Monday, April 16, 2007

WOK CITY DINER – Mouthwatering Chinese Cuisine!

Chinese Food in Bay Area is as prevalent as the neighborhood grocery store, connected with the rich tradition and history of the Chinese populace. One is bound to find a Chinese restaurant in nearly every shopping center or shopping mall. With so many Chinese food restaurants to choose from, which one do you frequent, look forward to, and leave feeling great? There is an old proverb: One should go eat where the Chinese eat. Wok City Diner always has Chinese folks eating with lively conversations and having fun.

WOK CITY Diner at 46531 Mission Blvd. in the Warm Springs Plaza (next to the new Ross store and the longstanding Long’s Pharmacy) is conveniently located off Mission Blvd. between highway 680 and highway 880, near the intersection of Warm Springs Blvd. It is the only Chinese restaurant in the Warm Springs Plaza, and is housed on the same shopping strip that has Bay Jewelers and Hawaiian Barbecue. The best way to get to Wok City Diner is taking the right turn on Warm Springs Blvd. as you are driving down Mission Blvd. from highway 680 and then taking another right turn at the traffic light entering Warm Springs Plaza.

The Diner captures you with an eclectic charm and an inviting décor, initiated by a well-laid out open aquarium housing orange gold fish dancing around the water fall, set within a stony creation complete with miniature bridges reminiscent of a hillside Chinese city. The restaurant includes about a dozen comfortable booths enveloping the walls with relaxed sitting for at least four adults. The walls above the booths adorn classic paintings inviting a second and third look. The middle part of the restaurant has multiple round and rectangular tables, decked with white cloth, pink napkins and fine china, strewn all around with roomy chairs. A large aquarium fish tank over on the far right goes unnoticed unless you are sitting close by.

WOK CITY Diner provides fine selection for both lunch and dinner. Although I have frequented the restaurant only at dinnertime, the lunch menu is also equally inviting. The Diner serves 12 different succulent appetizers, and 12 hot soups to match. Customers’ favorite appetizer is the Pu-Pu Platter that includes pot stickers, egg rolls, B.B.Q. spareribs, fried prawns, beef on bamboo skewers, and paper wrapped chicken. My favorite soup is Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup; the best soup though that is always in demand is Sharks Fin Soup Supreme. The main course provides ample variety from Poultry, Pork, Beef, Vegetable, Seafood, Noodles, Rice, Chow Fun and Sizzling Plates – over 120 varieties that will whet your palate and then some. Chef’s Suggestions provide another 21 delectable choices that include Chef Pon’s Tofu – “tender bean curd with black bean and fresh chili, shredded pork sautéed in brown sauce – the most famous Tofu dish in Taiwan.” The main Poultry selection has 24 mouthwatering choices including the spicy Da-Chien Chicken – “diced chicken with green pepper, mushrooms and bamboo shoots, celery sautéed in spicy brown sauce”, and novelties such as Chicken in Phoenix Nest and Tea Smoked Duck. For Pork lovers, the favorite is Shanghai Spareribs from 11 various dishes – “baby back rib, braised in house special sweet brown sauce.” Dry sautéed Shredded Beef Szechuan and Prawns with Sizzling Rice are tops in Beef and Seafood selection.

For Vegetarians like me, every item is worth trying since each is created and flavored uniquely. On the past four trips, I have thoroughly enjoyed the flavors of Broccoli with Cashew Nuts, Broccoli with Tofu, Vegetarian Mu-Shu, and Dry sautéed String beans, which is so good that I could not stop eating until I had devoured the last bit of string beans. Bing, the manager, has told me that the Braised Eggplant with Garlic Sauce is another customer favorite, and I am looking forward to relishing it on my next visit. The restaurant caters to the family, and hence offers special Gourmet, Connoisseur and Vegetarian Dinners for families, and a separate Family to go menu.

The Service at Wok City Diner is superior, for either dining in or take out. Bing provides much energy to the establishment, and the staff carries through his commitment and zeal. Wok City is under new ownership, and it appears that the new owners are doing well to attract and retain customers by providing a better experience. On my last visit to Wok City, I was not only received well by Bing and the team, I was also able to custom order a Vegetarian dish that was created rather well. There was hardly a dull moment since we did not have to wait to order food, and to savor the appetizers and main course. A separate waiting area for patrons as more business rolls in may be needed.

The next time you are having cravings for tasty Chinese food in a pleasant setting and with superior service, Wok City Diner has to be on your A-List of fine Chinese restaurants in Fremont. It would definitely not be your last visit, rather the first of many more visits.

