What to eat at this week’s Summer Fest


As jazz, blues, and salsa return for the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest August 13-15, so will catfish, barbecue, and burritos.

And some culinary novelties, including fusion tacos and bruschetta.

“I am very excited to have Bruschetta Bar come down from Napa Valley for the first year, and the Filipino taco truck, Tacos Delano,” said Massimo Chisessi, marketing director for San Jose Jazz. “We’ll also have Summer Fest classics like Nita Bee’s Tastys and Seymart.”

The food stalls will be located near the main stage in Plaza de Cesar Chavez in the city center. A drink stand will be located at the Latin Tropical Stage.

Here’s the list of vendors for the Friday-Sunday concerts, along with some menu details so you can plan your snacks between sets:

For the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, the Tacos Delano team will serve one of their fusion dishes, Oxtail Birria Lumpia, with the obligatory birria broth. (Photo courtesy of Tacos Delano)

Tacos Delano: Filipino-Mexican fusion dishes are in the spotlight at this new stand for the festival: tacos stuffed with steak or pork marinated in soy sauce and calamansi citrus or Fil-Am barbecue chicken, as well as oxtail birria lumpia, courtesy of local chef Rod Reyes. You can accompany them with ube horchata or agua fresca mango-pineapple.

Bruschetta bar: Jennifer Nash from Sonoma County will be heading to South Bay to bring her bruschetta to jazz fans here for the first time. Varieties go well beyond OM, tomato-basil, to include bacon-apple with arugula, grilled artichoke dip, prosciutto-brie, roasted red pepper, and gorgonzola-fig. There will also be fried Brussels and vegan avocado rolls.

Lord of the Côtes barbecue: Look for a full range of smoker’s favorites – ribs, pulled pork, chicken, hot links, Texas sausage, and macaroni and cheese – from award-winning San Jose mine chef Ralph Reyes. Tip: Ribs sell out quickly, so order early.

The flavors of Nita Bee: Longtime San Jose pastry chef Nita Willis will bake sweet potato and pecan pies, peach and blackberry cobblers, and funnel cakes with fresh strawberries. She also brings back the salmon burgers she made at the last festival in person.

Seymar: This stand’s bright yellow and red signs advertise chicken wings and snapper in big letters, but these Louisiana-style caterers are also known for their catfish, shrimp, breaded okra, and hush puppies.

Carmen’s Taqueria: Great burritos and tacos stuffed with beef, chicken or vegetables, served with nachos, tri-tip sandwiches, horchata and lemonade.

Red : East Bay chef Lydia Walker will be returning to the festival for the second time and plans to make jambalaya, fried fish and fried okra, as well as her lemon ice cream pie for dessert.

Soft Serve Twisted K’s: This festival perennial serves six varieties of soft serve ice cream, with flavor variations, as well as Dole Whip. To find the cabin, look for the inflatable cone.

The juice : Lime watermelon ice cubes, frozen lemonade, and hibiscus coolers are big sellers on hot festival weekends. New this year at Travis McOuat’s booth in Marin County will be the mango and strawberry jellies.

The poor house bistro: The kitchen team at nearby Jay Meduri’s restaurant and music club will be setting up a stand to serve their po ‘boy sandwiches – along with the drippin’s, of course.

Gazpachos: Fruit mangonadas and gazpachos topped with mango, pineapple, orange juice and sprinkled with chili powder are the big sellers at this stand in the Ortiz family of restaurants.

Hot and sizzling grill: A specialist in Greek cuisine serving gyros, lamb, falafels and sausages.

Olde Tyme Korn kettle: Traditional favorites: Kettle corn, caramel kettle corn and roasted peanuts.

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