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Johnnys carries on El Patio milkshake tradition
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Alyssa Miculinich, left, and Jennifer Ibarra of Johnnys in Manteca are shown with a whipped cream-topped strawberry milkshake, one of three flavors the restaurant offers. Four big scoops of ice cream go into each milkshake order. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin

The Manteca Creamery and The Scoop may be just historical footnotes in the annals of the Family City.

But one thing is for sure. Manteca still remains the home of one of the best, if not the best, milkshakes around.

Take Johnny’s for example. This popular restaurant, which was once upon a time known as the home of El Patio restaurant that was THE place to be as far back as about half a century ago – that is easily verifiable by talking to any old-timer in Manteca – doles up not just two or three but four scoops of ice cream for a milkshake. And you don’t get a small, medium or large container. It’s one size for all flavors – for less than $5. And you can choose one of three flavors they offer – vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. The strawberry is so fresh you’ll get chunks of the juicy fruit in your milkshake. Each serving comes complete with a generous topping of whipped cream.

The Village Sandwich Shoppe on West Yosemite Avenue in downtown Manteca dishes out the same three milkshake flavors. Like Johnny’s, the sandwich shoppe serves the milkshakes with a “fresh scoop of ice cream and a syrup.”

The milkshake offerings at all the three Taqueria La Estrella restaurants in Manteca are more varied. However, these are “frozen beverage flavors.” They include papaya, mango, banana, and chocolate. Orders come in two sizes – 16 and 32 ounces for three and four dollars each, respectively.

“A lot,” is how Bupinder Singh describes the array of flavors that are offered at Foster’s Freeze on West Yosemite Avenue owned by his family in Manteca.

“We have strawberry, pineapple, hot fudge, banana, peach, cherry,” among others, he said.

And they offer three size choices which cater to every customer’s diet-regiment of the moment or desire to splurge on a decadent and delicious treat.

“We don’t go by scoops of ice cream; we just fill up the cups. Whatever fits there,” Singh said.

The small size is 16 ounces; medium is 22 oz., and large is 32 oz.

“I’ve tried every one of (the flavors) actually. My favorite is caramel; I like sweets,” he said.

“But the most popular ones are strawberry, banana, and chocolate. A lot of people mix and match (the flavors). We mix and match anything you like,” he added.

While summer generates the highest demand for the cold and calorie-laden treats, the traffic of milkshake lovers is constant all year-round, Singh said.

“Whether is rains or not, they will come,” he said.