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Hot off the Grille: Brie, Portobella dishes delight
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Steve Bonners Canal Street Grille has become a favorite dining area and lounge in Ripon visible from the southbound lanes of Highway 99 just south of Jack Tone Road. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The 209

The Canal Street Grille in Ripon is not without sumptuous non-meat, vegetarian selections in its lengthy menu of more than 60 items including steaks and prime rib.

Owner Steve Bonner has continued to draw new dining customers with his Baked Brie, the Portobella Mushroom Tower and the Porto Burger of mushrooms and spinach on whole wheat buns.

Bonner watched the construction of his restaurant in 2007 that went up in smoke upon its completion when it was torched by an arsonist gutting the interior and causing the roof to fall to the ground.  He now has more than 40 employees, several who have been with him following the reconstruction and grand opening that year.

Two daytime chefs, Nadia Benitez and Nayeli Rios have been with the restaurant since it opened as has dining room waitress Kim Dobbs.  The staff is made up of 41 full and part time employees from the kitchen and the dining room to the popular bar and lounge.

“I’ve got a good staff,” Bonner said.

Other vegetarian selections on the menu include spinach and artichoke dip, rustic flat bread topped with fresh seasonal inspirations, three cheese raviolis, and Pinky’s Wedge that includes baby iceberg, chopped tomato, diced red onion, black river bleu cheese crumbles, spinach salad (hold the bacon), hard cooked egg and a choice of dressing. 

Bonner recalled that 2007 was not the year to open a restaurant with the economic situation in the country. 

Bonner credited his wife “Steve” for taking care of all the bookings for the private dining room as well as keeping the employee handbook up to date and legal.

Restaurant house Monday through Thursday are 11:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday they close at 11. Sunday hours are 11:30 until 8:30.