Annex Kitchen Is The #1 Place I Have Not Eaten At In Fresno

So I guess I am not cool but I have not had one scrap of food from The Annex Kitchen in Fresno.

I have recently started keeping a running list of restaurants I need to eat at in Fresno. Places I have heard other people talking about or ones that just look good to me. The Italian inspired cuisine of the Annex Kitchen is at the top of the list.

Believe it or not, Fresno has many places to eat and not all of them involve tacos. I dunno if Annex Kitchen has tacos, they probably do. This is Fresno, we love tacos, tacos are great, don’t think I’m hating on tacos. But, you know, it can’t be tacos every day all day. Can it?

why is Annex Kitchen at the top of the list?

PEOPLE SAY GOOD THINGS: Well, not everybody says good things because there are a lot of dickbags of Yelp. The kind of people that expect everything and give nothing. So I will overlook those reviews and take this one from some out of town person named Linda:

Went to Fresno for my first time on a business Work trip. My co-workers and I wanted to go a nice dinner that night so of course with us not being familiar with Fresno. Yelp is my go to. Found this place and reviews were good so thought we give this place a try.

The ambiance of the place when we walked in was nice. I love everything about it. You can either dress up or dress casual. The service was great and the food was just as good.

I got the squid ink noodles and it was delicious! My co-workers got the steak and they loved it! I tried a piece of the steak and it was cooked perfectly! 

I would definitely recommend this place. Too bad I don't live in the area but next time when I'm back for my business trip this will be the first stop to eat .:)

Sounds like someone needs to move to Fresno. And I can’t imagine I will be trying the ‘squid ink noodles’ but maybe.

A Fresno native chimes in with a five-star review from CUC “Cookie Monster” on Yelp:

When I left Fresno a few years ago, I thought to myself, "I am never coming back here." Boy was I wrong! Thanks to a very good friend getting married, I had to pay this central city a visit. During the weekend, I was able to meet my preceptor again and catch up over delicious food. She's Italian so I trust her taste in food. She knows what she's talking about. I miss her.

YAY! I guess I won't mind coming back again if there's another reason and if/when I do, I expect to find another yummy gem in Fresno.

This place is making people want to come back to Fresno. Must be freaking good.

FOOD PEOPLE GO THERE: Chefs and Food Network people like Tyler Florence and Simon Majumbar have annexed and seem to have really liked it. I heard that it is, or is going to be, on a cooking channel show. So, you know, that’s cool and stuff.

IT’S NOT FAR FROM THE HOUSE: This is a key point for me. I can get whiny if you make me go too far from the house, especially when I’m not getting paid for it.

IT’S ACROSS THE STREET FROM MY BANK/ATM: Paying in cash is best.


It may look like it but this is not a paid post. I don’t think I know anybody that works at The Annex Kitchen or that owns the place. It is just sitting there on top of the list and I want to go soon.

Speaking of the list, I will share it at another time, in another post. Maybe once I have gone to Annex Kitchen. I will tell you this though, there are places on my list that have tacos, of-fucking-course.

*Picture taken from here.

7 Fresno Things I’m Totally Not Doing Right Now But Should Be!

I have really good Fresno intentions. You know, do all the cool Fresno things all the time. In actuality that does not happen very often. Like everyone, I’m busy. But when I’m not busy, I’m lazy and I like to hermit.

Sometimes I need to push myself to Fresno more and these are seven random things that are nagging me at the moment:

  • Planting more food. I have a peach tree, a grapefruit tree I rarely use, a fig tree, a pepper bush, but I need more. If there is space in the yard it needs to be filled with plants that grow food. Fresno is the damn food capital for a reason, muthafuckaaa.
  • Returning to Forestiere Underground Gardens. It’s kinda been a long time. Long time (*whispers* Star Wars reference). Every time I drive by and see people there I feel bad and say “I gotta go!” (pic at top).
  • Turning off my damn phone and maybe enjoying a night on the patio with my thoughts or talking to another human. That is what Fresno nights are all about. This talking to humans thing can be rather difficult though.
  • Taking cold showers. Nooooo, not for the reason you’re thinking. Because this is maybe the best way you to start a hot day in Fresno. I really think that when I end my showers with a minute of cold water, it helps my core temp stay lower during the day. Might be bullshit but I really do believe it.
  • Going to Taco Bell less. Fresno is the taco capital. Yet, I will still get them damn crunchy corporate tacos more times than real deal. They are just too damn easy to get.
  • Hiking more. We need to be an outdoor city and I need to do more of this hiking junk. The San Joaquin River Gorge looks like a good place to start.
  • Attending more local music shows. Ever since Audie’s Olympic closed, I have a hard time dragging my ass to a show. Although I did see Farooq at Tioga Sequoia recently and that was rad.

You have a list of Fresno things you need to do more of or even start doing for the first time. Leave it in the comments and I’ll see you on the trails. Just don’t forget the cold shower before you go.


How Are We Going To Make Fresno “Cool”, Yo?

We have a problem here. A problem I bounce around in a post from time to time but never take on directly.

