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’?”

Mad Duck Brewing NW Fresno: Fresnan Review

A quickass review of Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co’s new brewpub in NW Fresno: It’s cool.

There. There’s a quickass review.

Alright, a little more reviewing…

So, there are many areas of Fresno that are underserved, most certainly. Sometimes it feels like Fresno is only River Park, Downtown, Fig Garden Village, Tower, and Fashion Fair. If a place isn’t in one of those areas then it doesn’t exist. Small city ways.

NW Fresno has been begging for a place like Mad Duck, even if it didn’t know it. The new location is at the NE corner of Herndon & Marks (across from Taco Bell, behind the Starbucks and new Ampersand Ice Cream.

They picked a good spot.

It’s small, or at least feels small, in comparison to the Campus Point location. Before I saw it I was bummed that it was small. Small means more waiting for tables, in my eyes. While that may be true, I like the vibe the small gives. It feels more social and neighborhood than Campus Point.

The combination of the North West Fresno crowd and the Mad Duck brewpub atmosphere, if I could pick one band that could describe the vibe it would be Fleetwood Mac.

I can take or leave Fleetwood Mac but that feeling you get when you’re in a good mood, just starting to relax and forget life, you have a couple of beers in ya and the perfect part of a song comes on and you’re like “Yeah, man, this.” That is Mad Duck NW Fresno. Classic rock in new packaging.

The patio is big enough and cool but it’s not shaded properly. I don’t understand, in Fresno, if you have the budget to build a patio but don’t shade it properly, it makes zero sense. There were two people on the patio, huddled against the wall trying to bleed any full shade they could from the building and the only reason they were out there at all was the fact that they had a dog with them. So, hey, I guess they allow dogs on the patio if you were wondering.

Shade your patios properly, Fresno. In case you have not noticed, the sun is a bastard around here.

So the food seems to be the same as the Campus Point location, along with the beer. Since this location also has brewing equipment, I hope that each location will have its own beer. Meaning, one you can only get at THAT location. That would be cool for us beer geeks.

Mad Duck beer selection

If you’re wondering what the best beer they make is, I say it’s the Citra. And The NW Fresno location’s is very solid, so far. The almond brown and the “Dog Daze” are too bad either. Hope the guest taps start getting more interesting.

Overall, solid fun neighborhood place. Fresno needs more neighborhood spots, like ALL Fresno neighborhoods, and hopefully, this proves this part of NW Fresno deserves more. See ya there.

Where To Find Pliny The Elder in Fresno

Is there Russian River beer in Fresno? YES! Where can I find Pliny The Elder in Fresno? I’ll tell ya in a sec. But right now I just gotta yell something: “Fresno is finally a Russian River Brewing town!”

Only Russian River approved businesses and distributors (thank you Delta Pacific Beverage for being worthy) are allowed to carry Russian River beer. The major requirement being that the beer must always be refrigerated and cared for properly.

Here is where to find it in the Fresno area:

  • Goldstein’s – 1279 N. Wishon Ave
  • Maroa Shell – 902 E. Shields Ave
  • Hop PK – 820 Van Ness Ave
  • Spokeasy Public House – 1472 N. Van Ness
  • Gazebo Gardens – 3204 N Van Ness
  • Kunisama – 6825 N. Willow Ave
  • Whole Foods – 650 W. Shaw
  • Tap & Cellar – 317 W. Bedford
  • The Market – 7088 N. West
  • BC’s Pizza & Beer – 1315 Shaw Ave (Clovis)
  • MGA Liquor – 342 N. Clovis (Clovis)
  • Michaelangelo’s Pizzeria – 619 Woodworth Ave (Clovis)

Let me say it again because it’s damn awesome: Russian River Brewing Company beer is now available in Fresno.

We were the last major region in California to get it, but that is okay. It’s here now. The past is past, we are now a Russian River town and it is incredibly awesome.

If you’re wondering, “What the hell is the big damn deal about this “Pliny” guy and why is Russian River beer such a thing?” that is okay. You’re not a beer geek. Cool.

Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing is probably the greatest Beer Geek brewery of all time. Their IPA, Pliny The Elder, ushered in a whole style of beer called “West Coast IPA”. I consider the beer the Godfather of the modern IPA.

For a while there (if it isn’t still) Pliny was the number one most traded beer in the beer geek world. If a beer is heavily traded (shipped illegally to regions where a person can’t get the beer), that means it’s highly sought after – aka damn good.

Not only do we get the core Russian River beers now, we even get cool colab beers like the one Russian River and Karl Strauss did recently:

So rejoice, beer lovers, Fresno is now cool. Still waiting on somebody to open up that remote taproom though.

Why Is Lettuce or Cabbage Even Put On Tacos?! Stop it.

Flavorless beasts. Lettuce and/or cabbage add nothing but sadness to tacos. So why the hell are they automatic for every damn, otherwise delicious, taco?

Before we get too far down this hole, I do want to make it clear that I prefer cabbage on a taco over lettuce. It simply holds up better. Still sucks, just holds up better. Anyway, proceeding…

I get that there would be a certain amount of people that like cabbage or lettuce on their tacos. Feels like that is a small group. That group should have the option of ADDING cabbage or lettuce.

Cabbalettuce should not automatically be on the taco. It sucks rotten lemons. Yeah, I have now put cabbage and lettuce together as one word because I am tired of saying “and/or”. Anyway, proceeding…

You get a taco for the base protein; asada, chicken, fish, or whatever. Add the salsa and lemon or lime. Done. EVERYTHING else should be options.

If I knew how to cook things, had some guts, started my own taco truck, this is how I would roll:

  • CILANTRO: No! But leave it there as an option.
  • ONIONS: Again, NO! But leave it as an option.
  • LETTUCE: No, bro. Say no to lettuce. Won’t even have it there as an option.
  • CABBAGE: Option.
  • GREEN PEPPER: On the side.

Has anyone ever EVER said “Oh man, that’s some damn good lettuce!” “Ohhhh those tacos have the BEST cabbage!”? No, of course they fucking haven’t!

They haven’t because, at the very least, a person is indifferent to cabbalettuce, but NOBODY ACTUALLY WANTS IT! No person has ever said “They don’t put enough cabbage on their tacos.” NOBODY!

Sure, you can say that cabbalettuce adds a little crispness or something. That’s cool for you. But hey, I bet you wouldn’t miss it.

I know what you’re thinking; Yes, I can and do ask to leave off the cabbage or lettuce or onion, please. But that is annoying. I need my life simpler, okay!?

Oh, and if you want to have cilantro, so be it. I don’t agree and don’t want it, it sucks like cabbalettuce. But I get that it does add a flavor component. Should be offered, not forced. Why ya gotta force your cabbalettuce agenda on me, bro?

I’m fond of the truck that shows up to Zack’s Brewing often, I believe it’s El Tapatio. They have the best setup because they give you the base taco you ordered and they have a condiment style bar that let you add the things, like cabbage or onions, yourself.

Let the world decide about Cabbalettuce

This year’s famous Taco Truck Throwdown is happening soon in Fresno. Hopefully, the one with the most cabbaletucce will lose.