Fresno On Lockdown

So this is life now, eh? Battling Fresnans at Save Mart (or for you crazy people, Costco) for bread.

Actually, I have been surprised by how nice everyone has been out there in Fresno. I guess when you go through a shared experience like this, people get nicer.

As a homebody, an introverted and awkward person, that has to push and motivate themselves to even meet up with friends that I want to be around, you would think this new world of being socially distant, not meeting up with people and staying away from groups, would be kinda awesome.

Honestly, for me, it sort of is.

WAIT WAIT, don’t hate me. If everyone else’s life was the same; healthy, their business was untouched, jobs secure, THEN this would be the life I dream of.

Stay at home with my family? Play video games? Wander around my backyard, look up at the clouds, write, binge Star Wars content, develop a playlist on Spotify, trick-out my patio? Do all the things I always want to do but never make the time for? Yes, I’m here for that content.

All while feeling like I’m “doing good” (even if I don’t actually do any of those things and put them off like I always do).

Feeling good about myself instead of my normal feeling of dread and guilt that I’m not meeting friends for a thing, or going Downtown for ArtHop or an event, or going to get my tires rotated or some crap thing that I beat myself up for not doing ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

*deep breath*

Getting takeout now feels… good? As long as places stay up and running.

I hope everyone can weather this. The number of businesses that are affected are too many to count. It’s not just the food-related industry. But what the hell am I talking about here, you don’t need me to tell you this.

Most of the places I use for beer have delivery or pickup now. I used Pine & Palm’s “drive-thru” service this week and picked up some crowlers. I’ll be trying out Tioga’s delivery service this weekend. Hopefully, Zack’s Brewing will be able to do the same soon. Most of my craft beer places are at least setting up pickup options. I plan on taking full advantage.

Here are tips on how to keep it clean and still get local takeout.

This is all we can do, right? Takeout and tip higher than normal. Save up money to hella support when we are on the other side of this. No matter if it’s a food-related business or not.

I am fortunate to have a job that is not affected by this (income-wise), at least not yet. Unfortunate that I still have to go out and do it. Props to all my new brothers and sisters in the Essential Services Industry.

Staying at home sounds better than ever, but even I will be glad to be amongst groups of Fresnans again, someday… on occasion.

For now, all we can do is support the places we use (in the safest way we can) and hope they will be there when this is over. Keep your head up gaze at the clouds and stay safe, Fresno.

-Mikey

Best Mexican Food Breakfasts In Fresno

Fresno breakfast places can get pretty damn busy, time to expand the options. So I asked Fresno Twitter to fill in a gap in my knowledge. Hopefully, this helps you too.

I trust my Fresno Twitter folks on this. Much more than Yelp and Google anyway.

Let’s begin with the multiple vote winners. Some have a quick item reco from voters, some don’t. This is nothing definitive, just a helpful guide from Fresnans that know the best Mexican food breakfast in Fresno:

Top Four Recommends:

  • TOLEDITO’S (1704 Van Ness Ave). The breakfast burritos and Spanish omelet especially.
  • ZAMORA (850 N. Fresno St). Homemade tortillas and great chilaquiles.
  • CASTILLO’S (3659 E.Ventura). I dunno, everything?
  • LAS MANANITAS (1329 S. Hazelwood Blvd). Amazing owners. Good chilaquiles.

Next Tier Of Recos:

Other Fresno spots folks felt needed mentioning. Might be just as good as any of the above spots, just happened to be not mentioned as much:

Mi Amigo. That’s a lot of places to check out. Well done, Fresno Twitter.

A dumb guy thought: What is Chilaquiles?

Zamora’s chilaquiles – photo by Amy on Yelp.

I did not know this. Sorry, I suck. People kept bringing it up and my dumb ass is like “Should I know what the heck this is? I should, right? Do I eat this and not know what it’s even called?”

