FoodView – Velvet Grill and Creamery

By Chris Murphy

Classic Fresh Tastes for All
There is really nothing that goes with classic cars, cruising and rock and roll like a cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake. This is the very foundation of the drive-in, diner or juke joint. As Modesto’s classic history has evolved, so have our diners. The early drive-ins of Burge’s and Al’s have given us places today like the Velvet Creamery. Over the last 40 years, this has become an institution, that today is more fresh and tasty than ever.

The classic experience lives in Mike Feuerstein, who at 19 years old, starting working in the kitchen. Over the years, Mike took more responsibility and today is one of a group of partners that owns the original McHenry Velvet Grill and Creamery along with 3 others. For you history buffs, this was originally a Mr. Steak, and then a Mel’s Drive In during the 80s and early 90s. The classic photos inside show the cool retro history and the mural on the outside walls proclaim Velvet’s classic credentials. One of the amazing things are the regulars that have been dining here for decades. Mike speaks so fondly of the many faces he recognizes daily that when someone isn’t there, he worries and checks on them.

The food is the main thing that keeps people coming back and Mike and his team have made fresh and quality ingredients the main focus. Sure you have to have great friendly service, but the food has to be top notch, and he knows his regulars will notice. You don’t have to be a regular to taste the homemade ice cream, the Madagascar vanilla bean and fresh cream shakes, or the fresh bacon and fresh ground beef that is made for each order or the pancake batter recipe, that are Mike’s personal favorites. Everything is made from scratch.

This is truly a hand made labor of love of flavor. Ice creams are only made one gallon at a time. That means all 20 flavors are always fresh, made with premium cream. You can tell that I am going on about this, but with Creamery in your name, this has to be a highlight and it is. The milkshakes and sundaes are amazing. And, you get the metal mixer cup with your shake. Dreamy delicious.

Now, the cheeseburger and fries are flat-out amazing and cruiseworthy, but what about other entrees and options. The salmon Florentine is fresh and tasty, the strip steaks are premier, the reuben has excellent pastrami and the fish and chips are fresh, flakey and golden brown. There are a line of salads that include a kale & butternut squash and of course, soup in a sourdough bread bowl. The beauty of Velvet Creamery is that you can have a group with 4 different appetites and they all get what they want, from breakfast biscuits to a top shelf steak. And there is more beyond the soda fountain, as they have beer and wine available too. What’s not to love about this? The menus are the same with the same fresh ingredients at their other locations on Dale Rd, Galt and Lodi so you can’t go wrong.

The place is spotless and clean, the service is fast and amazing and even during these COVID times where spacing is required, there is something for everyone. Cindy Roeherick has been has been greeting and serving guests for 25 years and the staff is all well trained and the expectations are high so you have a great experience that will turn you into a regular. I know I’m one already and you should try it too. Even if you can’t get a seat inside, you can still order Grab n Go and that will be an option in the future as well. Don’t miss out. It’s a classic Modesto Graffiti Summer experience. In normal times, there is a Cruise In every Wednesday during the summer, and some still cruise in. Hope to see you there.

Velvet Creamery
2204 McHenry Ave
209- 544-9029
Hours 9 -9 currently 7-10 normally Call to check

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.