Yesterday, I had lunch at Panera Bread in Lodi. I asked this family what they thought of the restaurant? While they liked it they didn’t express any overwhelming enthusiasm. I had to take my car in to the Toyota dealership for a recall fix, a simple nut, in the power steering mechanism. I always like to “seize the day” when I’m off-tracked. The dealership shuttle delivered me to a shopping center of my choice and I managed to buy some needed socks and underwear. Then I walked across Kettleman Lane to Panera Bread.
I thought it was a bakery, and it is a bakery-with a restaurant.
The major appeal here is the many types of sweets. Since they don’t tempt me, I opted for a half sandwich and salad. Nothing exceptional. For almost eight dollars, (no drink) I had to pick up my food at a counter and bus my own fancy plastic dishes, not paper. It’s just a fancy fast food restaurant, only higher priced. Their stock is sizzling so I wanted to see for myself what all the sizzle is about. I wasn’t impressed.
I went next door to El Maguey Mexican Grill and had a couple of pollo tacos. Customers here were more enthusiastic about their food, but my flash suddenly refused to work and I couldn’t get a picture. The prices were better as well and my food was delivered to me by a waitress. Cost? Just under $3. Chili Verde is 7.99, and pronounced delicious by two customers. The downside to any Mexican restaurant is they only serve Mexican beer.
I called the shuttle driver and he took me to Lodi Beer Company, a craft brewer. Ah, more like it. Their porter was good, but doesn’t compare to Black Butte Porter by Deshutes Brewery, or Brown Sugah, by La Gunitas. They serve food here as well and I would have liked to try it but the dealership called me and said my car was finished. Besides, I was surfeit by then. The interior is cool and beautiful. (No flash.)
The best find of the day, was visiting a small, side-of-the-road fruit and vegetable stand, the first on the right on Victor Rd. toward San Andreas from 99. Gail Meltzer was selling “my dad’s awesome white peaches”. Oh, my. Tree ripened, luscious peach perfume filled my car. Peach heaven. I bought squash and her homemade chocolate covered cashews, as well. Cheaper than rocky road, she claims by writing on a piece of paper. (Gail cannot speak.) Better tasting, too. Gail showed me this giant summer squash. Around Labor Day, or sooner, she is going to take bets as to how big it gets. If you want to guess, call her at 209-200-660. (I don’t know who answers the phone.)