Burgers and friends. Omelets and strips of bacon. Steak sandwiches and chicken fried steak. Woodlon Diner is a local truck stop.

Though co-owner Waylon Ellis has gone to culinary school and studied French cuisine, he’s giving his customers exactly what they want: reasonably priced comfort food.

“We’re an American diner, you can’t stray too far from that,” he said. “A lot of restaurants make the mistake of trying to be something they’re not.”

Since Woodlon Diner opened on March 11, he says they’re received nothing but good responses from their customers. They’ve been much busier than they expected even though they tried to keep their opening quiet.

Ellis owns Woodlon Diner with Woody and Stephen Williams. Ellis formerly worked as the chef at Wine Country Cardroom while also working at Rockin’ Robin, which is now Woodlon Diner. 

The small restaurant has been updated with new brown leather booths and comical pictures on the walls. The menu, too, has changed.

For breakfast, the French toast is a favorite choice, and has been in the Williams family for a long time. Ellis says the family eats it with peanut butter, though it is served with butter and maple syrup.

Also on the breakfast list is an omelet (add your fixings for 50 cents each), and a breakfast burrito loaded with eggs, cheese, chili, hash browns, bacon, chorizo and ham.

Also on the breakfast menu are biscuits and gravy, pancakes and 10 ounce monster cinnamon roll. 

The Woodlon Burger is a popular option. For $4.75, you get a large burger topped with lettuce, tomato, onions and special sauce. It is served on a hearty bun from the small Bennett’s Bread and Bakery in Sacramento. 

Other sandwiches include the French dip, vegetarian burger, grilled ham and cheese and grilled chicken sandwich.

Ellis’ favorite is the patty melt. He says “ours holds up,” unlike other places where he says the sandwich falls apart before it gets to the table.

With a mix of locals and truck drivers stopping by to sit down or order at the window, Ellis says they’re focusing on perfecting what they have on the menu.

“We’re focusing on consistency, to make sure every item is how we want it,” he said.

Contact Lodi Living editor Lauren Nelson at laurenn@lodinews.com.

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