Iguana Wanna


For dinner last night, we went to Iguana Wanna, a new restaraunt in Stockton. They opened for business a little more than a month ago in the space that used to be occupied by Papapavlos (7555 Pacific Ave).

It’s no surprise that we love trying new restaurants but the real treat is trying a new local restaurant.

The layout of the restaurant was the same as it was for Papapavlos but with updated decor and paint. There was no wait and were quickly seated by the window. Our server came right over with chips and salsa and took our drink order. There was no kids menu but he did rattle off some kids items - cheeseburger, burrito, quesadilla.

Dawn and Emily ordered salads which were each very big and served in a tortilla shell with grilled vegetables and shrimp. I ordered the Iguana Spicy Chicken, served with rice and beans. Makenzy stayed simple with a cheesburger and fries. All of the food was very good. Dawn and Emily didn’t care for the sauce on the grilled veggies but I did. The Spicy Chicken was delicious and true to its name. Makenzy ate every bite of her meal so it’s safe to say she enjoyed it.

The prices were very reasonable. All of our entrees were under $10. The service was friendly but they were a little forgetful. When they brought my meal I was asked if I wanted tortillas, I said yes but they never came. There were a few times our server didn’t know something we thought he should: not being sure if they had root beer and not being sure if the salsa had jalapenos (the couple behind us asked that one).

I wanted to ask the server a little about the restaurant but it started to get busy before we left. With only two people working the front of the restaurant I wondered what level of service they would provide.

The one thing that I thought was a little odd was the fact that they had cloth napkins (I like that) and plastic drinking cups (I don’t like that). At $2 for iced tea or soda it would be nice to have the drinks served in a glass.

In the end, I would definetly recommend Iguana Wanna. The food was good, the prices were good and the service was ok. Check out the other reviews on Yelp.


After opening with a pinch of public criticism a few months ago, Stocktonians are asking in chorus, “Have you been to Paragary’s?”. logo_new Well, after tons of pressure, Dawn and I finally dined at Paragary’s Bar and Grill in the Hotel Stockton. Ok, to be honest, there was no pressure, but we’ve been wanting to visit downtown Stockton’s newest restaurant.

We walked in right before 8 o’clock last night and were seated immediately by a very friendly hostess. It wasn’t very crowded, probably less than half the tables were occupied but we still waited a few minutes before being greeted by our server. After getting our drink order she disappeared for another few minutes before coming back to get our order.

Dawn ordered the grilled salmon and I ordered the pork chop. Dawn was disappointed when the server returned to break the news that they had run out of salmon. She settled on the sole based on the server’s recommendation. The pork chop, served with a delicious apricot chutney, came with onion rings and french fries and was grilled perfectly. Even though Dawn had her heart set on the salmon, she enjoyed the sole. The food was wonderful, definitely a welcome to Stockton. It’s the service, however, that might keep us from coming back.

Our server was not rude, in fact, she was quite friendly. The level of service just didn’t match the ambiance (or price) of the restaurant as a whole. Our server didn’t ask if we wanted an appitizer, soup or salad. We waited longer for drink refills than you’d have to at Moo Moo’s. We asked for more bread (which was delicious by the way) but never got it. We never saw a manager the entire evening. Call me old fashioned but I think “table touching” is vital in any restaurant, especially at Stockton’s new fine dining establishment.

All in all, Paragary’s is a great new addition to Stockton and a wonderful addition to downtown. We loved the location; we loved the ambiance; we loved the food; we didn’t love the service. It wasn’t the worst service we’ve ever received and we still had a wonderful evening together. Will we go back? Not sure. We probably won’t be bringing any out of town friends - there are other places in town where we can show off Stockton.

Check out other reviews on yelp and The Record.

Ciao Bella

After Emily has been bugging us to try this restaurant for months, we finally ate at Ciao Bella tonight. We almost didn’t go after looking at their menu online. It seems only some of the dinner menu is put on their site. We were a little nervous when we got there because there were only two other parties there. The feel of the restaurant was very comfortable and given that it was blazing hot outside we were thankful that the shades were pulled down, making the place pretty dark.

Our server greeted us quickly and took our drink orders. He was very friendly and suggested a couple of delicious sounding appetizers (maybe next time).

I had the raviolis and Dawn had the Shrimp Scampi. Emily had a Chicken Caesar salad and Makenzy had Spagetti. All the meals were awesome!

The food was excellent. It was a little pricey but the portions were huge. When we go back we will likely split two entrees among the four of us.

The service was superb. The staff was very friendly and made a lot of great recommendations. Our server did everything right, he treated our daughters like real customers, served ladies first, didn’t “auction” our food to us, engaged us in the perfect amount of small talk.

We highly recommend Ciao Bella, at 5646 N. Pershing, just north of Robinhood. YOu can find them online at ciaobellastockton.com.

Great New Restaurant in Stockton

Did Stockton really need a new pizza restaurant? We might be a little biased (we love pizza) but I think the answer is a resounding "yes"! Stockton has had the reputation of "restaurant killer" for sometime. Gone are the days of Shannons, the Hatch Cover, Bella Vista, the original (and we would argue, better) Cancun, even Red Robin couldn't last in Stockton. Through the years, we've seen too many restaurants come and go. Tonight, we ate at one that might just buck the trend.


Cibo di Vino opened recently on the Miracle Mile, right next door to the Empire Theatre. Although there are other items on the menu other than pizza, it was, of course, the pizza that brought us. The service was great. We had reservations and got right in but would have waited under the name, Jessica Alba or Billy Bob Thornton - very funny. After we were seated, our waiter came by to take our drink order. Cibo di Vino had a great selection of wines and Dawn and I each enjoyed a "flight of three" sampler. The pizza was awesome - I would rate it right up there with Michael's and Dante's. Great wine, great service, great atmosphere, and great pizza.

Our first restaurant review earns 5 rolling pins!


Check them out online - cibodivino.com.

Read the recent article in the Record.

Visit them for yourself: 1825 Pacific Ave, Stockton, California 95204