46531 Mission Blvd.
Fremont, CA
Phone: 510.490.3344
* Open 7 days *
FREMONT LIVING by Sanjay Dalal

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

EXTREME Pita - Inspiring Healthy Living!

When was the last time you felt good about having a big juicy lunch that filled you up, and was actually healthy. A new restaurant in the same shopping center that houses the Home Depot and REI on Automall Pkwy in Fremont promises a tasty lunch wrapped in a fresh Pita that goes the distance.

EXTREME Pita located at 43901 Hugo Terrace is easy to find as you drive down the Automall Pkwy going either East or West from highway 880 or 680 in Fremont. It is conveniently placed on the farthest end of the shopping strip that stretches onto the Automall Pkwy – hence it is the first restaurant that comes to sight. The best way to get to EXTREME Pita is taking the right turn off Automall Pkwy on the stretch between Fremont Blvd. and Warm Springs Blvd.

After going inside, the restaurant has the charm and feel of a cozy and well-lighted fresh food sandwich place – albeit with three key differences: instead of the usual sandwich, you get fresh pita, freestyle or flat baked; instead of the cold meat, the primary ingredients in the pita includes chicken, steak, tuna, turkey, falafel and more grilled hot and blended together with zesty sauces and fresh salad immediately after you order; finally, you have the option to go EXTREME with the spicy hot sauces that are guaranteed to set you on fire and provide you the jolt that will liven up the afternoon. EXTREME Pita sits about half dozen small tables, and provides a bar type setting for about half-dozen more sit-up chairs.

EXTREME Pita is not a fast food restaurant; rather a fresh food restaurant where the food is served hot and grilled, in large proportions, fast, and is healthy. There are no bones about the healthy part: EXTREME Pita publishes the inside scoop of each Pita creation – the nutritional content – so that you know what you are eating, and how good it is for your body. My personal favorite, the Falafel Fanatic, has only 366 calories (small), 12.9g of Protein, 11.0g Total Fat, only 1.7g Saturated Fat, no Trans Fat, and provides 10.8g Dietary Fiber. How do you know this? Simple – just pick up the handy nutritional handout from the side counter. The Standard Pita Vegetable Mix includes lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, onions and cucumbers.

Whatever mood you are in for lunch, EXTREME Pita has the choice. It makes nine “freestyle pitas” from Grilled Chicken (a customer favorite) to Philly Cheese Steak (another customer favorite) served small – 6", or regular - 9". For seafood lovers, try the Tuna-Tuna-Tuna on your next trip. Then there are the “extreme pita creations” – five in all. How about the Big Country Chicken & Steak creation – only served in Regular 9" size. It’s so big that you better not have plans for dinner. That’s not all – there are five varieties of “flat baked pitas” – including Classic Veggie, Hawaiian, and Extreme Pepperoni. If you don’t want the pita though, there are five different salads available – the Traditional Greek should be on your list. Bring along the kids, since there is a “Just for KIDS” providing cool choices. The pitas are reasonably priced from $3.99 to $7.69. A drink and chips (or cookies) combo is available for only $1.99. Even the cookies are Trans Fat free.

The employees of EXTREME Pita are an enthusiastic bunch, all laughing and enjoying their work as they greet the customers, take the orders, grill the food, take the payment, and serve the Pita wrapped inside an authentic stay-fresh double-wrapper that ensures that the taste stays in your Pita even after you begin munching it. The owner and manager Farid Saalabi seems to be taking care of the employees really well; not only are the employees jovial, Saalabi is also meeting and greeting customers as they are having their lunches and asking them for feedback. Saalabi tells me that this is the first EXTREME Pita in Fremont, and he is doing well so far in only the second month after the opening. Saalabi has plans to open many more, one at a time.

The next time you are really hungry for a spicy pita creation that is every bit juicy, healthy and fulfilling, you have got to put EXTREME Pita on your list. And if you like a sense of adventure, just ask to spice up your pita and go EXTREME. Live a little.

43901 Hugo Terrace
Fremont, CA
Phone: 510.490.PITA (7482)
FREMONT LIVING by Sanjay Dalal

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Welcome to Osteoporosis Foundation Inc.

Dear Friends, Family and Well-wishers:

I welcome you to the launch of the Osteoporosis Foundation Inc. non-profit organization and the website at:

I look forward to your comments about our new website, our vision, bold mission and goals. Please take some time to browse the website, and tell us what you like, what you don't, and where you would like us to improve.

