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San Jose CA: Original Joe's of San Jose

Tom and I decompressed from our all-day meeting with an outstanding dinner at Original Joe's in downtown San Jose. This restaurant is distinct from the Original Joe's which sprang from San Francisco and spread across the Bay Area. It is a classic Italian steakhouse: wood paneling, padded seats, gracious service, big steaks. The place was packed; the clientele was not the computer crowd but seemed to be the more traditional residents of San Jose. Original Joe's has been here for over 60 years and clearly remains a favorite of the locals. I visited here once many years ago and my fond memories brought me back.

The bread was very good. Tom and I both went with a double dose of fat: butter plus olive oil.

I ordered what I have dreamed about for the past week, a rich, thick ribeye steak. I added on the fresh mushrooms; the spaghetti was my choice of sides. The steak was of very high quality, marbled with fat, and nicely broiled to medium rare. The mushrooms were outstanding. They had a firm, moist texture and were packed with umami flavor. The spaghetti cooked al dente and the meat sauce was rich.

Here is Tom's veal parmesan. He let me sample it: the veal was very tender and the sauce was rich with tomato, cheese, and meat flavor.

This is Tom's tiramisu, which he pronounced good.

My cheesecake was excellent. It was made in the style of Brooklyn. The cake was dense and moist with cheese; the crust was graham cracker. I didn't need it after that steak but it sure was good.

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