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!
Technorati Tags: back roads, beer, chow down, Delta, espresso, grilled cheese, half caff Americano, hard cider, House of Shaw, Lincoln Cellar, Restaurant Week, restaurants, Saigon, Stella Artois, Stockton California, tomato bisque, tomato soup, Vietnamese, wine, wine bar, wine tasting
Wow, 2014 flew by. On several flights of fancy, I found myself exploring, enjoying, and smiling my way through Stockton and San Joaquin County. New experiences and friends (truly) made it a year to remember. And feeling very gratified for a myriad of opportunities to write about and share online, on television, and face-to-face OMG! Stockton moments.
I love all things California! You may be wondering how I chose to Visit Stockton? Like so many destinations, Stockton chose me! Well, almost. Two years ago, January 20, 2013, on a random outing at Cosumnes River Preserve, I fell in love with a little girl wearing gold-sparkly Tom’s. She and her parents were exploring this nearby Stockton neighbor. Stella, the future star, caught my eye and I asked if I could take her picture. They said, “Yes!” I did.
The parents and founders of The Tuleburg Group, Jason and Becky, invited me to discover their insider perspective of Stockton. I did again! The rest, as they say, is history. It’s not that I had never visited Stockton before, but they opened my eyes to all that I did not know. I have been thanking them ever since. For a non-Stocktonian, I am their biggest fan and likely know more about the city than most natives or locals! When I embrace something it’s always 120%.
Overtime, Visit Stockton and I engaged in a win-win arrangement. Actually, I genuinely believe I’m the big winner here. Ask all of my new Stockton friends who know me as a sometimes local.
There are so many stories that haven’t made their way to the websites, blogs and Facebook yet, but I vocally spread good news about Stockton to anyone who says “It ain’t so!” Looking forward to a year filled with exploration -- California and beyond.
Back to the concept of a random outing – nothing is random. Stella and I were on a collision course that day two years ago. When in my Facebook posting I said, “I see great things ahead for Stella,” the reality is that great things were destined for me as well.
Facebook quote that got this whole Stockton obsession rolling: “Okay...drum roll. The next candidate for Are You That Woman? Presenting.... Stella. Out with parents, Becky & Jason, Stella was a perfect Cosumnes River ambassador. Proudly showing off her sparkling Toms shoes, offering to share her Swedish Gummy Fish, and completely fascinated by every little thing. I see great things ahead for Stella. 1/20/2013”
Not minutes in the door, I ran into friend Rick Copeland with Wilderness Unlimited. This would be the first of many such encounters. All the right people are at the International Sportsmen's Exposition. With thousands of attendees, it's amazing to see so many familiar faces. Remember, the show is H-U-G-E! Despite the Expo map and exhibitor listings, it can be challenging locating certain vendors or displays. But wandering the aisles and buildings is half the fun.
Rick guided me to friends Jillene and Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International Sportfishing, for hugs and smiles. An endless stream of interested anglers stop by to hear the latest and greatest about Baja California Sur sportfishing with J&J! Of course, they aren't the only Baja offering but they are my #1!
I chatted with friends from Mono County Tourism, California Delta Chambers & Visitors Bureau, NorCal.FishReports.com, and Western Outdoor News. Time to enjoy fly-tying demonstrations, pricing a kayak, making a new friend at Lake Shasta Caverns, some lunch and then more exploring. Honestly, I barely scratched the surface.
The All-Theater Schedules and Demonstrations offer a wide-range of educational opportunities. From the bleachers at the Ultimate Bass Demo Tank, sponsored by WesternBass.com, learn the latest techniques, talk fish, and ask questions. This year's Expo includes new off-roading test tracks where you can test ride ATV and UTV models from Yamaha, Polaris, Kawasaki, Can Am and Honda. -- Woah!
Yes, it's true, once again I ran out of time before I ran out of fun. You can do the same and then some at the International Sportsmen's Exposition, Sacramento.
International Sportsmen's Exposition, Sacramento
Cal Expo, State Fairgrounds
1600 Exposition Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95815
No pets, firearms or outside food or drink allowed.
Friday 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Youth under 16 FREE
Buy tickets online or at the door
Parking: Cal Expo Parking: $10 per car