffee To Go, Please: My My Coffee and Sandwiches in San Jose.

Vermin in the Vermicelli: Florentine Restaurant in Mountain View.

Off-Screen Horror Show: Century Capitol 16 Theaters in San Jose.

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From the June 8-14, 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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