My jobternship is now over. Here are four of my paragraphs with which I am tolerably pleased. I ate or drank something at each of these places, which I decided made writing much easier since it enabled me to have a specific descriptive sentence or two highlighting a certain dish. Plus, I got to consume some tasty edibles.
The Silver Teapot
Ever wished to experience an authentic English tea without crossing the Atlantic? Step inside The Silver Teapot to be transported to a magical place where tea and crumpets still exist in all their scrumptious glory. Seat yourself in comfortable, covered chairs at a clothed table at which every place setting includes, besides properly placed silverware and plate, a spoon rest, an ornate tea strainer, and a unique floral teacup and matching saucer. Select your tea from an entire menu devoted solely to that purpose. The tea, at $4 a pot, is served in beautiful china teapots and poured, still steaming, through your strainer directly into your teacup. All imaginable flavors, complete with accompanying descriptions, are categorized by tea type – black, green white, oolong, decaf green, herbal, and fruit tea. The 21 black tea options include Irish, English Breakfast, Peaches and Ginger, Pumpkin Spice, and a delightfully accurate Chocolate Mint tea. Strawberry-kiwi fruit tea presents both a particularly striking bright color and bold flavor. After choosing your tea, order a selection of tea sandwiches or perhaps some imported English crumpets or scones with to die for lemon curd. Stay for lunch and partake of a sandwich of raisin bread with cream cheese and green apple or grilled ham and cheese. Dress up and have your own tea party with the girls! But, do not fret if you forget your hat and pearls, The Silver Teapot has an entire wall of hats, pearls, bows, and feather boas, which you can don for the occasion. If you cannot drink enough of the delicious tea during your time at The Silver Teapot, never fear! Many of the teas are available for purchase in the gift bou“tea”que area of the parlor. Drop in for a lovely, tasty experience at The Silver Teapot, Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bean & Leaf Cafe
As its name implies, Bean & Leaf Café has been serving both fragrant coffee and tea to its loyal customers for 15 years and counting. This local coffee shop has stood up against the inroads of national chain coffee shops with its outstanding hot and cold drinks. Their chai is the best you will ever find; it is the perfect blend of creamy sweetness and warm spices and is an ideal beverage for sleepy, early mornings or chilly evenings. Besides dozens of coffee and multiple tea options, from mochas and lattés to chilled chai – all customizable according to your preference – Bean & Leaf Café offers salads and sandwiches, which are so tasty they won it Best Sandwich Shop of Manteca 2011.
Consistently utilizing quality ingredients, Bean & Leaf Café brews Equator Estates coffee from San Rafael, named 2010 Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine. Their house-made dressings, sauces, hummus, and famous bagel chips keep everyone happy and returning for more. Fresh daily baked goods such as heavenly cranberry orange scones and chocolate muffins come from Modesto. If you are in a hurry but still want to grab a bagel with house-mixed flavored cream cheese and a house-blended tea, call in your order ahead of time to 239-BEAN, a sure success as Bean & Leaf Café also was voted Best Takeout of Manteca 2011. Stop by some Saturday evening when a local band is playing to delight both your ears and belly. Fun and friendly owner Heather Elkins can frequently be found barista-ing behind the counter. Bean & Leaf Café appeases hunger and captivates taste buds seven days a week, from 4:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.
The Waffle Shop
The Waffle Shop, voted Manteca’s Best Waffle in 2011, serves wonderful waffles as well as numerous other breakfast options to satisfy any morning meal preference. Their perfect waffles, slightly crisp on the edges while fluffy and soft inside, come with multiple fruit and nut toppings and combinations, most for between $6 and $8. Fruit toppings are piled in the center of the waffles and ringed with heavenly mountains of whipped cream. Inside the cherry-almond waffle, crunchy almonds add texture to the waffle itself and complement the cherry topping, which is comparable to cherry pie filling in both flavor and appeal. If you cannot decide between the waffle options, you can always try an American breakfast of eggs and bacon, sausage, pork chops, or steak. Choose from more than a dozen omelets overflowing with fillings to suit for everyone’s tastes – carnivores to vegetarians – served with a buttery, flakey biscuit drowning in rich gravy, hash browns, potatoes, or toast. Sandwiches and 1/3-pound burgers with fries, soup, or salad are available for lunch, but the breakfast food is so good, it is definitely worth eating any time of day! Service is fast, attentive, and friendly. You can even order to go. Skip your morning cereal and stop by for a hearty breakfast any day from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Deservedly voted Manteca’s 2011 Best Restaurant in the American food category, Chubby’s Diner is the place to find quintessential American fare. Though the menu is overflowing with various classic breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, burgers are the main draw. These massive, meaty affairs combine the freshness of house-made hamburger buns, creaminess of a special sauce, and heartiness of a juicy, perfectly proportioned beef patty with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion in their basic burger that encompasses everything a burger should be. Of course, you can always add to or subtract from your hamburger by ordering one of the variations on the basic burger. Try something from the “Blue Plate” section of the menu for $6.19, like a guacamole Swiss burger – the basic burger enhanced with a liberal spread of guacamole and a slice of Swiss cheese melted over the burger – served with excellent French fries. For breakfast choose between waffles, pancakes, breakfast combination dishes, and dozen different omelets. A burger is obviously recommendable for lunch or supper, but numerous hoagies, salads, and chicken or steak dishes populate the pages of the broad menu. For dessert a milkshake is definitely the best bet as Chubby’s Diner also won Manteca’s Best Milkshakes in 2011. Chubby’s Diner is literally open all day, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and until 3 p.m. on Sunday; with such comprehensive hours, there is no excuse for neglecting to make a pit stop for some quality, stick-to-your-ribs American cooking.
One note on the veracity of the ridiculous excess above: The hot chai at Bean & Leaf really was the best I have ever tasted.