Chilaquiles is this:

Chilaquiles (pronounced “chee-lah-KEE-lays”) is a traditional dish found throughout Mexico. At its most basic, chilaquiles consists of fried tortilla strips simmered in red or green salsa or mole to soften the strips. This dish is great for using up leftovers because stale (or store-bought) tortillas can be used. It’s often served with a side of refried beans.

TripSavvy.com

Ok cool. Now my dumbass knows. Good for hangovers? I like that.

Yelp Reviews To Be Taken With Many Grains Of Salt

Just something I noticed, I don’t know if this is true, but it seems that if you go by what Yelp says, Castillo’s is the place that people from out-of-town think is the best “locals” Mexican breakfast spot to check out. Not sure if some food show came through town once and told them or if this is actually the case.

Anyway, glad to have this list now that you and I can come back to reference when looking for a good Mexican food breakfast in Fresno.

We have a lot of eating to do. Time to get out there and start trying some dishes of chilaquiles!

Joe Rogan Called Fresno Sketchy. Why Didn’t It Go As Crazy As the ‘Firestone Flap’?

You saw last week or more when Joe Rogan gushed about Chef Paul’s and called Fresno Sketchy, right? A bro in L.A. wanted to make sure we knew:

Fresnans did, in fact, ‘cancel Joe’ if getting upset is canceling. But Rogan did not respond to anything on Twitter or wherever else, because he is JOE FUCKING ROGAN! Why would he? And he’s a comedian MMA guy turned huge podcaster, who cares?

So there was nobody fighting, impossible for it to go viral. But who really totally knows why things go freaking viral!? It’s a bunch of little things, IMO.

Speaking of a bunch of little things turning into something…

Why did Fresno get so mad at Firestone Walker Brewing?

The Firestone Walker fight (the ‘Firestone Flap’ as I like to call it and nobody else cares enough to call it that and be nerdy like me, and that’s ok [sadness]) blew up so big, bigger than Joe Rogan’s brief backhanded compliment to a Fresno restaurant, because….

BACKSTORY TIME!:

Fresno is drowning in Firestone beer. It’s everywhere. EVERYWHERE!

Hell, it’s bigger than White Claw and has been for years.

Any damn place in Fresno that might even THINK of having craft beer, has Firestone. Fresno and the 559 are almost forced to spend a lot of money on 805, Luponic Distortion 1 thru infinity, and whatever mixed-pack is taking up an end or a full island, at Save Mart.

I do not have the stats but I would guess that half the tanks in Paso are paid for with 559 money. We might even drink more Firestone Walker beer than people living in the 805.

Now, add to this, we have always suspected the Central Coast does not like us Central Valley folks. Every once in awhile there will be a racist or pretentious comment lobbed our way from the coast. Sometimes we ignore it sometimes we don’t.

So that’s just a LITTLE bit of our Paso Robles history.

Cut to a lazy Sunday morning in Fresno. Fresno Twitter is relaxing, fat and happy from a John Legend visit, and a subsequent positive Fresno Tweet, enjoying breakfast burritos & coffee, scrolling Twitter and the webs and such.

Then it happened. 

Someone responds to John Legend’s Tweet with a negative Fresno bash. Who cares, right!?!

Except, the person bashing Fresno works at Firestone Walker. The person lives in Paso (How is that better than being from Fresno?). And, most importantly, this person is the Communications Manager for Firestone Walker Brewing.

Don’t they know? Don’t they know Fresno loves Firestone? Don’t they know how much beer we buy from them? Don’t they talk about us? Don’t they respect us at all? Don’t they think we’re super cool!? Don’t they know their restaurant/taproom is our first stop on our way to a fun and relaxing coastal weekend!?

All this love and money Fresno gives and it turns out Paso Robles thinks we’re a shithole and is not even classy enough to NOT say it publicly.?!?

Continue reading “Joe Rogan Called Fresno Sketchy. Why Didn’t It Go As Crazy As the ‘Firestone Flap’?”

