• WHAT: Manteca Restaurant Week
• WHEN: Sept. 25 thru Oct. 4
• PARTICIPANTS: DeVega Brothers, DeVinci’s, Isadore’s, Johnny’s, Kelley Brothers, Main Street Café, Village Sandwich Shop, Weber’s BBQ, Silver teapot
• MORE INFO: Call the Manteca Visitors Center at 823-7229
“We cater to people who want to celebrate,” said Fang who owns Isadore’s with his partner and wife Laurel of 26 years.
Isdaore’s - a 21-year Manteca tradition - is participating in the inaugural Manteca Restaurant Week Sept. 25 to Oct. 4.
Visitors Center Executive Director Linda Abeldt said the idea is to get people to try restaurants that they have never patronized or haven’t dined in for a number of years. Participating restaurants will be asked to offer a dinner and/or lunch menu item that features three courses with a price point of $9 to $12 for lunch and either $15, $20 or $25 for dinner.
Restaurants are being asked to include at least one pumpkin item if they can as the week leads up to the annual Manteca Pumpkin Fair that celebrates the fact nearly 80 percent of all commercially grown pumpkins in California come from the fields surrounding Manteca.
For Fang, picking Isadore’s pumpkin dish was a no-brainer. He’s serving up the popular seasonal pumpkin raviolis that have been a hit with families that have been coming to celebrate special events or for no reason than just to enjoy a different dining experience for two generations.
Although billed as a steak, seafood and pasta restaurant, Isadore’s located at 680 M. Main St. next to Bank of Stockton offers a wide repertoire of dishes from veal to pizza. But it isn’t your typical pizza. One example is a pizza that comes with wild boar and venison sausage.
Fang noted the celebration meals they are known for always start with cheese fondue and can end with “Sex in a Pan” - a decadent chocolate creation complete with candy cigarette.
“We’ve done what we can to stay competitive with the economy,” said Fang. “We’ve reduced some portions and trimmed prices.
Prices range from $10 to $60.
Isadoe’s has built a loyal following including a number of people from Del Webb at Woodbridge. They offer keyboard music on Fridays that alternates with karaoke.
Fang and his wife routinely try other restaurants in Manteca. He said he’s impressed with the growing offerings and noted everyone offers something different including the numerous Mexican restaurants that have various styles of preparing food.
He believes people may be surprised when they try some of Manteca’s independent restaurants.
That’s a reason he’s participating in the Manteca Restaurant Week. Plus he thinks it’s a great way to showcase locally grown ingredients adding that many of his dishes incorporate things grown nearby when they are in season.
As for working as a chef, Fang said every day it’s fun.
“I love coming to work,” Fang said, “Food is everything to me. It’s how I make a living.”