By September 6, 2017 Read More →

ChefView – Papachino’s Mediterranean Heaven

Chef View
By Tasha Williams
Papachino’s – A Smooth Transition into Mediterranean Heaven

My picture may not have given it away.
So, just in case, I am going to help you out here. I am not Greek. I have never sailed the Mediterranean Sea, nor have I had an opportunity to visit any of the beautiful countries such as Lebanon, Israel, Italy, or Greece – that surround it. In fact, I have never tried an authentic Mediterranean dish at all – Until now!

On the 16th and 17th of September, Modesto celebrates The Greek Food Festival. However, this afternoon, with encouragement from Chris Murphy, (our Publisher), I stepped out to try Mediterranean food for the very first time. Chris recommended Papachino’s Greco-Roman Restaurant. I had no idea what to expect, but I didn’t think it would kill me! Seriously, I died!
I died and went straight to: Mediterranean Foodie Heaven!

Conveniently located at 1212 J Street, Papachino’s is a charming family restaurant. Manuel Escobedo has been the owner since 2008. He was gone the day I came in, so instead, I spoke with his son, Manager, Manuel Escobedo Jr. and the Assistant Manager, Christina Martinez. Modesto View photographer, Michael (MJ) Mangano also came along. He took the fabulous photographs!

Papachino’s menu has a plethora of tantalizing Appetizers, Pastas, and Gyro (pronounced Euro), Sandwiches. The food is made from scratch, – in-house. Everything! From the marinated assortment of meats, the flavor-filled pita bread, the mouth-watering humus, all the way down to the famous cucumber and cultured yogurt Tzatziki Sauce, – Papachino’s makes EVERYTHING!
“Love inspires our food. We care deeply for our community and cooking is the way we show our gratitude,” said Manuel. “Without community support, we would never have sustained such longevity here.”

Since I was new to Mediterranean food, I asked Manuel if he had a favorite dish and he smiled. Manuel genuinely smiles from inside. “I really cannot pick a favorite Tasha, but I do love our Chicken Marsala,” he said.

Can you guess what I tried? Yup! You got it! I went with the Chicken Marsala! From first glance of the dish, I had to pinch myself a bit! I could barely bring myself to pierce it with my fork, because it was so pretty to look at! It is cooked in-pan, with a Marsala wine sauce. Then, heavy cream is added to thicken the sauce even more. Finally, the dish is topped off with sautéed mushrooms that are seasoned to perfection!
Next, I had a Gyro. The Gyro sandwich begins with a rotisserie mix of beef and lamb. The meat is then served over handmade pita bread and filled with a heap of seasoned tomatoes, sliced red onions, lettuce and Papachino’s specially made Tzatziki Sauce.
I ended my meal with a dessert called Baklava and I loved that as well!
Preparing to go home, I asked a question just for you!

“I’m curious,” I said, “Do you have an easy Mediterranean recipe that you would be willing to share with the Modesto View readers?” Quickly, Christina chimed in, “Sure! Humus,” she said, “And here is the recipe.”:
4 cups Cooked Garbanzo Beans (Set aside leftover juice)
1 cup Tahini
2 Tablespoons Salt
1 Tablespoon White Pepper
1 Tablespoon Cumin
5 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
Puree all ingredients with the left over garbanzo juice. Add garlic, paprika, and spices for flavor.

Graciously, I thanked Christina for sharing her recipe, but I still had one last question for Manuel.
“Manuel, we have a traditional question that we like asking, here at Modesto View Magazine,” I said. “Beatles or Stones?” Still smiling, he answered, “The Beatles! They are classic and I can always hear their emotions when one of their songs play!”

Visit Papachino’s Restaurant: Don’t you want a taste of Heaven? As always:
Let’s love our Modesto! Let’s embrace our Modesto! Let’s continue to spread our smiles in Modesto! C’mon Positive Peeps – IT’S WHERE WE LIVE!
Papachino’s Greco Roman Restaurant
1212 J St. Modesto, 95354



About the Author:

Tasha is a true "Multipotentialite" in every sense of the word! Not only is she a freelance writer, but she also sings, acts, attends MJC full-time, pursuing her degree in Human Services, while single-handedly raising two teenagers, a son, Giovanni (16), and a daughter, Aciemarie (14). Find her on both Facebook and LinkedIn here:,