The blog for the Osteoporosis Foundation is located at:

I am excited about the launch of the new non-profit Osteoporosis Foundation, and our overarching mission to stop Osteoporosis before it begins.

I look forward to your support and help towards advancing and promoting strong bone health, reversing bone loss and preventing Osteoporosis, especially in children, tweens, teens, young adults and adults before Osteoporosis strikes.

Here's to "A Lifetime of Strong Bones".

Sincere regards,

Sanjay Dalal
Founder and CEO
Osteoporosis Foundation, Inc.

This entry was posted on 3/27/2007 9:44 PM and is filed under Launch


Launching A New Osteoporosis Foundation

My Story and My Fight against Osteoporosis

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Fremont - Top Five City for Living

Fremont was ranked #5 in the sixth annual rankings by Men's Health magazine for the "top metropolis in health, happiness, and abs."

Men's Health magazine rates the top cities in the U.S. based on "24 categories, including life-and-death data on cancer, heart disease, and stroke; lifestyle issues, such as annual income and daily commute, crime rates and college graduation rates; a sweat check, looking at how often, how long, and how intensely men exercise."

This is a great honor for Fremont, and the Fremont men!! WOW!!

Not only Fremont beat out other California cities including San Francisco, Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Oakland, but also national cities including Minneapolis, Seattle, Washington DC, Denver and ninety more. Way to go Fremont!!

The most populous city in Bay Area, San Jose, was ranked #1; Honolulu, HI, Madison, WI and San Diego, CA rounded out the top five.

We always knew Fremont as a great city to live and thrive. Now, Men's Health has confirmed our belief, and bestowed this Top Five honor. And the women of Fremont will tell you that it's not just the men who do well here; women too enjoy our great city.

Here's to good health, remarkable safety, growing income, and daily exercise in this wonderful city of Fremont!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

World Cup Cricket Fever in Fremont and Bay Area

The $5 Million cricket World Cup begins tomorrow, Sunday, March 11, 2007 in West Indies. Australia is the defending World Cup champion. India were the runner-ups in the last World Cup played in South Africa. This is the largest World Cup event ever with 16 nations vying for the top spot.

Fremont and the Bay Area will be caught up in the Cricket World Cup Fever that grips the Indians, Pakistanis, English, West Indians, Sri Lankans, Australians, South Africans, Bangladeshis, Kenyans, Dutch, New Zealanders, Zimbabweans, Canadians, Scottish, Bermudans and Irish - with so many countries participating in this year's World Cup, one is bound to find many fans all over Fremont and the Bay Area.

The World Cup Cricket matches begin on March 13, 2007 with the Finals scheduled on April 28, 2007. The 16 national teams are divided into four groups of four teams each. Each team plays other teams of its own group in the initial going (three games). The top two teams of each group advance to the the next round called the Super Eights. In the Super Eights, these top two teams play the other six teams who also finished first and second in their groups. The top four teams from the Super Eights advance to the Semi Finals played on April 24 and April 25. The winners of the semis play for the biggest prize in the finals on April 28.

If you are trying to find a place to watch World Cup matches, there are a few choices available in Fremont and surrounding cities:

1. Naz8 Cinemas - 39160 Paseo Padre Parkway Fremont, CA 94538. Phone: (510) 797-2000

Naz8 has been showing World Cup Cricket matches for the past three world cups now, and is the original and perhaps the best place to watch Cricket on the big screen. Naz8 charges $10 per match, or offers a $50 package for all the matches. I have watched cricket at Naz cinemas, and believe me, it becomes exciting, vocal and a lot of fun especially when Indians are playing the Pakistanis. Naz8 also serves good snacks and hot tea.

2. India Community Center - 555 Los Coches Street Milpitas, CA 95035. Phone: (408) 934-1130

ICC in Milipitas aired most of the key World Cup matches in 2003. The matches were so popular that their auditoriums used to overflow, and tickets were in demand. If you are planning to watch the games at ICC, call them ahead of time, and make sure that you have bought your tickets for the key matches. ICC offered hot snacks and tea at the last World Cup.

3. Most of your favorite Indian-Pakistani restaurants will be showing the World Cup matches. Some of the English and Irish bars are also carrying the matches. Please call them ahead of time so that you can be reasonably sure on whether they would be carrying the entire match, and that you can sit and watch the game.

