Saunter into Velvet's world of flavors to savor breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a relaxed, informal dining environment. The venue's menu is made of much-loved entrees such as chicken-fried steak ($10.99), specialty sandwiches that include tuna melts ($8.99) and vegetarian croissants ($9.99), and a complete breakfast club of omelettes, pancakes, waffles, and oatmeal (view the three-part morning menu here, here, and here). In accordance with its name, the creamery is also responsible for a delicious caboodle of premium ice creams and sorbets, which are called into existence right before your eyes. Try a dollop of roasted butternut squash, or busy your licker with the restaurant's cult classic, a triple Belgian chocolate flavor infused with D'Art port wine.
Chef Iradh Herrera is very particular about the ingredients that enter his kitchen. He bans canned vegetables or dried herbs from passing through the door, working only with organic local produce and fresh herbs. When discussing his reasoning with reporters from Lodi News-Sentinel, Herrera explained, "fresh herbs brings out more essence in the dish. Dried [herbs] you have to use more, and [they don't] have the same taste. You can tell." The skilled chef peppers free-range beef and natural meats with fresh basil, thyme, and mint to whip up a variety of seasonal American dishes, such as a decadent bacon-wrapped meatloaf and a succulent roasted lamb rack. He favors eco-friendly seafood as well, preferring to cook with fish that were sustainably caught on fishing lines rather than deceitfully coaxed onto boats with "free algae" signs.
While Herrera bustles about the kitchen, bartenders squeeze fresh juices into specialty cocktails and uncork bottles of fine wine. Diners chatter animatedly at white-clothed tables, while others bask in the sun on the outdoor patio. On weekends, the elegant eatery often plays host to live music performances.
The inspiration behind Alebrijes Mexican Bistro is the stuff of nightmares—Pedro Linares’ nightmares, to be specific. At the age of 30, the Mexican artist fell deathly ill. As he lay in bed, unconscious, he dreamt of a strange world filled with brightly colored monsters—a donkey with butterfly wings and a rooster with the head of an eagle among others—all shouting “alebrijes, alebrijes, alebrijes!” When he awoke, he wanted to show his family and friends all that he had seen, so he replicated his first alebrije from brightly painted papier-mâché. To this day, his family still crafts these strange creatures to serve as unusual home accents.
Pedro Linares' monsters inspired Alebrijes Mexican Bistro's name, as well as its decor, which showcases brightly colored paintings of his nightmarish beasts. In 2012, the bistro also won the Lodi News Reader’s Choice award for Best Mexican Restaurant, thanks to its gourmet burritos and regionally inspired dishes such as oaxaca mole, guanajuato bacon-wrapped prawns, and guacamole prepared in the style of Mexico City. The restaurant also infuses their own tequilas.
Woodbridge Pizzeria’s dough artisans fill their culinary roster with one-of-a-kind pizzas, broasted chicken dishes, and creamy housemade cheesecakes. Visitors may dine in the pizzeria’s cozy environs or lounge at home in a My Little Pony tracksuit while waiting for a delivery person to drop off piping-hot morsels, such as creatively-named pies slathered in red pizza sauce or creamy garlic sauce. Woodbridge supplements its pizza with meaty specialties that include frog legs, beer-battered shrimp, hot wings, and pepperoni sculptures.
Moo Moo's Burger Barn sates sandwich hounds with a menu of diner classics and more than 15 specialty burgers that earned the title of San Joaquin Magazine's best burgers in 2010. The full-service counter fuels meat-powered engines with a BMS Moo smothered in bacon, mushrooms, and swiss cheese ($5.95) and spark culinary combustion with an Ole'Moo covered with pepper-jack cheese, green chili, and homemade Moo sauce ($5.95). No Moo burgers ($5.75) find space in vegetarian diets by delivering hearty garden patties topped with avocado and dijon mustard on a wheat bun. Bulk up meals with a basket of sweet-potato fries ($5.45) and old-fashioned milkshake ($4.75) or mix up bovine eating patterns with a salad and specialty sandwich.
Casa Flores crafts a menu of traditional Mexican entrees that can quell even the most persistent hunger mobs. Guests can choose from more than 20 combination platters, in addition to a savory selection of fajitas, seafood, and chef's specialties.