A Critique of the Best of Silicon Valley 2009

7:40 PM Kari R. 3 Comments

About a week and a half ago, the San Jose Mercury News released special report, the “Best of Silicon Valley 2009.” For those of you that are familiar with the awards, you know they are based off votes from readers and cover everything from food, shopping to landmarks.

It’s a huge deal to be included in these awards, since it’s free publicity for businesses. And, you get major bragging rights when you are able to frame these articles on and hang them on your wall of fame.

After going through these though, I have come to the conclusion that most Silicon Valley residents are idiots. Yes, I am sorry to say.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some GREAT picks that readers chose, but others are so off-base I am insulted. I mean, really, is Sonoma Chicken Coop the “best” American food we have? And, is Original Joe’s (yes, the greasy spoon I went to in the wee hours of the morning during high school) really the “best” Italian restaurant?

I may just be “moody” lately – but here’s another rant and reasons for thinking us Silicon Vallyers may just be nitwits…Don’t worry I’m ending on a positive note on the picks I agree with :)

Worst Pick #1: Best Italian – Original Joe’s
Now, don’t get me wrong, Original Joe’s is great when you are suffering from a hangover or just need some food past midnight. But, really people – best Italian? There are so many other great Italian places that doesn’t have the casino-Vegas feel to it. Why not venture out to Fratellos in Willow Glen. Or, there is Antonella’s off of Park Avenue. Or, how about Il Postale, arguably one of the best Italian restaurants, located in Sunnyvale. Not to mention, all of my recommendations have white table clothes and waiters don’t wear the cheesy tuxedos.

Worst Pick #2: Best Ice Cream – Baskin Robbins
Um, need I explain this? Once again, Baskin Robbins is great for its free scoop night and is an easy alternative. But, why not Cold Stone where you can get creamy ice cream with toppings? Or, Kicks and order a natural, homemade ice cream sandwiches. In my books, the only thing that puts Baskin Robbins in the “best” category is the fact that the Saratoga location is a drive-thru. Also, they probably should have had a gelato category...

Worst Pick #3: Best French Fries – McDonalds
Literally, this is probably the worst pick since eating these fries may make you wind you up in the hospital if you make it a habit. All calories aside, french fries are probably one of my favorite food items. But, hello, can we say Gordon Biersch Garlic Fries? Enough said, McDonald’s was one of the worst picks.

Some that I somewhat agree with –

Japanese: Yuki Sushi
Yes, Yuki isn’t yucky. Definitely would have been in my top 3, but I would have given the win to Kubota in San Jose’s Japantown.

Happy Hour: Chevy’s
Chevy’s does have an amazing happy hour with $3 dollars for select drinks and appetizers. But, there is always the Merlion in Cupertino – I have no idea what the happy hour actually entails, but once you make friends with the pleasant bartender, this is by far the best price you’ll ever pay for cocktails, wine, shots, you name it! Drive responsibly.

BBQ: Blue Rock BBQ
Blue Rock is pretty good and the owners are pretty awesome. That said, it is definitely in my top 5 – but in a close race are Henry’s Hi-Life and Sam’s BBQ.

Anyways, enough of my own rambling, what do you think? Was there a restaurant that you totally disagree/agree with?

Leave a comment below!


  1. I always laugh at these top lists also. I cannot STAND Sonoma Chicken coop. And Baskin Robbins? Come on LOL. I prefer more of the Gelato shops, not crazy about the Cold Stone Creamery (although would take those over B&R any day!)

    Original Joe's has GREAT hamburgers but I haven't been there in a long long time.

  2. Yes, these lists are sometimes really ridiculous. I mean, you might as well put that McDonalds, Burger King and Jack are all tied for "Best American" -- oh wait, they DID when they gave best fries to McD!

    Thanks for your comments!

  3. Kare, i'm gonna go ahead and agree with you on pretty much all of those bad picks, and best happy hour? HANDS DOWN Merlion, haha great call! I could go for a Mertini right now...