4. Dish Network - $199 package includes World Cup matches, and even broadband access. Dish has finally offered a great package for any cricket lover for a reasonable price. If you have Dish, order it today. If you don't have Dish, now is a good reason to get it.

5. Online - Many options are available in addition to the Dish Network to watch the World Cup Live through broadband.

Enjoy the World Cup matches, and remember, Cricket is a gentleman's game.

World Cup Cricket Sites:

World Cup Cricket

Cricket World Cup Site

ICC - Cricket World Cup

West Indies World Cup Site

Cricket Streaming Live on Broadband

Action 8 Cricket Cricket

Official TV Sports

Friday, March 9, 2007

Daniel's Restaurant - A Hole in the Wall waiting to be discovered

Yesterday, I was trying to find a place to have a quick lunch. I was driving on Old Warm Springs Blvd. from Fremont Blvd. going towards Grimmer. I found this restaurant along a store front that houses a Garment shop, Auto Mechanic, and essentially having the look of an industrial complex (nearest interesting place is the Sharks Ice Skating Rink). Curiosity got the better of me, and I took the left turn (that I almost missed) into the parking lot and went inside thinking I can find something good to eat.

Daniel's Restaurant located at 44250 Old Warm Springs Blvd. is very easy to miss as you drive down the Old Warm Springs Blvd. First, most Fremont residents like me are not thinking of finding any food on this small stretch of a road that has industrial buildings; second, the location itself is quite easy to miss as you drive down Old Warm Springs (by the time you realize you see a restaurant sign, you have almost driven too far and don't want to make that U-turn); finally, the restaurant is part of a store front that looks isolated and is surrounded by other stores that has nothing to do with food.

Once you have found Daniel's though, after going inside, the restaurant has the rustic charm of a small town restaurant - out of the Southwest U.S. or Mexico. The large projection TV was showing reruns of "I Love Lucy" that nobody was watching or was interested; however, it grabbed attention and added the old town feel. The restaurant housed four relaxing sitting booths, and about half a dozen tables in a small but comfortable setting. There is a tile roof that completes the architectural visual covering the kitchen and ordering area.

I was greeted by Alex, the tall and pleasant restaurant manager. She also takes order for the food, and serves the food as well. My immediate question was on whether Daniel's serves vegetarian food; she told me I had a choice of a Mushroom burger, Omelet, Scrambled eggs, Grilled cheese, Salad, etc. It was around 1 pm, and it felt great that they still served Breakfast. I asked for the Garden Style Omelet that I ordered with no cheese, and easy on the oil. Alex asked me what I would like on the side; I thought that sides would cost me more, so my initial reaction was "none". However, Alex told me the sides are included in the meal, which immediately got me interested. The sides included your choice of Fries, Hash browns, Country Potatoes or Fresh Fruit. I asked for the Country Potatoes. Finally, the meal also included Toast (I ordered Wheat toast without butter).

I took a spot at the booth nearest the door so that I can feel some of the breeze and also enjoy the warm sun. As I was settling down, Alex brought me ice water. She told me that Daniel's also served Lentil soup and it was completely vegetarian; she offered if I wanted to just try some soup (on the house). I was thinking of relishing the omelet, and thanked Alex for the offer, and told her that I will definitely try the soup, but not today. As I looked around, there were about four or five people having their lunch and having some light conversations. I also noticed couple of employees from Sharks Ice come inside and order their lunch. Sharks Ice is a walking distance from Daniel's (as you walk around and towards the back) and I have to think that for their employees, Daniel's must have become The place for lunch.

As I was beginning to open my laptop, and write about the latest article on Creativity and Innovation, Alex brought me the warm wheat toasts. I immediately moved my laptop, and began munching the toasts with some grape jelly. The wheat bread was country style wheat, and quite delicious. Alex then brought me the main course - the Garden Omelet with Country Potatoes - still steaming hot directly from the kitchen. The aroma of potatoes, and fresh mushrooms, onions, spinach, bell peppers and zucchini sauteed together in an omelet filled the air. Even though the omelet was piping hot, I instantly got to work since I couldn't wait. I poured some ketchup, and a little salt and pepper over the potatoes and omelet for taste. The chef had made the omelet to perfection - there was no sign of extra oil, and all the vegetables were sauteed and mixed really well with the omelet. Daniel's Garden Omelet is the best omelet I have tried or tasted in a long time; I can't remember having a better omelet in the past few years. It was so good that I couldn't put my knife and fork down, and I kept on eating it till my mouth felt very hot from the steaming hot omelet I was eating...I had to take a breather and drink some cold ice water. But wait, there is more. As if the omelet was not the best part, the country potatoes were even better. The potatoes were grilled with red onions and green pepper, and were just right. I couldn't decide what to eat any more - potatoes, omelet or the toast. At one point, I was eating all of them at once. Soon, I realized I was really full - the serving of the omelet, potatoes and toasts is huge - so if you are going to eat breakfast at Daniel's, better come really hungry, since their portions are quite generous.

