.Back in Business

Resilience and being a community favorite bodes well for Poor House Bistro

Whether you’re a South Bay native or have journeyed on foot to the SAP Center for a Sharks game, chances are you once came across the unmistakable Poor House Bistro. 

True to the spirit of San Jose, this historic Victorian house turned restaurant has made quite a name for itself; debuting originally in 2005 and swiftly being embraced as a beloved dining and entertainment hotspot. 

The Poor House Bistro effortlessly blends the essence of Italian “famiglia” with warmth and southern hospitality, while dishing up the distinctive flavors from the lively streets of New Orleans with its Cajun/Creole cuisine.

After an arduous 19-month (and one-half-mile) journey from its original location, Jay Meduri’s renowned family-owned restaurant triumphantly reopened its doors on Aug. 16 at the heart of Little Italy, a neighborhood that exudes irresistible charm. Despite being only a few short blocks from Downtown’s bustling skyline, it maintains a sense of separation, creating its own captivating appeal.

Positioned between the iconic Henry’s Hi-Life and the highly anticipated Little Italy Cultural Center & Museum, this freshly relocated structure preserves the original Victorian property, now complemented by an expansive new outdoor dining patio and bar area. 

The moment you walk through the door, the aroma of sizzling meats blends with the enticing undertone of freshly baked cornbread, instantly tempting your taste buds as you get in line to place your order. 

The ambiance of the century-old home reborn as a restaurant amplifies the comforting sense of “home cooking,” accentuated by the kitchen churning out one delectable creation after another. 

Offering towering muffuletta sandwiches to indulgent Cajun pasta creations, from flavorful bowls of jambalaya to generously portioned po’boy platters, the menu promises a feast to resonate with any appetite.  

The New Orleans combo plate features fresh cornbread, gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice, which packs a table. It’s served alongside crawfish pasta, a Cajun chicken sandwich, the signature Poor House po’boy, a fried shrimp po’boy–and my personal favorite–“The Drippin’s”. 

This exceptional sandwich truly lives up to its name. Imagine tender shreds of roast beef, generously immersed in a rich au jus adding flavor to each bite. The pickle’s tanginess, the juicy burst of freshly sliced tomato, the creole slaw that brings a unique twist, and a hint of vinegar for an added zing all harmonize to create an unforgettable meal. You’re going to want some extra napkins. 

Wrapping up the dining experience, a delightful space between contentment and the urge to take a nap sets in, but there was one last irresistible temptation: a serving of fresh beignets. Delicious confections covered in powdered sugar with a hot and crisp exterior, and an irresistibly soft center. 

Whether you’re a devoted regular or a curious newcomer, one fact remains: the rejuvenated Famiglia Meduri Poor House Bistro is sure to welcome you in and leave a lasting memory.


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