Brain food is a horrible misnomer, actually referring to various cerebellum-based jellybeans. The mind benefits much more from tapioca-infused beverages like those available with today’s Groupon. For $4, you get $8 worth of drinks and snacks at the SJSU Fusion Cafe, located across from San Jose State University.
Vegetarian House’s name is slightly misleading—but only slightly. The menu is indeed vegetarian, but it’s also 100% vegan and organic. That means vegetable broth pho that swaps out tripe for tofu and soy protein. Eclectic dishes from Asia and the Middle East round out the menu, and many feature noodles made from scratch.
The Kebab Shack's chefs beget a menu full of delectable eats. Kebabs are lanced with a handful of crisp, grilled veggies and poked through myriad flavorful meats such as chicken ($8.95), steak ($9.95), and chapli ($8.95). For an unskewered medley, fork through the grilled-steak salad ($6.95), or bite into one of the eatery's pitas ($6.95–$9.95) packed with zesty, fresh ingredients and named after gods such as Hercules, Aphrodite, and Phil Collins. The Zeus pita sends bolts of hot sauce through mighty servings of double meat, grilled peppers, and mushrooms ($9.95), and the Aphrodite pita bursts with falafel, hummus, fresh-cut fries, and tomatoes ($6.95).
Hoagie Steak Out's front windows hypnotize passersby with towering images of diners biting into gargantuan cheesesteak hoagies. Inside, bacon, steak, and veggies are stacked within fresh bread in sandwiches named for popular movies including Scarface and The Godfather. While waiting on a plate of steaming chili fries to cool, diners can study Hoagie Steak Out's vintage wall posters, which depict iconic images such as Rocky Balboa in his trademark black hat.
Raised in Germany, La Lune Sucr?e founder Bettina Pope further cultivated her passion for carefully crafted baked goods while living abroad in Paris and Sussex. So when Ms. Pope moved to America, she ached for the crusty baguettes and puff-pastry quiches she had savored in European patisseries. She began gathering family recipes and seeking out apprenticeships with pastry chefs such as Olivier Grimaud of Aux Delices de Pierre in France. Now, as head chef at La Lune Sucr?e, she fills plates with her favorite French and German cafe fare, from flaky, light croissant sandwiches to crisp salads and homemade soups. Additionally, Ms. Pope enfolds European cheeses and cream sauces into crepe batter she makes from scratch and doles out fresh-baked French baguettes to picnickers and arcade-goers short a mallet for Whack-A-Mole.
Punjab Cafe’s narrow dining room is cozy, sophisticated, and a good place to bring a special someone. The restaurant’s plates for two make a romantic dinner—start with a pair of samosas, move on to meat or vegetarian curry, and end on a sweet note with ice cream or rice pudding.