Daniel's serves more than Breakfast; Daniel's is open all day long for Lunch and Dinner as well. For Breakfast, besides omelets and eggs, Daniel's serves steak and eggs, pancakes and waffles, oatmeal, and side orders of all sizes including biscuits and gravy - call it old-fashioned, but Daniel's is sure to remind you of a good southern breakfast. For Lunch, Daniel's provides a choice of over two dozen grilled, hot and everyday sandwiches. The Greek Gyro and Monte Christo are the lunch specialties. You can also have fruit, cottage cheese, fries, potato salad, onion rings, cole slaw or macaroni salad on the side. And twelve different types of salads or soups. Finally for Dinner, steak, seafood, chicken and pasta dishes are inviting. For Breakfast or Lunch, Daniel's will cost you around $10 including coffee or juice per person; for Dinner, around $13 to $18 per person.

The next time you are hungry for a satisfying breakfast, go to Daniel's and order one of their enormous omelets. You are sure to go home or work really happy and full!

Daniel's Restaurant
44250 Old Warm Springs Blvd.
Fremont, CA
Phone: 510.668.0730

Monday, February 12, 2007

My Favorite Coffee Place in Fremont, California

Mission Coffee Roasting Company, located at the base of the Fremont foothills on Washington Blvd., west of Mission Blvd., near the classic Mission San Jose in Fremont, California, is my favorite place for coffee, hanging out, and relaxing. Over the past one year, I have frequented Mission Coffee almost every month, sometimes a few times each month, and have quickly become fond of their hot coffee, cappuccinos, pastries and lunch sandwiches.

My favorite coffee is actually a mixed blend of their coffees that include French Roast, Costa Rica, Don's Blend (Don and Gael Stewart are the owners) and the flavor of the day – you see, I enjoy mixing the coffees together and enjoying the rich and complex flavors of the coffees all at once. Perhaps this is unconventional, and goes against the classic coffee tradition of enjoying each flavor in isolation; however, I have come to enjoy the bold flavors of coffees blended together. Of course, most Mission Coffee customers simply enjoy their coffees the good old fashioned way, a flavor at one time. And there are many customers that frequent Mission Coffee. Mission Coffee has been around for ten plus years (original Mission Valley Coffee opened in 1993; Mission Coffee in Mission San Jose opened in 2000), and from glancing at the customers that I have seen over my visits, Mission Coffee boasts repeat customers who go their daily. Mission Coffee serves over twenty different coffee and tea drinks delivered piping hot and fresh in stylish cups (try the café Borgia on your next trip), sells over a dozen classic and exotic coffee beans from all over the world, and makes cold fruit freezes and frappes that is sure to cool you down on a hot summer day.

Coffee without pastry is like having dinner without dessert. My favorite pastries with my mixed blend of coffee are Walnut muffins, Chocolate croissants, and Chocolate chip cookies. Mission Coffee serves over a dozen different pastries for all types of taste buds. Of course, each pastry that you consume simply melts with the coffee you savor, so much so, that you want to have more than one pastry with the hope that the coffee will melt away the extra fat or sugar that you are consuming. I recommend trying out at least one pastry on your next trip to Mission Coffee. If you are going to try that first pastry, and don’t mind the extra calories, you should ask for the Chocolate croissant; and while you are ordering the croissant, you perhaps want it served warm. And then sit back and relax at the more than a dozen coffee tables with ample space around them with your friends or significant other, cozy back on the plush couches, or even sit outside in the patio and watch the passing traffic going to and fro from the Mission San Jose and Mission Blvd against the backdrop of the rolling Fremont hillside. Of course, it’s best to open a newspaper if you are alone and read that Sports or Political story as you sip away the coffee, or better yet, pick out one of the many books or magazines that Mission Coffee offers on their book shelves, and enjoy a chapter or two.

