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[whitespace] Festival Fever

The harvest is no time to sit

By Christina Waters

READY FOR SOME end-of-summer parties? Duh! Whip out the sunscreen and plan to hit Millbrae this Labor Day weekend (Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2-3), where the action includes serious hot weather, Creole flavors like fried calamari, chicken jambalaya, strawberry shortcake and shrimp sandwiches. In addition to exotic foods from over 20 purveyors, you'll be able to purchase wines from Beringer, Beaulieu, Meridian and Clos du Bois, plus microbrews like Gordon Biersch Märzen and Red Tail Ale.

The big 30th annual Millbrae Art & Wine Fest happens each day from 10am to 5pm, on Broadway Avenue, between Victoria Avenue and Meadow Glen in downtown Millbrae. Expect to be joined by over 100,000 celebrants who like their art with plenty of delicious side dishes. Your basic juried show of wares from 250 artisans can be enjoyed to the sounds of nonstop jazz, R&B, rock & roll, swing, zydeco and reggae. Kids will find tons of fun, from magic acts to special games and contests. Admission is free--call 650.697.7324 or check out www.miramarevents.com.

After you've enjoyed the Mardi Gras feel of Millbrae on Labor Day, you'll be all revved up and ready to rock in Mountain View the following weekend. Get down with 200,000 other summertime festival fanatics when the positively humungous Mountain View Art & Wine Festival (surely someone can start thinking up some new festival names ...) hits ground zero in Silicon Valley on Sept. 9 and 10, from 10am to 6pm on both days. Think of it as a dotcom block party--one that will fill eight blocks of Castro Street, between El Camino Real and Evelyn Avenue. Art? You want art? How about 650 booths jam-packed with gorgeous eye candy. Food? This festival prides itself on tempting you with international goodies from 30 restaurants and nonprofits, good stuff like garlic chicken sandwiches, gyros, corn on the cob, pizza, gumbo, lumpia, baklava, falafel, bratwurst--can you say "multiculti"? Mmmmmm. Premium wines will be available, as well as the highly anticipated Harvest Festival microbeer lager brewed just for this festival every year by the brewmasters at Tied House. Essentially what we've got here is an offer you can't refuse, especially since there is no admission charge. If you need any more in the way of details, give the info-line a call at 650.968.8378. And get ready to sizzle.

But wait! There's more. Here's something a little bit off the beaten track event-wise. It's The Great Zucchini Cook-Off (I don't want to hear any off-color jokes), happening one day only, Friday, Sept. 8, at the blazing San Jose Downtown Farmers' Market at San Pedro Square. You know where San Pedro Square is--it's where all those wonderful restaurants and cafes are gathered. Blake's, 71 St. Peter, Tied House, Spiedo, to name a few. Here's what's happening. You break out your pet zucchini recipe--you know, that killer zucchini bread, or zucchini pesto linguine, or fried zucchini flowers with salsa. Whatever. And you bring your dish--fully prepared and ready to be judged--down to the market by 11am. Judging--based on presentation, taste and creativity--happens at 11:30am by San Jose community notables. First Prize is a cool $150, second is $100 and third is $50, which is a nice lunch for two at A.P. Stump's. Don't be shy, now; it'll be complete and total fun. Somebody's gonna win--why not you? Even if you don't know zucchini from kohlrabi, this event promises to be a good spectator happening too. For more info: 1.800.949.FARM. And while you're at the market, pick up some ripe tomatoes and fresh white corn. That's what summer is all about.

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 August 31-September 6, 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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