Olive Garden Opening In Fresno Is A Good Thing…There, I Said It.


I don’t go to Olive Garden. Well, I haven’t for a long time. I went to the Modesto Garden years ago because my Grandma wanted to. And yeah, I have been to the Clovis one. I’m embarrassed to admit I brought a date there once. There was no second date.

I purposely have not Gardened for a long time. Waiting an hour for a table to eat chain “Italian” food in Clovis is not my idea of a good night out – I don’t care how many unlimited bread sticks you throw at me.

Time GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

So why the hell should I care or think it’s a good thing that Olive Garden is about to open up its first Fresno location? [Located at Marketplace Shopping Center, BTW)

Because the Highway City area of NW Fresno does not have a sit-down, waiter comes to your table, restaurant. If the first one has to be an Olive Garden, so be it.

I would rather it be a local restaurant or something we have never seen in Fresno before. But it’s not. It’s an Olive Garden. Highway City will have to accept it. Something tells me they will and there will be an hour wait there too.

Some advice, though. Don’t take a first date there, dude. Impressed she will not be. Unless you can do a dance routine with your bread sticks.

11 Things I’m Thinking While Waiting For My Chipotle Burrito To Be Made

chipotle line

Living in Fresno, it always feels so wrong to go to a chain place to get anything Mexican food related. We make viral burritos and we are the Taco Capital of North America, after all.

That said. Chipotle is quick, tasty and consistent. So even us Fresnans get tempted to go in. My dumbass included.

Here are some things that pop into my head while watching my burrito get built – usually at the Fig Garden location:

  • Oh, this guy again [burrito maker]. He’s cool, makes a good burrito. I wonder if he secretly hates me.
  • Are they ever going to change this industrial airport hanger look? I still like it okay, just wondering.
  • It only takes 5 seconds for the burrito maker to forget what meat I want in the burrito. Steak. I said steak.
  • The cooks seem to have the better gig, meesa thinks. No dealing with us asshole customers asking “Can I have that on the side of… the side and extra of the other thing? Also, no chicken on my chicken burrito, please!”
  • Is the burrito maker starter person the Top Dog in the restaurant? Like, the job to ascend to? Who is the manager here, because I can’t tell.
  • I think the guy behind me is trying to intimidate me to order faster by getting in my personal space. Chill out, bro, you’ll get your double white rice when your time comes.
  • Ha! Corn salsa. Why do people have the corn salsa? WHY!? Such a waist. You totally could of had the good salsa: Pico de gallo. Fun to say, “Picooo de Gallllloooo”.
  • I still don’t know if I have to pay for the guacamole on the side or is it included since I got a burrito but did not have it actually put into said burrito. Whatever, I’ll pay extra. I pay for extra paper bags all the time, like a boss!
  • Does anyone actually get a beer here? I’m a heavy beer drinker and I never have. I need to change that. #goals
  • How do they distribute the tip jar money? Do the cooks get any? Does it go to some sorta fund for an employee pizza party?
  • The new chorizo meat does not look right.

I would feel a lot better about myself if I exclusively burrito-ed local. But I think the occasional Chipotle visit is here to stay. At least they have a very solid Social Media Manager on Twitter to make me feel a little better:

*photo source.

Only Fresno Can Make A Steak n Shake Opening Controversial

steaknshake

A little late on this post but… I need to talk about this Steak ‘n Shake that is being built in Fresno on Kings Canyon. Yep, Kings Canyon.

This is a new-to-Fresno burger chain that is out of Normal, Illinois. It has some cult following to it, sorta similar to In & Out and White Castle. It looks like a Johnny Rockets meets Five Guys to me.

I have never eaten or heard about the place before, but I see they got something called the Cheddar Cheesy that I will be all about trying:

cheddar cheesy

The most interesting thing about this place coming to Fresno is not the food. It’s the location. A chain with some buzz around it is being built in Sunnyside area and not on or North of Shaw. About fucking time.

Of course the Internet has issue with the location

Not everyone on Facebook is down with it being at Kings Canyone & Peach. An example:

beth

Well, Beth. That deserves some replies. Don’t you think?

wow-beth

I love the last comment from Rosie, “Wow Beth!”  … Wow Beth. I really like saying that, “WOW, Beth!” I think I will be using that in my everyday life from now on. Whenever somebody does something that’s surprising or controversial or something unexpected happens, I will be saying “Wow, Beth” as a response. I hope you will join me.

Oh but Beth was not alone. There were others. Like, John:

steak-n-shake-facebook

There is a lot more than those but you get the idea.

The Sunnyside Area Deserves Nice Things

Hey, a burger joint in a Wal-Mart Center might not be considered a “nice thing” but it’s still cool.

The Sunnyside area deserves this. They were supposed to get a new “River Park Style” shopping area and that has never happened.

But if you still feel like your Northeast Flowvis area is “underserved”, you can always look into franchising a Steak n’ Shake on Willow & Nees for yourself.

Hopefully, this new Sunnyside burger joint will have Steak ‘n Shake suits like the old ones:

Don’t forget: “Wow, Beth.” This is a thing. It has begun.

Best Part Of A Revamped Manchester Center Lies In A Priceless Facebook Comment

Machester Center

Did you see that they are going to revive Manchester Center? Yes, for reals! There will be a Chipotle and everything! You KNOW you are reviving when you get a Chipotle, Bro!

Manchester making a comeback? I bet you’re doubtful like me. “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Well, one of the project’s managers has read your mind.