My favorite lunch at Mission Coffee is the Grilled Veggie Panini Sandwich. Even when I write about it, I can’t help but think of the delicious, mouth watering, juicy taste of the vegetables grilled and served together with melted cheese: Veggie Panini is an instant classic. You see, it is made fresh, served straight from the grill, and has olives, mushrooms and tomatoes grilled together with pesto and mozzarella on Focaccia bread. You can’t ask for a better Panini sandwich. Of course, if you eat non-vegetarian, you will also enjoy Turkey Panini, Monterey Panini or Roast Beef Panini sandwiches. Mission Coffee serves over 15 different sandwiches at lunch time or any other time that you visit until 9 p.m., hot or cold, all made fresh, along with the soup of the day. You can even build your own sandwich, half or whole, depending on how hungry you are. And there is also the available ½ Sandwich and soup special. When you are building your own sandwich, you can choose from four different types of meat (beef, turkey, ham, tuna), four different types of bread (sourdough, 7-grain, French roll, dark rye), five different types of cheese (American, cheddar, gouda, pepper jack and Swiss), fresh produce including lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers and sprouts – along with your favorite condiments, sides and extras. Mission Coffee claims to be the best spot for having lunch in Mission, and I have to agree that it is indeed the best sandwich and coffee place for lunch, late lunch, or even an afternoon snack.

Wait there is more that Mission Coffee offers for coffee lovers. And it has nothing to do with coffee, tea, pastry or sandwich. It has much to do with music. Live music!! Mission Coffee has live music concerts from upcoming and emerging music artists in the Bay Area and beyond. Mission Coffee brings one music performance from a budding artist each month on an average. Here is the music schedule at Mission Coffee in the coming months:
Sat, Mar 10 Dayan Kai
Sat, Apr 21 Brian Anderson & the New Generation
Sat, May 19 Houston Jones
Sat, Jun 16 Fishtank Ensemble

So, when you are in the mood for the best coffee in Mission San Jose in Fremont, California, want to spend a relaxing afternoon enjoying music on your iPod or at the live concert, chat and while away some free time with your friends or significant other, complete that homework or work project, play cards or board games, have a lunch meeting (and enjoy the great sandwich), take a break from your trip to the beautiful Mission San Jose, conduct a community roundtable meeting, or just want to liven up your day with that fresh morning coffee – Mission Coffee is the place to visit.

Mission Coffee Roasting Company
Mission San Jose
151 Washington Blvd., Fremont, CA
Phone: 510-623-6920

Friday, February 2, 2007

Favorite Restaurants in greater Fremont

I enjoy going out for lunch and dinner at these favorite restaurants in Fremont, in no particular order. I am a vegetarian (I do eat some dairy), and don't eat sea food. Our daughter is allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts. Hence some of the restaurants we frequent have to be offering food that does not contain any of the above allergens (even if they share pots and pans sometimes when they make the food with these ingredients). I normally go out a bit later for lunch (after 1 pm) to avoid the rush. For dinner, we go between 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Before 6:30 p.m and after 8:30 p.m., most restaurants in Fremont do not have much rush. If you are in mood for a takeout, these restaurants offer good takeout services as well.

Ho Chow Restaurant - Chinese cuisine - located on Warm Springs Blvd., between Mission Blvd. and Scott Creek.

Phone: 510-657-0683

We have been eating at Ho Chow Restaurant for the past six plus years, and I have to tell you, they make superior food that is sure to appeal to everyone who enjoys Chinese food (who doesn't). Ho Chow has been around for more than ten years, probably fifteen. Ho Chow brings back memories of the old Fremont, and still blends well with the new expansions. The restaurant is conveniently located in the middle of the shopping center, and they have a separate side entrance for Takeout only. My family and I savor their Broccoli and deep-fried Bean Curd (special order), Vegetable Chow Mein, Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup, Buddha's delight and Steam rice. In particular, when it is cold in Winter, or if you are just having a cold, we love to drink their Hot and Sour Soup. I have also tried their Egg Plant dish and Veggie Mushu which are both delicious. If you are in the mood for a takeout, Ho Chow won't disappoint. We normally do dinner takeouts, and the hardest part is the drive back home until you can open the boxes and start eating. The best part of ordering takeout food is to actually drive up to Ho Chow, and then order it; this way, you can see how the chefs put together the fresh ingredients and make the food as you are waiting. The wait time is general only five to ten minutes for Takeout food.

Cost: $8 to $10 per person without drinks.

Chevys Fresh Mex - Mexican food - located near Chucke Cheese's off Stevenson exit from 880 - Mowry school road.

