Tacolicious | Santana Row – San Jose, CA

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This taco place is a rather new addition to Santana Row. So many of my friends have raved about the tacos here so I decided to give it a shot. While I was disappointed at first, I definitely ended the dinner on a good note.

As a lover of Mexican food, I was sad to see that the vegetarian options for tacos included asparagus and mushroom. Is this normal for a taco? Not in my experience. The tacos at Tacolicious suddenly became a hard no for me. Since I only eat halal meat, my limited food pallet was thrown off with the confusingly off vegetarian options.

Instead of tacos, I opted for the empanadas from the appetizer menu. First, I was irritated that I was not eating tacos at a restaurant that had ‘taco’ in the name and second, I was lucky I had just finished Ramadan and did not have a normal appetite.

The empanadas were delicious. They were stuffed with chard, sweet peppers, goat cheese, and covered in tomatillo salsa. My friends each had a meat filled taco that they were clearly satisfied with. Though I was salty that I didn’t eat the tacos, I’m glad that they at least would. Service was normal and nothing above the norm for a restaurant that was not busy.

I would not go again only because their vegetarian menu was depressing and odd to see. For those who are not vegetarian, I would recommend coming since all my meat-eating friends rave about the tacos. I cannot speak per se what they love exactly but my friends are at Tacolicious at least twice a month to eat.

How to Plan a Tea Party

I love a good tea party! Having a strong connection to the U.K. has made me appreciate the fun of a tea party with my friends. This year I opted out of a typical birthday dinner and planned a tea party for my closest friends. While planning and preparing a tea party seems like a lot of work, it’s actually quite easy.

  1. Set a date and time (I recommend 2-3pm after everyone has lunch)
  2. Plan the menu
    1. Sweets
      1. Chateau Blanc Authentic French Macarons (42 ct.) from Sam’s Club
        1. Costco has them too! They are frozen so you can pick them up ahead of time. Macarons are expensive but these were so reasonable! 42 macarons can easily cost $100 on average. I paid about $20 for the pack and they were delicious.
      2. Mini Cheese Cakes from Trader Joes
        1. TJ’s has a great variety of frozen sweets to choose for the tea party. I picked up mini cheesecake squares the week before and stored them in the freezer.
      3. Cake
        1. I usually keep most foods at a tea party in “fun” sizes except for one, the cake. For my birthday tea party, I had a homemade funfetti cake with strawberry filling and homemade icing. Not only was it beautiful to look at, it was delicious too! (Shout out to Mom for helping me with the icing and sprinkles)
    2. Savory
      1.  Sandwiches
        1. Cheese with Cucumber on Wheat Bread
        2. Cream Cheese with Cucumber on White Bread
          1. I always cut the skin off the cucumbers and dab the slices with paper towel so the sandwiches aren’t soggy. I prepare them about an hour before the tea party so they are fresh! Cut into triangle halves or quarters.
          2. You can always make jam sandwiches or lox sandwiches. Any variation can work as long as they are simple, delicious, and bite size.
      2. Mini Chana Samosas
        1. Where East meets West… I love these samosas. They are so delicious and I can probably eat a whole packet in one sitting. You can find them at any Indian grocery store in the frozen section. Making fresh samosas is time-consuming so these are always a great alternative. Fry them right before you guests arrive so they are hot!
      3. Deviled Eggs
        1. Again easy to make in the morning before your tea party and its hard to go wrong with them!
    3. Tea
      1. Can’t mess this up… Boil water to put in your tea-pot and use black tea bags (I like Typhoo or Tetley brands). Keep milk and sugar separate.
    4. Apple Cider/Lemonade
      1. A good host provides a little bit of everything! For those who didn’t want to drink tea or were done with tea, I provided apple cider in cute champagne glasses.
  3. Presentation
    1. Tea Set
      1. If you don’t have a tea set, you can find inexpensive ones at the thrift store or department store. I used my Mom’s wedding set for my birthday. It had matching tea cups, saucers, plates, teapot, sugar bowl, creamer, and napkin rings. Theres a recent trend of having mismatched tea sets which is absolutely adorable if you can pull it off! I kept to the traditional matching set.
    2. Cake Stands/Trays
      1. As you can see from the pictures above I had a variety of cake stands and trays to present the food on. Having different shapes and heights adds dimension to the table. For small cakes and bites, I put them in cupcake liners for presentation and easy handling.
  4. Decor
    1. Table Runner or Table Cloth
      1. I used a gold table runner for my tea party ,as you can see above, but a tablecloth will do too! It’s amazing how a simple piece of cloth can really bring a table together
    2. Vases/Flowers
      1. In the pictures above, there are two different flower arrangements and uses. In one tea party, I use a summer arrangement with fresh lavender in a large vase and smaller vases. In the other tea party, I have roses and palm fronds in the vases and use fresh rose petals as decoration for the food.
    3. Candles
      1. As you can see, I used candles in one of the tea parties to match the roses. The look we had for that party was more romantic. They are optional but definitely can change the vibe of a tea party.

I hope my tips and suggestions for an easy tea party are helpful! I had so much fun at my tea party and didn’t have any stress beforehand due to the planning and use of ready-made and easy foods.

Enjoy!

xoxo, Kaval