During the shutdown, Ave on the Mile, located in the heart of the Miracle Mile, spent time revamping its classic menu. They haven’t replaced the quick bites and appetizers patrons have come to love, instead they’ve expanded the menu under the direction of chef Brandon Hernandez, who took over as head of the kitchen in 2020, and chef John Scott, to evolve with the times. Now, in addition to coconut prawns and totchos—beloved staples of the Miracle Mile eatery—there are also overflowing salads and bigger bites. And in their 10th anniversary year, it was the perfect time to rebrand.
The Southwest salad is owner Kevin Hernandez’s favorite, a towering bowl of mixed greens piled high with your choice of chicken or steak, tomatoes, cheese, black beans, corn, and queso fresco and finished with a cilantro vinaigrette dressing. “Our house made dressing [sets it apart],” Kevin says. “It’s fresh, it’s like Tex-Mex, it’s healthy.”
The bigger bites on the menu go hand-in-hand with Ave on the Mile’s mission to be a late night dining spot. The atmosphere will still be lively with live music and DJs on select nights, but the duo is also hoping to draw in diners who want a full meal at the end of the day, instead of grabbing tapas to accompany drinks. This new part of the menu includes a hearty chicken marsala, the Signature Ave Burger (complete with bourbon onions and cheese, plus an option for beyond meat), and a Mediterranean pasta special. When everything is said and done the menu offers something for everybody, with bar food that has been so elevated it’s hardly bar food at all. “We kind of structured this place to be a lot of things to a lot of people,” Kevin says.
One thing that hasn’t changed too much is Ave on the Mile’s Sunday Funday Brunch. Now called “The Experience,” Ave is playing up the eatery’s once a week special menu. In addition to tasty grub, patrons will occasionally enjoy live music as a DJ plays background tunes for your Sunday morning special, be it boozy or not.
Kevin and Jason, the Ave’s general manager since day one, along with chefs Brandon and John debated whether or not the chicken and waffles should be on the menu, but ultimately the once-trendy dish turned brunch staple won out—and it’s become a favorite. The vanilla waffle slices are drenched in maple syrup and garnished with green onions and chilis. Of course battered chicken sits atop the masterpiece, offering a fried, salty crunch to balance the sweet of the waffles. Another favorite is the breakfast burger, served open-faced. This behemoth of a breakfast dish includes everything you might find on a brunch menu including a fried egg, bacon, avocado, cheese, and more, served alongside country potatoes. Other brunch favorites? The Ave Egg Bake and any thee four egg benedicts ranging from crab cakes to the classic.
Whether you’re here for breakfast or dinner, consider adding a specialty cocktail to your tab. The restaurant is constantly turning out new concoctions to serve the public including the Classic Ave, a citrus-based drink with Cointreau and Absolut Blood Orange Vodka served in a martini glass, or the Sweet Street, the Ave’s version of a lemon drop made with fresh lemon juice and Citron vodka.
“Our vision going forward is to continue to be the late night dinner destination,” Kevin says, without straying from the atmosphere that regulars have long described as a transportation outside of Stockton. The emphasis will remain on the casual, intimate, big-city vibes, with urban food that exceeds expectations.
Come for the experience:
Ave on the Mile
2333 Pacific Ave, Stockton