Okay, Stockton Restaurant Week not true! It’s actually Stockton Restaurant 10 Days from January 16-25, 2015. Be glad and rejoice – 10 days of potential gluttony on the heels of the holidays and resolutions to get slim and trim. Just take it slow and easy; everything in moderation. Start exploring Stockton’s restaurant scene – new dining establishments, personal favorites, or the bucket list eateries you’ve been passing on for far too long! You don’t have to sign-up. You don’t have to buy tickets. You just have to show-up and eat. Can’t get any easier than that. Participating restaurants are offering prix fixe menus – lunch and dinner – at amazing prices.
For me, Stockton Restaurant Week aka Stockton Restaurant 10 Days was condensed into Stockton Restaurant Week/10 Days in seven hours. This sometime local wishes it were easier to partake of more of the culinary offerings, but there simply aren’t enough hours or calories in my schedule. This is just a sneak peek – snippets of how to chow down over the next 10 days. I’ll provide more details on my dining choices at a later date. So, deep breath and dive in.
Day two of Stockton’s 10 days of food, I zigged and zagged my way through fog as it settled across the Central Valley. I headed south on Hwy. 99 to make up for lost time, but then zigged onto Twin Cities Road to escape the freeway hustle. The Delta back roads were quieter still under the fog blanket. My stomach reminded me I had miles to go before I could eat, so I zagged onto Interstate 5 at Thornton and jettisoned at March Lane. Phew, food was close at hand.
There are more than 15 Stockton Restaurant Week participants. However, you can get creative (as I did) and add your own. Back to the bucket list, I decided to cross a couple of places off mine. I knew I would have to pace myself, but this would provide some insight about restaurants and cafes I had yet to experience. Up at the crack of ridiculous, a caffeine jolt was needed. Having heard good things about House of Shaw-Espresso Café – a longtime café off Pacific Avenue – it was my first stop where I quickly requested a Half-Caff Americano with a dollop of frothed milk to fortify me against the foggy chill and sleep-deprivation.
A bit of a rumbling in my tummy while perusing the menu –everything from bagels and croissant to soups and sandwiches. With more food ahead, I opted for the homemade lentil soup. Thick, creamy and piping hot! The perfect start to my Stockton food fest.
Rested and fed, I headed out to enjoy more of The Miracle Mile. While I have spent my fair share of time on The Avenue…there’s still that much more to see and gobble. Another casualty on the bucket list was Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant. The menu was so tempting, but I needed to keep things light. Vegetarian spring rolls was an ideal selection. The rolls were crisp and fresh with the requisite peanut dipping and chili sauces. I intended to eat only one of the four rolls, but they were too tempting and I relished three before boxing up #4.
With a big sigh, I headed back out into the January chill. As usual, the day was rushing by and my “true” lunchtime destination was out there waiting. Not to snub all the other Stockton Restaurant Week contributors, but in the realm of eeny, meny, miny, and moe there are winners and losers. My winner on the Stockton Restaurant Week in seven hours was down Pacific Avenue at Lincoln Cellar.
Four months new to Stockton and Lincoln Center shops, Lincoln Cellar is a scrumptious wine bar and restaurant. Their Stockton Restaurant Week lunch menu piqued my palate – top of the list Tomato Basil Bisque and Grilled Cheese on Sourdough with oven-roasted potatoes. Yowzer! Winter comfort in my book and for $10 – deal! There are two other lunch items on the Lincoln Cellar’s Restaurant Week Menu plus the $25 dinner offerings. Lincoln Cellar’s list of wines and beers is formidable and mostly local (regional or California) but I opted instead for a crisp Stella Artois Cidre. I only wish – really, really wish – I had had room for dessert. Another day. Another dining extravaganza!
The clock is ticking on Stockton Restaurant Week. Even after it's gone, there will be plenty of reason to eat, drink and be merry around town. Chow!