What will it take for Fresno to be considered a cool city?

If you’re thinking “Hey, but wait, I already think it’s cool!” I don’t disagree with you, but we both have to acknowledge that we are in the minority, chief.

How do we make Fresno appear cool to an outsider? This is what I’m talking about. To a Fresno State grad, we lost to brain drain? What can we do to win that person back? It’s a question that Fresno creatives have been wrestling with for many years.

First. The Immovable Object.

We are land locked, no getting around that. Except that we are not as landlocked as Denver, or Boise, or Dallas, or Every City Not On The Ocean. We can go to the beach for a morning surf session and be back in town for a late lunch.

So while this is tough, we have workarounds, it could be a lot worse.

The air sucks. It does. But, the past couple years, it feeeeels like it has gotten better?  And if California can (continue?) to lead in clean air…stuff and things? Maybe I’m being naive but I feel like future technology and regulations will make the terrible air a thing of the past. But we definitely need to be a lead-city on clean air initiatives.

Booze May Be An Answer.

Here might be a cool city suggestion we can work on:

Rooftop whiskey bars, eh? I definitely like the idea of rooftop things – like the pic at the top of the post from a Phoenix rooftop bar. And adding a niche element like whiskey is the kind of thing that pushes something from being “Oh that, you can find that in every city.” To “Oh that is rad, I wish we had one of those in our city.”

That unique, “can’t put my finger on it why it’s cool but I just know it’s cool” thing is really what we need to get at here in Fresno.

Touting our agriculture backbone. Being sunny almost every damn day. Embracing our sports, like the soccer community that gets bigger every year:

We’re just spitballing here.

The Cool Roots Are Taking Hold.

We have things already going for us. Not many cities can boast that they are a “basecamp city” to three National Parks. One of which, Yosemite, is considered by many to hold the most beautiful place in the world, Yosemite Valley – and I am in complete agreement with that.

There are other signs of coolness brewing as well. Bitwise pushing Fresno into the tech and startup scene is a big one. The rising craft beer and coffee scene. Branding ourselves as the Capitol of Tacos. These are the kind of things to ride into the cool town sunset.

So let’s tally up some of the cool stuff we got and the stuff we can do more of:

  • Agriculture.
  • Craft Beer – even more breweries.
  • Bitwise and tech.
  • Tacos.
  • Sports – including soccer.
  • Diversity.
  • Leader In Clean Air.
  • Outdoor city – more trails, parks, and owning the Sierra Nevada closeness.

This is but a humble start of a list by a blogger that only went as far as Fresno City College – a great community college, btw. I know only bits and pieces of things. So I choose you to comment and help.

What are some of your suggestions? Leave a comment! On the August episode of Flowing With Famous, myself and Joshua Tehee will parse them out and talk about them on the podcast.

Cool? Cool.


Would Mild Summers Really Make Fresno A Popular West Coast City?

Sunday had some pretty amazing weather, for a June day in Fresno. It was perfect… well until the windstorm later that evening. But BEFORE that, perfect.

This brought a much overdue thought into my head: Would the removal of consistent hot Summers make Fresno a truly desirable city? Is it the one thing that is holding us back?

Fresno heat-haters would say “Duh, dude!” But is it that simple?

Yes, bro, I know that Fresno has more problems than hot Summers. We got the gangs (although I’m pretty sure Oakland, SF, San Jose, Sactown, L.A. and San Diego all have those), a lot of stucco and a shitty looking Highway 99 corridor.

But I really don’t think people are truly looking down at Fresno for that.

Plus, Fresno has all the things you could want in your standard city: A diverse and creative culture, a rising Downtown, plenty of things to do on the weekend, three world class National Parks in the backyard, etc.

So it comes back to one thing: The heat.

You Have Heard Of This New Technology Called “Air Conditioning” and “Shade”, Right?

People afraid of the heat forget about the benefits. The perfect Summer evenings on a patio with a beer in one hand and a taco in another. Or the nights when it’s perfectly comfortable to swim and… have more beer.

Maybe Sactown is the only other West Coast city that can brag about that. Sorry, Portland & Seattle, we got ya on something.

Paying Triple To Not Experience A Hot Summer Is Crazy!

When a nice house in Fresno that costs $250,000 is going to cost $1,000,000 on the coast, I think “I’m good here, thanks.”

I admit, this past weekend of “coastal” weather was nice and I appreciated it. Enjoyed it. But I’ll go ahead and continue enduring hot Summers, for now, and not feel like an idiot when my mortgage bill comes. You can enjoy your 70s.

Eat These Tonight: Tacos

Taco throwdown

Wanna bet Colorado Springs doesn’t know how to do a Taco Throwdown? Yeah, these are the kind of things that make Fresno cool. Fresno knows how to do tacos. It’s Taco Truck Throwdown #2, happening again at The Chuk. The Beehive has all the details cabbage on the event.

Basically, you go to a Grizzlies game and a taco truck fight breaks out. It was wildly successful last year so getting there at 5:30 might not be a bad plan – plus you get to see batting practice…if you’re into that sorta thing.