The inspiration behind Alebrijes Mexican Bistro is the stuff of nightmares?Pedro Linares? nightmares, to be specific. At the age of 30, the Mexican artist fell deathly ill. As he lay in bed, unconscious, he dreamt of a strange world filled with brightly colored monsters?a donkey with butterfly wings and a rooster with the head of an eagle among others?all shouting ?alebrijes, alebrijes, alebrijes!? When he awoke, he wanted to show his family and friends all that he had seen, so he replicated his first alebrije from brightly painted papier-m?ch?. To this day, his family still crafts these strange creatures to serve as unusual home accents.
Pedro Linares' monsters inspired Alebrijes Mexican Bistro's name, as well as its decor, which showcases brightly colored paintings of his nightmarish beasts. In 2012, the bistro also won the Lodi News Reader?s Choice award for Best Mexican Restaurant, thanks to its gourmet burritos and regionally inspired dishes such as oaxaca mole, guanajuato bacon-wrapped prawns, and guacamole prepared in the style of Mexico City. The restaurant also infuses their own tequilas.
Morgan Hill Bowl is a multi-purpose entertainment center with myriad games and activities for the whole family. Friends and families trade high-fives and trash talk as they practice their hooks and curves on polished hardwood lanes. Later, things turn psychedelic as music and light shows illuminate the alley during cosmic bowling, which also features music videos projected on drop-down screens.
But the fun and games aren't just limited to bowling?Morgan Hill also features a bocce ball room with well maintained courts and a connected wine bar. For pre- or post-game beer and cocktails, bowlers can head to StriXe Lounge, a 2,000 square foot bar with billiards, darts, and eight flat screen TVs for sports viewing. The bar also hosts regular karaoke nights, during which, guests can belt out their favorite tunes or use the mic to read aloud from a favorite bowling-themed novel.
If you hang around downtown San Jose for long enough, you might become curious about someone called "The Brit." It seems like they host more parties than is humanly possible—"When do they sleep?" one has to wonder, hearing about the many DJs, karaoke sessions, and sports viewings they host. Follow a weekend crowd, however, and you'll learn that The Brit is not a person, but a pub where British cuisine pairs with beer, cocktails, and cheery character.
The menu at Britannia Arms Downtown covers the savory bases, from shepherd's pie to bangers and mash. And though they are British staples, the recipes are far from flippant reproductions. The fish and chips features housemade beer batter and tartar sauce over its Atlantic white cod, and the Angus beef patty on the baguette burger is hand-shaped. These and other entrees pair well with more than 20 drinks on draft, such as Boddingtons and Wyder's Pear Cider, available in pints, 120-oz "beer towers," or a 16-story hollow replica of Big Ben.
The Brit rallies its patrons for events almost every night of the week. There might be a UFC match on its many televisions, a stand-up comedian regaling the guests, or a trivia contest pitting team against team. One constant is the chatter on the heated patio, which sprawls for 3,000 square feet and has its own full-service bar.
In 1981, Britannia Arms' owner, an English expat, opened up a portal to the sceptered isle in Cupertino by establishing his British pub. Since then, the family-owned bar has been churning out authentic Anglo-centric eats, such as grilled pork sausages or corned beef and cabbage. To show Michael Collins there aren’t any hard feelings, the pub serves traditional Irish breakfasts on the weekends. The bar pipes in British soccer and rugby games on its collection of high-def TVs while out on the heated outdoor patio, guests stay warm as they impersonate John Cleese with those fun fake English accents that everyone loves.
In between savory bites, diners can cleanse their palates with a staggering array of 20 beers and two hard ciders on tap at the fully-stocked bar. And when not watching the latest sports game, including NFL games, the friendly neighborhood pub keeps guests entertained with regular DJ and karaoke nights as well as dartboards and complimentary pool tables.
Neon beer signs, antique photographs, 24 HD televisions with DirectTV, and framed sports jerseys adorn the walls at Britannia Arms Almaden, an eatery that is part neighborhood sports bar and part British-style pub. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the wait staff ferries British-American fusion cuisine from eclectic menus, whose offerings range from steamed mussels to deep-fried pickles and bangers. Patrons take in games while they dine, whether in the form of sporting events playing on the heated patio’s screens or during Tuesday trivia. On Fridays and Saturdays, live music permeates the space while bartenders serve from a list of 28 domestic, import, and craft beers. Classics such as Guiness, Harp Lager, and Boddingtons Pub Ale can also be alchemized into a blend such as a Black & Tan, Snake Bite, or Irishsetter.
The old saying asks people to sing for their supper, but at Creekside Bar and Grill, the singing is just a fun bonus. Along with digging into heaping plates of internationally inspired steaks and broiled fish, guests can participate in karaoke during later hours on certain evenings, or dine quietly before the serenades begin. Each dish, from Angus prime rib to egg-dipped calamari steak, is a result of the chefs’ determination to continuously perfect their recipes since the restaurant opened more than 25 years ago. In keeping with those high standards, meals are made with fresh and local ingredients, including seafood from the San Francisco Bay area.