Every now and then, you must venture off the beaten path for a foodie destination that is worth the drive. We discovered one such place in the little horse community of Wilton. Located on the outskirts of Elk Grove, the Sheldon Inn Restaurant and Bar is considered an institution to both locals and travelers alike. It’s a hidden gem with down-home hospitality and divine fare to boot. From traditional steakhouse dinners to a festive Sunday Brunch, this place is worth the 20-minute drive from Lodi.
From the outside, the place looks like a massive farmhouse that has been restored to its original glory. With an expansive dining room, comfy booths, and ample outdoor seating, Sheldon Inn is perfect for the celebratory birthday dinner, cocktails with friends, or date night. Of course, it’s also a great place to take the entire family, too. It’s the type of establishment you can wear jeans and a t-shirt or get all gussied up for. Just realize the wait staff will be dressed formally in long sleeve collared shirts, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
One thing is for certain. The brunch game is strong at the inn. Start off with a signature bloody Mary or opt for a seasonal mimosa. The Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, the Wilton Omelet, and steak and eggs are all splurge worthy. And while those were some of our favorite dishes, where else can you order a Crème Brulee French toast? Composed of cinnamon brioche bread, fresh berries, and the most scrumptious sauce to satisfy the sweet tooth you didn’t even know you had.
You can also come here for a hearty piece of prime rib, seafood specials, and a legitimate wine list. In fact, the inn has all the makings of a fancy steak house in a large city, without the fuss. Pick from the bacon wrapped scallops or mussels and frites to start, then order the rib-eye and Passmore Ranch salmon. No matter what you do, make room for dessert. The seasonal fruit crumble served alongside vanilla bean ice cream from Gunther’s is our favorite.
If you decide to take the trek to the Sheldon Inn, you may want to consider making a reservation. The dining room is usually packed with locals and on weekends it can be tough to find a table without a wait. But it’s totally worth it. After all, sometimes it’s the road less travelled that brings us the most joy.
Travel off the beaten path:
9000 Grant Line Rd., Elk Grove