Jenny’s Kitchen (San Jose)

Jenny’s Kitchen is a picnickers dream. The small space, with northern Chinese and Taiwanese specialties, is part deli (steam plate dishes, totally different ones rotating hourly if not quicker; whole soy sauce chicken), savory bakery (stuffed pancakes (xian bing, cong you bing, pork wrap, seasonal specials— please ask); steamed buns); and also has homemade soy milk, and variety of sweets. Ah, and a cold cases with things like pickled radishes and frozen dumplings.

Food is light (less oil, not too salty), and service is very friendly and full of ordering tips, which is helpful since dishes can be seasonal… or even change by the hour. Asking for a Jian bing today at 11am, Jenny’s husband pondered for a second, and excitedly asked if I could come back at 3pm. They enjoy their business and have a good sense of humor.

Some covered seating out front, but you may have to eat elsewhere if very busy. Her parking lot is shared with some other businesses and limited to 15 minutes, but there is alternate parking close by.

Some favorites today: a pork and dill xian bing (sealed, stuffed pancake); black sesame pastry with a hint of Sichuan peppercorn; a phenomenal date pastry which had a smoky flavor which has gotta be black cardamom; the always excellent pork roll (even better than the beef roll).

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Excellent place for all things 麵食 related (though dumplings and baozi are not as great).

You mean pancake and bun like items?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold