ChefView-Year in Review

Chef View By Dana Johnson

Modesto View January 2014 Chef View

Dana~licious’ Word of Mouth!

Happy, Hungry, and Healthy New Year to all of the Modesto Viewers that give me reason to think about getting a gym membership or at least find an outlet to plug in my dusty treadmill sitting in my garage! Seriously Mo Viewers, I do all this decadent dining all year round just for you! “Word of mouth!” Isn’t that one of the best ways to find out about where the best of the best is when it comes to local dining and amazing cuisine in Modesto and its surrounding areas?

Let’s review 2013… January- Olas Mexicali Grill, starting the year of right with mega fresh and healthier choices like the bare-naked bikini burrito and the lard-free menu items featured at Olas Mexicali Grill in McHenry Village.

February- Barkin Dog Grill, where live music lives via local musicians while scarfing down a fat-stacked burger followed by a rich and thick milkshake with my flavor of choice, chocolate! (Next to a tasty basket of fries, of course!)

March Skewers, succulent meats on a stick, I can’t ask for much more than that! But then there’s the lightest-fluffiest rice that’s like no other I’ve ever enjoyed, followed by baklava that can’t seem to get enough of!

April- Redwood Café, ultra fine, wine and dine! Lollipop lamb chops and this crazy super juicy pork chop that has my mouth drooling just thinking about it! Plus flight nights and romantic ambiance under the Modesto stars on their patio graced with gorgeous redwood trees. Perfect setting as they really know how to do up a wedding!

May- Safari on salads as my waistline needing a break! Vito’s has hands down the best Waldorf salad ever, Mediterranean Grill has an extremely popular salmon salad full of flavor, and Greens table has array of organic salads that it becomes very difficult to pick just one!

June- A&W and Sno-White Drive-in… I got my American Graffiti on as I sampled on the long time classics from the menus that have timeless nostalgia. Each bite can hold a favorite memory of back in the day. Plus, I introduced another place in time from my youth by re-experiencing the moments/bites with my own kids!

July- Oodles and Loard’s Ice Cream, What a cool thrill to build my own frozen yogurt dessert (or breakfast, lunch, or dinner… don’t judge me!!!) with countless combinations of mix-ins and/or toppings at Ooodles. Scoop after scoop at Loard’s Ice Cream I found myself convinced I had room for one more! Haha that’s a true story as each rich and dreamy-creamy flavor had a personal message just for me!

Aug- Chopping Block, what an incredible find as this butcher shop and deli that boasts meat and yes my favorite more meat! Fine cuts of beef, pork, chicken, and many original handmade sausages great for grilling all year round. I also like the local specialty grocery products they carry in store that I no longer have to search for.

Sept- Deva Café, what a thrill to have breakfast with Earl Matthews of the Poorhouse Millionaires Band! The band performs live on Sunday mornings to smooth me right into a relaxing afternoon while devouring Deva Café’s incredible crepes and homemade baked goods accompanied with aromatic coffee specialty drinks (Yes! I had champagne too!)

Oct – Oakdale Cheese, what more did I need to say after CHEESE?! Picnic area, live animals to feed, specialty food shopping and cheese galore! Flavored goudas, quark cheese, and yes cheesecake! And then there is the best chocolate truffle I’ve tried thus far in my quest to find the best!

Nov- Rockin B’s, WOW! Every bite, every burger, every time is the rightful claim to fame of the Fantastic burger stop! Handmade juicy patties, not greasy, make their burgers dang near to die for! The garlic fries are the perfect component to transport you to Shimmerville, you have to go there to know what that means!

Dec- Sciabica’s Olive Oil, 77 years of commitment to producing stellar olive oil that can bring an average dish to life. Sciabica’s has 9 different flavored olive oils and 3 varietals of seasonal cold-pressed olive oils to choose from. The gift store and tasting room hosts visitors from near and far while stimulating goodness throughout Modesto as many restaurants exclusively use this impressive olive oil.

I know you would think I’m belly full by now, but NO! I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into so much more as I eat my way around and through Modesto! Vito’s has a new chef and new menu items, Mediterranean Grill has a new deli and store located in the rear building, Mike’s Grill House has opened its doors with an inviting menu, as well as I hear lots of buzz about Rivets and even some new places like Urbana opening this month. Yes, word of mouth has the ultimate power of suggestion, so my most appreciated Modesto Viewers, I want to hear from you!!! or in Facebook, Modesto View, please share your favorite dining pleasures with me throughout Modesto. Your “word of mouth” matters and may just be my next featured article that I can happily share via the 46,000 copies we proudly distribute in Modesto and in our sister communities. Thank you for making the Modesto View a favorite guide that offers a true taste of Modesto!

Modesto View signature question to ME! Beatles or Stones… ROLLING STONES! Start me up, Beast of Burden, Angie, Brown Sugar, Miss you, Gimme Shelter, and my list literally rolls on!

By Dana Johnson



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