[Best of the Santa Clara Valley 1997]

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Best of South San Jose

Best Country Outing to Satisfy
Both Sides of Brain
Like driving on parkways and parking on driveways, New Almaden falls victim to mislabeling. Not a lot is new in New Almaden; dusty bait-and-tackle shops share the two-lane blacktop lined with feed and fuels and a restaurant that attracts customers with the line, "eat here now before we both starve." Trudge farther in, near where prospectors made camp to mine quicksilver, and discover two of the Almaden Valley's finest, most ideologically disparate attractions. La Forét is known valleywide for its French-Italian cuisine served in a serene atmosphere. After filling up on escargot, head north a beat and pull into the Opry House headquarters. The raucous, bawdy vaudeville emporium has been the site of many a popcorn war.
La Forét, 21747 Bertram Road, San Jose (408/997-3458)
Opry House, 21350 Almaden Road, San Jose (408/268-2492)

Best Strip-Mall Sex Shoppe
A recent joke: What's the difference between a golf ball and a g-spot? A guy will spend 20 minutes looking for a golf ball. Best to take the duffer to Cupid's Corner. Located in a strip mall, Cupid's Corner is a bright, women-friendly, woman-managed shop that carries racks of ooh-la-lingerie, adult games plus a staggering assortment of vibrators, dildoes, jellies, creams, lotions and adult videos. Cupid's Corner wins on not making a political statement, opting to simply raise the climactic climes in south San Jose bedrooms. The store's clientele refutes the notion that raincoated men are the main consumers of sexually oriented material; on one extended lunch break/field trip, women outnumbered men 3-to-1. A few women were openly comparing vibrators, bantering about the benefits of "squishy" rubber vs. hard rubber. Cupid's Corner turns an embarrassingly personal decision into a comfortable and informed one.
408 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose (408/226-5683)

Best Coffee Ruled by a Power
Higher Than Starbucks
Cathedral Coffee, located off Highway 87 at the Cathedral of Faith, serves coffee drinks and baked goods worthy of a few beatitudes. The cafe also serves as a gift shop heavy on Christian musical selections (MC Dash, DC Talk) along with books and inspirational scrolls. Heed the words of the 11th commandment, placed under the order counter: "Thou Shalt Not Bring Food or Drink into the Sanctuary."
2315 Canoas Garden Ave., San Jose (408/267-4691)

Best Place to Spot Clash Fans
Drowning Sorrows
The way the Clash has been playing this year, it's amazing fans haven't followed UPS and hit the picket lines. Blame injuries, but the sophomore slump is in full effect. The fans down at Clash's unofficial HQ, Britannia Arms, suffer the unending shootout bluffs, the defensive lapses and lack of scoring power with a comforting pat on the back. The Almaden Brit, where Paul Bravo used to pour beers before he was an MLSer, stays true to the Clash. The pub faithfully broadcasts Clash games on the big screen when switching over to reruns of Family Matters would be more entertaining.
5027 Almaden Expwy., San Jose (408/266-0550)

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From the Sept. 18-24, 1997 issue of Metro.

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