Fresno Recycling: What Can I Put In The Bin?!

What do you not put in the blue bin? What goes in the trash? Sadly more than you think.

I have never considered recycling as a money-making endeavor, for cities. They are Government. They are supposed to help society do good things, make things better, even if it does not make money.

I am a dummy.

In the case of recycling, the City of Fresno and a lot of cities across the nation, for the most part, only accept recycled material they can make their money back on.

Recently, this reason has caused the city to accept less material in the blue bin.

If you’re in the County and use Republic Services or some other garbage dudes, these rules seem to apply the same, I was unable to find a definitive difference.

Things you can’t put in the blue bin but thought maybe you could (the bummer facts).

You can check keepfresnoclean.com for more but here are the highlights:

  • Bottle caps.
  • Clothes and blankets.
  • Air filters.
  • Used (soiled) pizza boxes.
  • Dry cleaning bags.
  • Plastic grocery store bags.
  • Coffee machine pods.
  • Plastic drinking cups (from places like Dutch Brothers, ect.)

They all go in the grey trash bin, in case you are wondering.

The plastic drinking cups and bottle cap thing threw me. The City of Fresno site says ALL plastic can be recycled, but I don’t think it has been updated in a while.

This sucks. I have been putting all those things listed (with the exception of pizza boxes) in the recycling bin. Now what?

Why Can’t We Recycle All The Plastics?

Well, it apparently relates to something called “Operation Green Fence.” This was a thing to clean up the amount of recycling material that China takes in.

China was the main customer for most of the United States recycling materials. But for reasons, it is no longer profitable enough for China to take all our junk so they started weeding out the less profitable material.

That’s why things like bottle caps and plastic cups are no longer allowed in our recycling bins, it’s not profitable enough. You would think it would not matter, you pay decent money for the service, they should take all the recycling you can toss at them.

But, that is not the real world.

You and I may not like it but we are own on how to deal with much of the recycling. The City of Fresno can only do so much, I guess.

Pack in. Pack out.

What can we do?

Bring your own cup.

Places like Dutch Bros. encourages you to bring your own cup for them to use (since the drinks they put in plastic cups are the cups you can’t recycle).

I’m pretty fond of Yeti cups:

You can also try to find a recycler in town that will take the plastic the city of Fresno won’t. I want to recommend some but I can’t because I have no knowledge of any. If they can’t make money back on it, why would they?

Buy reusable water bottles.

Even though you can still recycle plastic water bottles, maybe there are times you can lug around your own and reduce plastic production. Perfect for all those disgusting looking kombuchas you drink.

Does Fresno still recycle more than other cities?

We are supposed to be the top (per capita) recycling city in the country. Even if that is still true, it doesn’t feel like it anymore. If these rules apply to all cities, I guess we are cool.

I’d like to know we are working to find ways to take more stuff in the blue bin. Hopefully, Fresno is.

In the meantime, if I am not sure which bin my junk goes in, I will put it in the blue one and let them sort it out. Maybe there is the off chance it will get recycled, even if it does not make money.

The 7 Worst Traffic Problems In Fresno

Like you and most Fresnans, I do a lot of driving. I even do it for work so I get around Fresno a lot. I see things. Things I can’t unsee. But that is not what this is about.

This is about Fresno traffic. We are not even close to the kind of stuff the Bay, Southern California or Sacramento sees, but we most certainly have problem areas.

These are the ones that stand out to me while puttering around town.

BULLARD & 41. This is especially true heading West on Bullard but it sucks overall. If you have no interest getting onto 41, it’s best to use Barstow or Sierra instead.

SHAW & 99. Mostly it’s the traffic heading East as it gets backed up to Polk. It’s a one-lane bridge, for freak sake even though it’s a major entry point into Fresno. And don’t get me started on how Caltrans has never landscaped this portion of 99 and the highway has been around 60 years or something. Although they did just do some half-assed planting of trees around the Southbound offramp, so that’s something I guess.

