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[whitespace] Cheap Eats

By Allie Gottlieb

98 E. San Salvador St.
San Jose
Daily 6am-9pm

THE AFTER-SCHOOL/WORK rush hour cramped my loitering at this unassuming Vietnamese-Chinese restaurant and deli. Too many kids and adults crowded the counter in an apparent end-of-the-day customer yelling contest. "How much is that shrimp," one girl demanded. It was 35 cents. "I want the veggie sandwich," asserted a woman.

There's a lot to fight over at Dakao. The freshly made spring rolls--$1.50 for the tofu vegetarian three-pack with peanut sauce--are dreamy. Deli shelves groan with the weight of various colorful desserts made of tapioca, sweet rice, beans and flour. The best food comes shaped like golf balls: deep-fried, doughy sesame globes for $1.25. Dakao's also got a full sit-down menu that's too lengthy to get into here. It's a menu that's easy to peruse on your own, anyway, since items hover between $2.95 (like the porridge with pork combination) and $5.25 (like the grilled pork with vermicelli rice).

I recommend a late lunch at Dakao, when you don't generally encounter more than a folk or two competing for attention at the ordering counter.

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From the October 3-9, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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