Phone: 510-226-9080

You can't ask for a better Mexican fare around Fremont. By address, Chevys is based in Newark, but it is located right off the 880 freeway. I really enjoy their warm tortillas made fresh from the Machino. My kids just run to the Machino (large Tortilla making machine) and grab couple of tortilla bags. Each bag has three hot and fresh tortillas. The tortilla chips and authentic salsa is mouth watering. Our kids love the burritos, enchiladas and fries. I enjoy their Vegetarian fajitas. Simply the best out there. I have also tried their Veggie and cheese enchiladas, Chille rellenos and Taco salads. On most evenings of the weekends, Chevys also has the balloon puppet maker who goes around various dinner tables, and makes cool characters out of balloons. He really cracks kids and adults up with his antics, and is really good at making all types of characters from dogs, cats, hats, crowns, and whatever else you can think of. If you are enjoying your birthday at Chevys, you would get a great birthday cheer, a free ice-cream and the authentic Sombrero. Chevys has plenty of comfortable seating in the main restaurant, around the bar, outside in the front patio, and in the back patio. A few years ago, we celebrated our kids birthday party at Chevys in the back patio at lunch time. It was one of the best birthday parties that we can still remember.

Cost: $8 to $10 per person without drinks.

Udupi Palace - South Indian and North Indian food (although specialists in South Indian fare) - located near Newpark Mall. Same shopping center that has Payless shoes.

Phone: 510-794-8400

Udupi Palace serves all vegetarian Indian food, cooked in authentic South Indian style. They are also serving some North Indian fare, although it goes without saying that they are one of the best South Indian restaurants in Bay Area. If you are in the mood for Dosas, Uttapams, Idlis, Vadas, Rasam, Sambaar, and authentic South Indian dishes - this is the place to go. We enjoy many of their Dosa varieties; in particular, Paper Dosa, Saada Dosa, Masaala Dosa, Spring Vegetable Dosa, Onion Dosa, etc. Our kids enjoy their hot, fresh Idlis. My daughter enjoys the Idlis with some oil on the side; lately, she has been eating the Saada Dosa also. My son can't have enough of the Saada Dosas, Idlis, and even Vadas. I have tried various versions of their Dosas; and each is scrumptious. I also eat their Uttapams (in particular mixed vegetarian), which is just right with the spices, taste and serving size. Udupi serves many combination plates for both lunch and dinner. Combination is usually the best deal, since it includes both Dosas and Idlis. I have also tried their Thaali dinners which includes a little of everything. If you are really hungry, a Thaali dinner or lunch is the way to go; you will not only get South Indian varieties, but also a bit of North Indian food, including dessert and raitas. In competition to several good Indian restaurants in greater Fremont, Udupi also offers a Buffett on the weekends. The Buffett serves over twenty to twenty five various preparations which is sure to please anyone. And it's a great deal as well. I also recommend their Mango Lassi or Salt Lassi (although it is quite filling).

Cost: $8 to $10 per person with drinks.

Mission Pizza - Pizzas, Calzones, Salad Bar and Live Music - Washington Blvd. at the intersection of 680 (towards Paseo Padre).

Phone: 510-651-6858

There is pizza, and then there is Mission Pizza. Mission Pizza has been around for more than ten years at the very least (at least to my knowledge); it is one of the original pizza restaurants in Mission San Jose, Fremont. I only got introduced to Mission Pizza in the last year and a half, and it has quickly become one of my favorite Pizza restaurants to go eat at lunch or dinner, or simply takeout. Mission San Jose is a beautiful mission, restored and resplendent, at the intersection of Washington Blvd and Mission Blvd. It is perhaps the best looking mission in Bay Area. Mission Pizza bears it name from the Mission San Jose. Mission Pizza serves up some of the best vegetarian pizzas that I have ever tried. From the plain cheese, to masaala pizza (yup they have a Pizza catering to the Indian population), to garden style - their sauce, ingredients, and the pizza crust is simply too good to taste; somehow, the way Mission Pizza bakes their pizzas makes you want to eat more. If you don't believe me, order their medium pizza and see how many slices you end up eating. The masaala pizza is not for the faint of heart; it is spicy good, and is sure to leave a mark on your tounge and stomach. Just like the pizzas, the calzones are also prepared from scratch, and are juicy. If you are in the mood for salad, there is a small but fresh salad bar. The best part of Mission Pizza is their live music over the weekends - Friday and Saturday nights. This has been a Mission Pizza tradition for the past ten plus years. Pizza, Live Music, Friends, Fun. Doesn't get any better.