THE MCKINLEY CURVE. Maybe Fresno’s most famous traffic area. Heading North, 41 dangerously curves just as 180 dumps cars onto it. It’s never not sketchy.

BLACKSTONE & NEES. Ya got River Park. People getting onto 41. People getting off 41. Occasional protesting. Begging. In & Out. It has all the things!

FRIANT, FRESNO STREET & 41, FRIANT EXIT OFF 41. This is going to get worse. And worse. And worse. More retail building. More building around Copper River. One day there will be, like, a seven-story office building right there. Not fun.

180 WEST AT 99 NORTH EXCHANGE. From about 3 PM to 6PM, if you are on 180 and you want to get to 99 North, ya need to be gettin’ over to the right lane once 41 South has completed dumping its traffic onto 180 and yes now I am thinking of The Californians sketch from Saturday Night Live.

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HERNDON & GOLDEN STATE. This actually flows pretty well when there is no train. But when there is, look out man, it backs up super fast.

HONORABLE MENTION
  • Shaw, Barstow, Chestnut and 168 anytime there is something happening at Save Mart Center.
  • Exiting 41 North onto Shaw.
  • Shaw & Golden State Blvd when there is a train.

Please feel free to leave your picks for worst traffic areas in Fresno, in the comments.

Alright, that is settled, time to watch some Californians.

I Rode My Bike To A Thing In Fresno and Nobody Flipped Me Off

I decided to ride my bike to a Fresno beer thing last week (Happy Anniversary, Pine & Palm Brewing). One, because obviously, it’s better to ride a bike with a couple pops in ya than drive. Second, because I always preach riding your bike in Fresno but don’t do it enough. So I did.

My destination? Pine & Palm Brewing. 2nd Anniversary Party.

My route? Fruit, North to Herndon. Herndon to Palm (via trail pictured above). Palm to Bedford. Bedford to brewery.

I begin on Fruit. The same section that some council asshat stopped a fully funded and approved road-diet on because he sat at a corner for an hour and allegedly didn’t observe any bikers. (Yeah, I’m still bitter)

Are We Getting Better Or Was It A One-Time Thing?

As I was stopped at the light at Fruit & Bullard, I chose to rest on the white line dividing the two lanes because there was a car coming up behind me that wanted to turn right so I wanted to give them space to do that. As the light turned green, I went back into the lane knowing there we no cars behind me so I could safely use the lane. But the car that was turning right decided not to and is now directly behind me.

Normally, Fresno drivers get pissed-off that they are having to wait for a bike, even though said bike as a right to be using the lane. I got over quickly for fear of a bottle being tossed at my head. When the car passed, there was no bottle. No finger. No “Get the fuck off the road!” The car uneventfully went by.

Fresnans just might be getting more mellow with sharing the road.

Let The Drinking Begin!

At Pine & Palm Brewing, having some beers, celebrating two years of the brewery in their new taproom, getting slightly annoyed at the soccer fans that have taken over the Taproom.

I now get word that there is a group of Perfect Pour people over at the newest Fresno drinking spot, just around the corner. I leave the soccer fans to their fun and head over.

A Bar In An Industrial Park!?

Yep. There is a new craft beer and wine bar in Fresno and it’s in an industrial park in Pinedale – well, I refer to it as Pinedale anyway. It’s called Tap & Cellar. Check it:

Great beer list. They have kegs of beer that you can’t find anywhere else in town. Good addition to the scene.

Time To Ride Back.

Before I get too deep into day-drinking, it’s time to bike home. I took a slightly different route back and discovered a small, but effective, path that comes close to the Herndon path:

This little trail runs along Harrison Ave, behind (to the West) of the Palm Bluffs area.

Finishing the ride at home, I was pleased with Fresnans because nobody seemed to get pissed at me – at least they didn’t make it known. There is hope. Maybe Fresno can be a bike-friendly place after all.