Black Sesame flavored soft-serve ice cream. That might be the menu item that best exemplifies the creativity of Nicole Hodge and her staff at Vtown Provisions restaurant in downtown Vallejo. A group of us Hiddenbrooke neighbors dined there recently. Some of us chose the Fish and Chips special while others enjoyed fried avocado tacos (who KNEW that was a thing) and other tasty sandwiches and salads. None of us were brave enough to try the ice cream flavor of the day, but I was strangely comforted that it was there. Nicole leads her own parade. Sometimes I follow and other times I just gawk. Her Facebook posts about world travels share her passion, and her posts about the challenges of running a leading-edge business sometimes break my heart. She pivoted in the pandemic by preparing and delivering exotic multi-course dinners accompanied by a bottle of local wine. And yes, her staff delivered to our Hiddenbrooke door during those dark times. How can you not follow such a relentlessly brave soul?
Nowadays, Vtown Provisions is mostly a breakfast and lunch place, but they serve dinner on Friday and Saturdays. It is located downtown just steps from the Empress Theater. I was excited to see that they’ve been able to hold on to the gorgeous outdoor dining space that transformed a parking spot out front. Provisions is celebrating its 5th anniversary on Sunday, May 28 and there are details about that on their website. But what you won’t see anywhere else but here (and on nextdoor.com) is that Provisions will host a Hiddenbrooke Neighbor Meetup on Thursday, June 15 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm. That should be a slower time after the regular lunch rush so Nicole hopes to share with us some of her adventures, both international and domestic. No RSVPs are necessary. You will be on your own to order anything from the menu and sit indoors or on the outdoor patio. But we can’t promise what the ice cream flavor of that day will be.
Learn more about Provisions at www.vtownprovisions.com/ and follow it on social media to keep up with menu specials.
UPDATE on June 9, 2023: Nicole Hodge announced on Facebook that she is opening a second restaurant in downtown Vallejo in fall of 2023. Her new place called Problem Child will be in the former location of China Cafe at 414 Georgia Street.
UPDATE on June 15, 2023: Thanks to the 15 neighbors who met for lunch today, including 2 new residents Cindy, who moved in last week, and Sam who moved in last year. Nicole Hodge wasn’t there but the chef came out for a quick hello. It turned out to be a busier day than we expected when we chose what is normally their slower time. Thanks to Tracy Pullar and Craig Funcke who recommended we meet-up here and helped with logistics.