Cost: $7 to $10 per person without drinks.

I also enjoy Mountain Mike's Pizza (Washington Blvd. and Fremont Blvd. intersection), the new Z Pizza (next to GNC on Warm Springs Blvd. - old Albertsons shopping center), Round Table Pizza (at lunch has the best deal for pizza, salad and drink - next to Taco Bell on Mission Blvd.), and of course ordering pizza delivery from Pizza Hut and Domino's. Although we don't go to Olive Garden a whole lot (it's a bit far from where we live - Mowry and 880), we always enjoy the savory Italian food, in particular the unlimited Garlic Bread, the endless Salad and Soup.

In Indian food, I recommend the Chaat Cafe (the original is next to Barnes and Noble on Mowry), the new one is in Warm Springs shopping center next to Long's Drugs and Radio Shack (Mission Blvd. and Warm Springs Blvd.). We recently catered from Golden Moments (this used to be the New Taste of India) on Warm Springs Blvd. (next to Ho Chow). All our friends enjoyed their food, and could not stop praising about the quality. The name has already made an impression on my son (he keeps on telling me why they named an Indian restaurant Golden Moments - I finally told him this is clever marketing).

If you are in the mood for eating healthy and fresh without any guilt, the best bet is Sweet Tomatoes (located on Paseo Padre and Walnut intersection). Lunch or dinner, Sweet Tomatoes perhaps provides you the freshest food in Fremont. The best part: All you can eat Salad, Bread, Pasta, Soup, Muffins, Fruits, Dessert and more for one low price (look for the coupons in the mail). The only down side: you end up eating too much (when you go there to eat healthy).

Some of the restaurants that we have not visited recently, although have fond memories are Chillis (Fremont Hub) and Elephant Bar (Fremont Hub). You can never go wrong with either; both offer a good selection of delicious fresh entrees. The wait time in the evenings is easily half an hour or more.

Some of the new restaurants that I have been recently eating lunch are Panera Bread (Pacific Commons) and Pick up Stix (Pacific Commons). Panera serves up great sandwiches, sourdough sandwich and soup bowls, soups, and pizzas (in their own style). Their breads, cookies, pastries and donut variations are sinfully delicious. Panera has quickly become a place to hang out, and enjoy fresh lunch in the new Fremont shopping center in Pacific Commons (Automall West off 880). They also offer free Internet (although I have not yet tried this). I have been to Pick up Stix a few times already (same center as Panera bread). I have become a fan of their Pad Thai with Tofu. Pad Thai is my favorite Thai dish, and Pick up Stix has made its mark. Pick up Stix also offers a giant cookie which is quite good for dessert. Panera Bread and Pick up Stix are part of the new Fremont, and have already become busy restaurants at lunch time (you can't find parking next to them).

I enjoy eating at these Fremont restaurants. Many days, you would find me eating though at the local Subways, Burger King, KFC (yes, they have many vegetarian side dishes to offer), Jack In the Box, McDonalds, Taco Bell and Quiznos. What is amazing is that each offer reasonably good Vegetarian meal at a good price.

Here's to eating in Fremont.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Introduction to Fremont Living

I have been a resident of Fremont City for the past 10 years now. We (my wife, my son and I) moved to Fremont city in 1997 from Texas; March 2007 will mark our 10th anniversary in Fremont. Since we have moved here, we have been blessed with a daughter who is now six years old, and my growing son is now eleven years old. Both our children go to one of the best elementary schools in Bay Area, California and Fremont, Weibel Elementary.

Just last year, I began two blogs: one on Creativity And Innovation Driving Business and another for the Fremont Technology Advisory Committee (private blog) of which I am an appointed member. As an appointed member by the Superintendent of Fremont of the Fremont Technology Advisory Committee (or TAC as we call it), we are all working towards creating a Technology plan for the entire school district.

I have enjoyed blogging, learning from fellow bloggers, and sharing my experiences and insights on several topics on Creativity, Innovation and Learning.

Fremont Living is my attempt to share my experiences about various places that I frequently visit in Fremont, in particular places I eat, have coffee, drive around, hang out, walk, play, shop, learn, and just plain have some fun. I am also planning to include updates on upcoming events, things to do, and weekend activities in Fremont.

I look forward to comments from fellow Fremont residents, visitors, and would-be Fremont residents who are looking forward to moving to this great city which we call our home.

Sanjay Dalal