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[whitespace] Say Yes to Nonos

Whether you're looking for a sandwich or a lawyer, Cafe Nonos is the place to chow down and chat up

By Joe Mangelli

WHEN LOOKING FOR A COP, the conventional wisdom has it, go to a doughnut shop. Looking for a lawyer, go to Cafe Nonos (a.k.a. Vigal). This crowd-pleasing sandwich shop, located at sidewalk level on the Santa Clara Street side of red-bricked 1 N. First St., has been garnering rave reviews from said barristers for the past year. Drawing also from a jury of bankers, travel agents and business folk who frequent walking-distance venues, Nonos has earned a credible reputation for hot sandwiches crafted right on the spot. No prepackaging, no microwaves, no gimmicks--just big, oven-baked sandwiches offered to the famished at reasonable prices. Bestsellers here are Nonos Cheese Steak ($4.25) and a non-menu hit, Pesto Chicken ($4.95). A line of Mediterranean salads, fruit smoothies and, of course, a modest selection of Vigal's gourmet coffees goes without saying. Owners Ali and Cheryl Elafifi developed their craft in San Francisco by piloting Daddio's on Second Street and the Palette Cafe at Third and Townsend before throwing in with downtown San Jose. The significance of the name Nonos: none. It was made up by their 8-year-old. A family affair, for sure. Cafe Nonos/Vigal Coffee is open weekdays only and also offers catering services; for more details, phone 408.288.6744.

Multimedia Tidbits

Cooking and the mass media have always been fellow travelers. What has been good for one always enhances the other. Cookbooks perennially corner bestseller lists. Cooking shows dominate Saturday PBS viewing, and Emeril Legasse is a TV legend. None other than the renowned Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame, no stranger to cookbook stardom herself, has now joined Andrew Weil, the media-savvy alternative-medicine guru, in cyberspace with In the Kitchen With Alice Waters of Chez Panisse Restaurant (www.alicewaters.com). You will now be able to access Alice's advice, as you would Dr. Ruth Westheimer's, about the importance of eating organic or about cooking techniques and all manner of food-and-health topics. Simply log on to Ask Dr. Weil.

On the printed page, local chef Jacques Hayes--a California Culinary Academy graduate, a veteran chef of numerous restaurants and a former food stylist for Tri-Star Motion Pictures in L.A.--has joined the fray by being named corporate chef of Epicurean, a new food/chef/travel magazine published in Moss Beach. This slickly produced magazine runs the gamut from spotlighting famous chefs and their recipes to wine tours and jaunts to exotic lands with exotic cuisines. It is extremely colorful and seems bent on presenting an international slant on foods. Chef Hayes is the owner of Elegant Events Catering of San Jose, one of the South Bay's premier full-service caterers. Elegant Events is known for coordinating major dining events for numerous Silicon Valley heavyweights like Intel and Silicon Graphics.

Clean Machines

The Jenn Air Corporation has recently conducted a "Come Clean" survey to determine exactly how their dishwashers were used in the home. In addition to garnering a passel of statistics (34 percent of us use the machine more than three times per week), they assembled a rather interesting list of collateral uses people have fessed up to. Would you believe defrosting the Thanksgiving turkey or steaming potatoes and carrots? Now, hard-boiled eggs are feasible, but I personally draw the line at hamsters, dirty boots and car parts.

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From the December 2-8, 1999 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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