Sunday, July 9, 2017

Exploring All of Avenue Grill

Avenue Grill
506 West Lodi Ave.
Lodi, CA 95240

A whole day in Lodi with nothing to do until we had to go to Angel and Rebekah's wedding at 5 pm. Not being wine drinkers, we were kind of at a loss for what to do here, so we slept in until 11, and waited for our friend Joe to fly in from OC on this lazy Saturday morning. I did a quick search of local breakfast restaurants and one that looked promising was Avenue Grill. We made plans to meet Joe there at noon.

Avenue Grill has been around since 1988, which is an eternity in the restaurant business. Located at the corner of Lodi Avene and Hutchins Street, they share the shopping center with a Rite-Aid and an S-Mart. Only open from 6 to 2 pm on most days, Avenue Grill has been feeding multiple generations of Lodians over the years, and the restaurant has a very respectable 4 and a half stars with over 200 reviews on Yelp.

We got here just before noon to get a table while we waited for Joe to arrive. We had about a five-minute wait, as a big group exited the covered patio which is located on the side of the restaurant. The inside of Avenue Grill was still packed with customers enjoying their late breakfasts. I was fine getting a table out on the patio, as this early June afternoon had yet to grow obsessively hot like in the later summer months. It also appeared from our vantage point that the inside portion of Avenue Grill appeared to be very cramped and noisy. Joe finally moseyed in, and we quickly made our selections. Let's see how this breakfast in Lodi worked out for us.

Since Joe had gotten a little something at John Wayne in the morning, he decided to get something off of the lunch portion of the menu here and went with this BLT ($7.75). This looked like a pretty basic BLT to me, but no complaints from our good friend Joe. He substituted the sourdough this sandwich was supposed to come on with the much healthier option of wheat bread. Very proud of you Joe, and we won't shatter that illusion by mentioning the champange you also had with this. Your secret is safe with us. Oh wait, guess it's not.

I was pretty impressed when Katie's breakfast hit the table. This Breakfast Quesadilla ($10.99) was massive and had almost every color of the rainbow included inside of it. Included within the folds of this crisped flour tortilla was plenty of ham, along with salsa, onions, bell peppers, potatoes, and plenty of cheese. Sour cream and even more salsa were served on the side. Katie was overwhelmed with the size of this quesadilla, but she gave it a gallant effort.  She liked the crispness of the tortilla and felt this was a little lighter than a breakfast burrito because it was easier to eat around this tortilla. She'd totally get this again.

I also got an egg dish, but mine was not as photogenic as Katie's. This Potato Platter ($12.99) had all sorts of breakfast items crammed onto this plate. Underneath the two sunny side up eggs were a mound of country style potatoes with bacon, ham, onion, bell pepper, and melted cheese added. This was a very satisfying and hearty breakfast, but the eggs were way overcooked, and they lacked the runny yolk which would have made this dish a bigger winner. The potatoes were nice and crisp, and the veggies were done nicely. A real stick to your ribs breakfast plate.

For breakfast, I always like to combine sweet and savory, and that was what I did by getting these Two Blueberry Pancakes ($8.50) at Avenue Grill. The picture above does not show it, but these pancakes were filled with plenty of fresh blueberries. Not exactly the lightest pancakes we have had, but they were better than average, really filling, and the blueberry flavor was very prevalent.

After eating at Avenue Grill a nap was definitely in order, but we had a few other errands to run before getting ready to watch Angel and Rebekah stroll down the aisle into wedded bliss. Avenue Grill was a great start to our day, and it's easy to see why they are rated as one of the best breakfast spots in Lodi. I also spied one of their burgers on a nearby table, and that looked fantastic as well. Service was solid during our visit on this Saturday afternoon. Our server took great care of us during our stay, made sure we had drinks at all times and kept our meal moving along in a timely manner. If you find yourself in Lodi with nothing to do for a time, Avenue Grill might be an option for you.

Out of five frosty mugs, (because I learned while writing this review that A & W Rootbeer was invented right here in Lodi in 1919), five being best to zero being worst, Avenue Grill gets 3 frosty mugs.

Avenue Grill does not have a website, but you can find out information about them on their Yelp page, which you can visit here:

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