By June 5, 2015 Read More →

ChefView – Retro Graffiti Fun!

Chef View
By Dana Johnson

Retro Graffiti Food & Fun
Strikes & Spares Grill/Yosemite Lanes

What is the first thing you think of when it comes to American Graffiti? Cruising cool cars, jukebox tunes, waitresses on roller skates, burgers, fries, shakes, black leather bomber jackets and poodle skirts, or do you just feel the nostalgia of a more wholesome time? The American Graffiti movie was set in 1962 and Modesto’s Yosemite lanes opened in 1961 and lucky for us it’s still entertaining and feeding the next generations.

We have lots and lots of restaurant choices throughout Modesto and the surrounding communities, but few are all-inclusive like Strikes and Spares Grill located within Yosemite Lanes. Cindy Bond has been the full-scale restaurant, snack bar, and bar manager for a committed 24 years! She’s been married to Robert Bond for the past 7 years; she has 5 kiddos and 12 grandkids. All 5 of her kids have worked there, and so have 3 of her grandkids; a real family tradition. Cindy takes pride in all the food and beverages available to her customers, especially her homemade biscuits and gravy, fresh ground coffee, and she said, “I love our pancakes!” So of course I tried it all, including an all-American breakfast! Yes, per Chris Murphy’s request, I also sampled the traditional Graffiti menu items: Big Dana~licious cheeseburger, fat crispy French fries, a root beer float, and Cindy’s homemade peach cobbler topped with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream, sooooo good! Okay, you must be thinking, “No way!”, well, I did have help from my family who joined me for the “research” to accurately report to the Modesto Viewers! Funny how 3 out of 4 were suddenly free to go to work with me!

After we filled up on the tasty plates, we were ready for some physical activity to burn off some of those calories. I’ve been bowling for years, truly one of my favorite family pastimes. Dave Ramsey has been the bowling alley manager for the past 4 years and he was enthusiastic to show us the recent interactive lane games. Total goofy fun watching our faces made into silly animated characters, my son and boyfriend pictured in girlie wigs and even a ball gown on the overhead scoreboard, haha! You can also login to Facebook to enhance the experience. It even has lane chat. Yep, you can chat between lanes with your friends by activating your lane screen. What is the world coming to? More fun that’s for sure, at Yosemite Lanes! I love that my adult handicapped daughter is able to share in the entire experience as well since they have an easy to use bowling ball ramp and bumpers that assist her in knocking down those pins! But let there be no mistake, I still had the high score in my competitive family that takes those bragging rights seriously!
The kid’s zone has air hockey, virtual games, and yes there is even a pinball machine, another fav of mine from my youth! We love this place! For those 21 and older, the full bar hosts a daily happy hour from 2-6pm. You can shoot pool or throw darts for more lively adult entertainment! I also believe I saw enough space in there for a dance floor, too.

Owner Jim Gordin really knows what it means to have a good time! On New Year’s Day in 1999 he purchased this full scale food and fun center that caters to all ages. I love that we can go anytime for an outing or join a league for some friendly competition. It’s also a great place to have a birthday party no matter what the ages! Neighborhood goodness never goes out of style! So, when you are out cruising Modesto, remember this is one stop to add to your total American Graffiti experience!

Modesto View’s signature question; Beatles or Stones? Cindy unequivocally stated “Stones” leaving me with a better understanding of why her food has the flavors so many of us just have to have!

2301 Yosemite Blvd. Modesto, CA
Restaurant hours: 7 days a week 6am-10pm
Bar hours: 7 days a week 2pm-2am (Happy Hour 2pm-6pm)
Bowling hours: 6am-3am
Closed only 2 days per year: Thanksgiving and Christmas

Strikes & Spares Bleu Cheese Dressing
2c. mayonnaise
2c. sour cream
3/4c. olive oil
6 T. red wine vinegar
1 1/2t. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. dry mustard
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. celery seed
1/2t. coarse ground pepper
1/2 lb. crumbled bleu cheese
Mix all ingredients together, cover and refrigerate overnight.




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