By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Manteca serving up restaurant week event
Jay Brum has worked for nine years serving guests creations from the kitchen and brewery at Kelley Brothers Brewing Co. & Brickyard Oven Restaurant. Kelley Brothers will be participating in Manteca’s Restaurant Week Sept. 25 through Oct. 4. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin
Jack Kelley doesn’t mince his words.

“Kelley Brothers has the best Irish bean soup in Manteca and Johnny’s (Restaurant) has the best white bean soup,” noted the longtime Manteca resident, retiree and former Manteca Unified School District board member.

It was his first visit Thursday to Kelley Brothers even though the restaurant/brewery opened going on 11 years ago in the former burned out shell of the El Rey Theatre.

His son-in-law had brought some of Kelley Brothers’ Irish bean soup by his house, he popped  it in the microwave, and he was hooked.

“I’m definitely coming back,” Kelley said.

Kelley - who is no relation to Kelley Brothers owner Joe Kelley - is exactly the type of people who the Manteca Visitors Center hopes to pull into various dining establishments that participate in the upcoming 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. There is no cost to the participating restaurant.

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.

Among the restaurants on board so far are Isadore’s, DeVega Brothers, and Kelley Brothers.

Kelley Brothers owner Joe Kelley thinks the restaurant week concept “is a great idea” as it may encourage people to try restaurants they have never ventured into or haven’t dined in for awhile. For example, he said those who haven’t been in Kelley Brothers for a year will discover there is an entirely different menu.

“There are a lot of good restaurants in town,” he said, adding that he dines at them every chance he gets.

He even said people who bemoan the fact Manteca has an abundance of Mexican restaurants may not realize what the city has to offer.

“They (the Mexican restaurants) almost all reflect different regions and styles of cooking and taste,” Joe Kelley said.

He added that even many franchise restaurants such as String’s Italian Café have a different take on dishes than other locations with the same name.

For more information on restaurant week, contact the Manteca Visitors Center at 823-7229.