By August 6, 2017 Read More →

ChefView: Tour de Modesto

Publisher’s Note: Our Chef View takes a detour with our newest ViewCrew Tasha Williams. Mother, student and wonderful writer, she takes you on a whirlwind ride of our local culinary specialties. Please welcome her to these pages. – Chris

Bike Riding and Foodie Dreams with Modesto’s Very Own Tour de Food
By Tasha Williams

Bicycles riding through Modesto is quite a common site. But what if your next bike ride included you, your friends and family, plus, a few friendly strangers? What if the entire group rode together, stopping their bicycles periodically, to experience a taste of the best food in town? A sort of bicycle, “Tour de Food” adventure, if you will. . . . . Would you be up for it? Would you be into it?
Modesto View Magazine is cordially inviting you create your own Tour de Food. We have prepared a sample road map with the goal of sampling as many places as possible. As a true “foodie,” you can ride all day, or simply join in at whatever restaurant you desire, during the time frame that best suits your Foodie Dreams!

Clearly, in NO WAY, will this be considered a fitness bicycle ride! Nope! No one is going to get skinny on this food tour! (I can promise you that!) So if you eat, then suffer with guilty thoughts after doing so, this ride is NOT for you! Obviously, we have suspended all basic time and space rules, in order to accomplish this spectacular bike riding/eating event.
So let’s begin the tour:

6:00 am – Bike Ride on the Mensinger Trail – Simple – This is our meeting place for the tour.

7:00 am – Coffee at Queen Bean (on the patio). This stop will be a quick one – just to give you a jolt of energy as you continue your ride. Queen Bean has been a staple in our community for years! Debra Martinez happily owns and operates the establishment. Coffee is top-notch, prepared by barista’s Mayra and Sarkis. Do not ride off without saying hello to Catering Coordinator, Kevin Williams. He is a real kick!

8:30 am – Crepes at Deva Café – Here, cyclists will taste the savory fresh fruit crepes filled with strawberries and bananas, topped off with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle. A friendly and artsy presence is felt here, due to the kind-hearted owner, Lorena Loftis. Decorated with paintings and photos created by local artists, including the beautifully hand painted tables done by Jamie Souza, you will love the vibe. In fact, (pictured here), notice the table displaying Lorena’s likeness with a yummy crepe plate resting gently in her hand. If we are lucky, we may meet downtown Modesto celebrity of sorts, 92-year-old, Mr. Harley Cooney. Known lovingly to most as “The Mayor of J Street,” he has a table painted in his likeness as well.

9:45 am – Modesto Certified Farmer’s Market – The array of different fruits, nuts, and vegetables is wonderful!
10:00 am to 11:30 am – Break time! Ride home and take a little time for yourself until we meet back for lunch. Take your pick between Divine Swine – OR – Rivets American Grill as they are equally fantastic!

11:30am – Ribs and/or Pulled Pork at Divine Swine – Food is perfection at Divine Swine! The ribs and pulled pork are to die for! Owners Robert Wilson and Scott Maynard will see to it that you enjoy the food! Best part about Divine Swine, (besides the food and customer service), is that they are located conveniently in the Roseburg Square, just off the Virginia Corridor bike path!

11:30 am – Fort Knox Burger at Rivet’s American Grill – 100%, hands-down – This is absolutely the best burger I have ever had! First off, the buns are made fresh, in-house, on a daily basis. Covered with a huge block of deep fried cheese, there are no words that can explain this flavor burst! On the side, you will be served sweet potato fries and the manager, Roxanna Schmidt, will more than likely stop by your table to check on your dining experience!

2:20 pm – Grab and go at Rodin Farms in the 10th St Plaza – Homegrown fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Say hello to Marie, she always has something interesting to snack on. We make it easy here, park your bike and walk to the next few stops.
3:00 pm Grab a spot on the patio at Ralston’s Goat for some Mango Habanero Diablo Chicken Wings. Hot but very tasty. You will need a refreshing drink for this.

4:30 pm – Drinks on the Patio at Fuzio with a Firecracker appetizer. Fuzio is people watching excellence and on Fridays, don’t miss out on the ever enjoyable, Music in the Plaza.

5:30 pm – You need something sweet now right? Funnel Cake at T-Cups Café. Yes, friends, these fair-style funnel cakes are superb and you will find the Boba Tea decadent and refreshing! Now return to your bike and head to 11th St.

6:45 pm – Chicago Hot Dog at The Barkin’ Dog Grill – Sometimes you just feel like a dog! (Not literally), but you might feel like treating yourself to a Chicago style hot dog. They are amazingly delicious! So, park your bike, have a dog and enjoy some live local music while you eat.

8:00 pm Cauliflower Bites at Churchkey – Trust me: Never will you try cauliflower prepared quite like this! As I told the manager, Amanda Martin, “The taste was shocking!” Even if you don’t care for cauliflower, you will enjoy these tasty treats served with your choice of four different sauces!

9:00 pm – Movie at the State or Brenden Theatre – There are cool indie films at the State Theatre and the popcorn is made with real butter! Brenden Theatre now serves cocktails.

11:45 pm – Wrapping up the ride with a party at Ridgway’s. Don’t give Dottie a hard time now and be sure to try their amazing Linguica Omelette with the Bloody Mary, while you sing to the crowd with hysterically fun Karaoke! They’re open 24/7!
I tried all the foods mentioned above and my opinions are truthful. I encourage you to take this bicycle ride through the city. Remember to cycle safe, and after hours, make sure you have lights and reflectors. Also, you may want to have a possible a backup driver in place – just in case! So grab your bicycle, take the ride, make some new friends, and I will see you out there!

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!



Posted in: food & drink, news, outdoor

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:,