“Let me be clear. I’ve been asked a lot and I want to be clear about this,” said Benjamin Nazarian, Omninet’s managing partner. “This is not ‘if it will happen.’ This is happening.”

Super rad. Seriously. Whenever something gets a legit makeover, South of Shaw, it is to be celebrated and supported! I am excited this is happening.

So what about this Facebook comment teased in the title?

If you haven’t noticed, the comment section of local stories posted on Facebook (in this story’s case, The Fresno Bee) can get pretty negative and silly. My first thought after reading was “Oh man, there are going to be some shots taken at Manchester Center. Here we go.”

But this one didn’t quite turn out like I thought.

“Heather” posted this:

heathercomment

Ok well, a bit misguided about the bus stop, I think. But there is a decent point buried there that folks need to feel safe if they’re going to shop and eat at this new Manchester. But that wasn’t the interesting part of her comment.

A guy came up to her and asked her if she wanted to go “back in time with him?” My first question was “Did he say his name was Doc Brown? Maybe Calvin Klein?” [obviously a Back To The Future refrence].

The other would be Doctor Who. Somebody went right to it, bless their Internet hearts:

Dr. Who

Heather is not getting the Doctor Who reference and it’s freaking adorbs:

heatherno

HA! Maybe Heather doesn’t know Dr. Who. Understandable. But she would have to wise up to any Back To The Future references, right? It seems no:

oh heather

“Oh Heather” indeed. Thank you for bringing nerd joy to this blog.

Back to the Manchester remodel: There is no word on if the new look center will have a TARDIS or will be hosting any Enchantment Under The Sea dances:

Fresno. Are We Total Assholes For Loving Our Drive-Thrus? Maybe…

Future Starbucks Drive-Thu
Future Starbucks Drive-Thu
Pictured above is the new drive-thru being built for a new-old Starbucks opening soonish at Herndon & Marks. Remember way back when there was one there and there was a campaign to save it but it closed anyway?

Yeah, well, it seems it closed because there wasn’t a drive-thru. Now there will be one and I’m sure it will be filled with cars soon. They are even tearing apart the property to do it. You’ll be able to spy on the people across the street in the Taco Bell and McDonald’s drive-thru from your Starbucks spot.

More drive-thus tainting the Valley air? That’s fine. Best to forget the Sierras are there. Out of sight out of mind. Now I don’t feel as guilty about not going up there as much as I should.

Fuck you, clean air! And while we’re at it: Fuck you, Sierras! I can kinda see an outline of the mountains, so I’m sure it’s cool. Can’t be that bad. Drive-thru it is! Dude I am not getting out of this vehicle right now, the new Green Day just came on New Rock!

Honestly, I will walk into a place more than use the drive-thru. I tell myself that it’s because I’m saving the air, but really it’s when the drive-thru is too busy. Plus, sometimes I don’t like the person working the drive-thru looking into my truck and seeing what a mess it is.

Not using the drive-thru and having the discipline to walk inside is kinda like when you’re thinking you should go on a diet but eat all you want anyway. Tomorrow I’ll stop going through the drive-thru, today I feast on convenience.

But wait a damn idling second here. How bad is it really for the air when we use the drive-thru as compared to parking and walking inside? Well, the best thing I could find was a study they did up in Canada at a Tim Hortons (a sorta Canadian version of Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks). This blew my mind:

“The study concluded that a Tim Hortons restaurant with no drive-thru actually produces higher emissions per vehicle than one with a drive-thru, because of emissions from starting up vehicles, traveling to and from parking spaces, and congestion that occurs in the parking lot.”

WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?! Mind. Blow. I couldn’t find a local study on this so we’ll have to accept a Canadian one. Crazy.

Really, it points out that we should be walking or biking to our Taco Bells and Dutch Bros. But eh.

So if you must MUST drive your truck with sexy rims to Robertito’s at 2 in the morning, don’t feel as bad about idling in line. Just feel bad about that California burrito and two adobada tacos you’re about to put down.

Why Did You Not Tell Me About This, Fresno?

green crush 2

Did you know that the Orange Julius in Fashion Fair is gone? Yep. The Baskin Robins too. They were replaced by whatever the thing is pictured above.

You see, I don’t go inside the mall much. Only when an iPhone stops working right, or when I’ve run out of shopping options on Christmas Eve. Mayyyybe a visit to the Disney Stone BUT THAT’S IT.

So walking by and seeing that the Orange Julius and Baskin Robbins stores are no longer there? It was a bit jarring. Nobody tells me things.

Okay, well, the Robbins just moved out to a kiosk in front of the old location. But still.

New Baskin Robbins

I had family that owned the mall’s Baskin & Robbins in the late 70s. I pretended to work there. My arms weren’t really strong enough to scoop ice-cream (they may not be still) but I remember wiping some display case windows for the occasional milkshake.

Because I am a nerd, the coolest part wasn’t the ice-cream. It was having access to the private hallway that runs behind some of the stores in that section of the mall. It was like being backstage at Disneyland. A really really REALLY lame Disneyland… but still.

The Orange Julius didn’t move though. Those icy citrus drinks are apparently permanently done in Fashion Fair. Google corroborates this story:

fresno fashion fair orange julius Google Search

#Lame.

Something not lame I found out though: Baskin Robbin’s ‘flavor of the month’ Milk n’ Cereal, is damn tasty.

I’ll miss you, old BK location and Orange Julius. Another piece of Fashion Fair regulated to the history books… remember when there was a Carl’s Jr inside the mall? No? I guess I’m the only old dude here.