This authentic Italian deli churns out 4,000-plus ravioli a week using a ravioli machine that dates back more than a century. “I have seen really cool kitchen equipment in my day,” Guy said of the gear. “This might be the coolest.” The deli’s signature ravioli are stuffed with a combination of beef, cheese, spinach and Swiss chard, then served with a homemade Bolognese-style meat sauce
Former NFL player Steve Smith has traded in the pigskins for wings, which he slings at this Stockton joint. One popular option is the Damn Hot, which Guy called a “good old-fashioned funky, crunchy wing.” For this dish, the wings are coated in a paprika-laced flour mix, fried and then slathered in a fiery sauce whose heat factor is kicked up with cayenne, smoked jalapenos and green chiles.
The allure of craft brews is what first drew many locals to Commonwealth, but it’s the food that keeps them coming back. The craft tacos are one crowd-pleaser that Guy just had to try. “There’s so much flavor in each one,” he declared of the trio that included a banh mi taco layered with cilantro, jalapenos, pickled carrots, red radish and pulled pork tossed with a housemade umami sauce.
Chef-Owner Tamearra Dyson serves up Creole classics and soul food favorites with a surprising twist: All the dishes offered at her restaurant are vegan. Guy just had to check this creative menu out, so he stopped in to try Chef Dyson’s okra gumbo and her meatless spins on succulent sandwiches.
This family-run food truck is all about community, from its origins as a crowd-funded project on Kickstarter to its use of regionally sourced ingredients. And the locals are certainly lining up for the creative comfort foods cranked out here, as Guy found out when he swung by to chow down on the Root Beer Pulled Pork.
A mecca for ethically minded carnivores and anyone who loves top-quality meat, Clove and Hoof houses both a butcher shop and restaurant under one roof. Owners John Blevins and Analiesa Gosnell use only antibiotic-free and hormone-free meat in their dishes, like the cheesesteak that Guy stopped in to try.
For a taste of New Orleans in the midst of Stockton, Calif., Guy made a beeline for this Miracle Mile restaurant. In addition to crepes (both savory and sweet), this spot also serves up its own twist on traditional beignets (chocolate or caramel dipping sauce, anyone?).
Staying true to its name (cosecha translates to “harvest”), this Mexican spot determines many of its dishes based on which ingredients are in season. Guy stopped by this high-energy cafe to chow down on two pork-centric dishes: carne adovada (braised pork seasoned with guajillo chile) and pork belly tacos.
Chef-Owner Rick Hodges and his wife, Margie, are slinging more than six varieties of chili daily at their Wild West-themed restaurant. Each portion is served in an individual toasted flatbread tub (hence the restaurant’s name), which Guy thought was a great touch. He stopped here to sample the Turkey Drive Chili, which features roasted ground turkey seasoned with plenty of chili powder and Cajun spices.
At this cool little spot in Modesto, Chef-Owner Tye Bauer serves up a tantalizing array of dishes inspired by his Portuguese and German ancestries. Guy headed here on Diners Drive-Ins and Drives to chow down on the three-meat Octavian Sandwich (think Portuguese sausage, pulled pork and Portuguese braised beef) and a lamb burger topped with mushrooms, bacon and gorgonzola.
This classic spot in the Mission District dishes up Puerto Rican and Cuban favorites. Guy was impressed by Chef-Owner Rafael Frias’ version of ropa vieja, which is made from a recipe passed down by the restaurant’s previous owners. “I like that there’s real texture to the meat,” Guy declared of the dish, which features tender, shredded chuck roll that’s sauteed with peppers, onions and tomatoes.
In a first for Guy, he checked out this food truck dishing up Laotian street food, which Chef-Owner Mony Vangsoulatda characterizes as “spicy, sour (and) bitter.” Guy tried the Kao Piek, a garlicky, chile-laced chicken soup featuring noodles that Chef Vangsoulatda makes herself. “These noodles got some texture and some bite,” Guy exclaimed, declaring the dish one of the top three Asian soups he’s ever tried.
At ZAZU kitchen + farm, Chef Duskie Estes and her husband Chef John Stewart are serving up true farm-to-table dishes with a creative flair. Their menus change daily based upon the ingredients they grow and source from the surrounding area. Guy loved their Bacon-in-the-Batter Waffle served with house-made bacon toffee and bourbon gelato. Get anything with their house-cured bacon!
When Guy was growing up in Ferndale, California, he set up his own pretzel cart to earn some extra money. In order to pass on the opportunity to learn about the food industry to other students, Guy personally built this cart so that Ferndale students can raise money year-round.
Guy claims Clendenen’s apple cider is the best he’s ever had. They grow their own apples in an orchard that dates back to 1879. After the apples are pressed, they are sold immediately for the freshest apple cider in Fortuna, which Guy likens to “nectar from the gods.”