Summer Sweat 2018: The Fresno Thing To Do This Weekend

It’s time for Summer Sweat again!

My favorite music-related event of the year (well, since FUSE Fest is tucked away hiding in a Downtown basement somewhere).

I love Fresno events that fucking own that they are a Fresno event! That’s right, an outdoor event, during the hottest time of the year. Call it Summer Sweat. Bring the damn sweat!

SUMMER SWEAT DETAILS

TIOGA SEQUOIA STAGE

TEZZY RADIO STAGE

I will check in on this in between sets on the Tioga Stage and getting Fulton Street IPAs. But I would be lying if I told you I knew what the hell was going on there.

DJ Burns will be there. I sure hope it’s my friend Doug from 3rd Grade whom we all still call “Burns” and he has secretly been DJ-ing for years. Probably not.

OTHER THINGS TOO

There will be food and vendors of various sorts, check the flyer above for the list. All I need to know is there will be food and I’m cool. I am here for the music and beer.

I’ll try to update this post when I know the set times and if there are any special beer releases Tioga has up its sleeve.

Oh wait, here are the set times:

I am definitely centering things around Pinkeye’s set with an eye on Macondo’s.

The thing I like about Summer Sweat above all the other music related events and festivals in Fresno is that it doesn’t get uncomfortably packed with Fresbros or anybody else, it’s about the music, it’s approachable, there is the good beer. Enough said.

See ya out there, sweating and breathing heavy.

 

Chicken Shack Fresno – Things To Know Before You Go

Chicken Shack Fresno

I have not been to the new Chicken Shack in Fresno, on Fulton Street. Just letting you know right now. This is not a personal review. It’s compiled. Hell dude, I didn’t even take the above picture, the Fresno Bee’s Bryant-Jon Anteola did.

That’s fine. We can figure out if this place is worth checking out all the same.

Location

1108 Fulton Street (formally Fulton Mall). Corner of Fulton & Mariposa. Located close to the Fresno Courthouse, Chuchanski Park and Club One Casino.

So it’s a good place to eat if you have jury duty in Downtown Fresno.

Heck, it could even serve as a place to eat if you’re seeing a show at Selland Arena or Warnors Theatre.

Hours: 10 AM – 9 PM every day.

The first Chicken Shack started in Hanford. They also have a food truck too that was very popular at this year’s Grizzly Fest. But the location we are talking about is the Fresno one.

Menu

They have beer! Oh wait, we should talk about the chicken first.

Of course, there is chicken. Next level fast-food style chicken, whatever that means. Lots of burgers too. And salads. And wings. Here is their full menu.

Some things that people have Yelped:

“They have a great set up inside and a patio to eat on as well as some good chicken fingers! I ordered the #2, it’s big enough to share if you’re just wanting to watch some Tv, drink some soda, and have a bite to eat.”
-Eric Larsen

“Got the buffalo fries, they were great. Chicken tenders cut up on top of shoe string fries. Big enough to share. Husband ordered the double shack burger combo which is HUGE and delicious. The bun was fancy haha.”
-Brianna Wilson

“I have had better chicken at a Rallys…”
-Daniel Marshall

Okay, well, not everybody enjoyed it. But overall I hear many good things.

ABC 30 did a video about the place when it first opened that might be of some help:

Beer, yes, I almost forgot. They have craft beer!

There are not a ton of food places like this, that have any kind of craft beer selection. As a beer geek that gets super annoying. A Chicken Shack, there most certainly is some Tioga Sequoia on draft, so we can drink local at the very least:

Are there things for vegetarians?

Not really. I guess you should not expect much since the place is called “The CHICKEN Shack” but you might deserve to expect something, ya know. I guess you can at least get one of their salads, without meat. Veg eaters are used to improvising when eating out.

Best Time To Go To CHICKEN SHACK FRESNO

Obviously, the best times to go to restaurants, new, old or popular, are the off times. Between 2-5 or 11:00-11:30 AM. I have heard tell that they can even be busy during the week after 2.

Pro tip: You can call-ahead your order. Much less waiting that way. (559)-724-9857.

Here’s Where Things Get Weird

They painted the building blue. Which is cool because it is not ‘Fresno Beige’ and we need less beige around here. And they have a pretty good sign that fits well enough.

Then came the oddness.

(Photo by Daniel A Draper)

They painted panels of art around the building.

You see, the Chicken Shack happens to be located on “Renoir Corner”, which I didn’t know was a thing until now. It’s named that because of the Renoir sculpture located on that corner. So hence, the inspired panels.

But it just looks… off. The combination of the art panels, the blue and the sign that does not blend with this, makes it look a little hokey.  Now mind you, this is WAY better than just plain beige, so I guess I should shut up. Love the effort!

Listen to a review

Early on in this month’s Flowing With Famous podcast, Joshua Tehee gives me/us a review of the place. Definitely worth listening to if I do say so myself:

Eventually I’ll get around to eating some Chicken Shack food. If you have gone or plan NOT to go, feel free to leave me a comment on how it went or why you won’t go.

Do Not Camp At Busy Fresno Restaurants

The other morning I went to cozy Fresno breakfast spot, Benaddiction. Really great food, good service. The most interesting breakfast menu in Fresno for sure and arguably the best breakfast. You will order too much food, I’m telling you right now.

The problem with Benaddiction is: too damn small.

It’s tiny. Mini pancake tiny. Like, if you opened up a restaurant in your first apartment and there is no bedroom, tiny.

This is not what the post is about.

I’m not here to complain about Benaddiction. They are taking steps to find a bigger space and they are working well with what they have. I’m here to tell “campers” to go the hell home when they are done eating.

Campers are the people that hangout at their table and chitchat even though they are done eating and paying.

I suppose this is fine when the place is not busy and nobody is waiting for a table. But Benaddiction is ALWAYS busy and there is usually a 20 to 40 minute wait for a table.

I Witnessed Camping Myself

When last I was there, we waited 30 minutes for a table. When we sat down there was a table of two women finishing their meal.

By the time we were done with our breakfast and leaving, those same two women were still there talking. Dicks.

Look up and read the room, people. You can talk about what you bought at Target yesterday when you are in the parking lot.

That said, Pro Tip: You can do call-ahead seating at Benadictions using your Yelp app via their Yelp page.

Just don’t abuse your table time, k!?

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.

Needed: A Modern Times Taproom In Fresno!

There is no point to continue convincing Fieldwork Brewing to open a  taproom in Fresno. They used up their last available state allowed  5th tasting room spot on some boring Nor Cal place. So I have to move on.

But I am not stopping!

I will always lobby for some cool California brewer to open up a remote taproom so that we can add to our craft beer options, thus helping Fresno overflow its glass of radness.

So, let’s find a new one to convince to come here. A new California brewery to annoy until they open up in Fresno. That pick?:

Modern Times Brewing out of San Diego.

Why? They have excellent beer. Super cool marketing. Admirable philosophy towards beer culture and being independent. Plus, they have amazingly cool taprooms.

California allows breweries to have five taprooms. Modern Times has three in California, one in Portland (doesn’t count) and one being built in Escondido. So there is a spot left. I want that spot to be Fresno’s.

It’s like an Arthop night but all the time.

The taprooms are works of art. Not all the same, each reflects the personality of the town they are in. A Fresno one would be so fucking rad. It would be a place to brag about.

Look at the main one in Point Loma, nicknamed “Lomaland Fermentorium”, complete with the (pictured above) Michael Jackson & Bubbles mural made entirely of post-it notes:

Aren’t the existing Fresno taprooms enough?

Full Circle has its charms and good beer. Tioga is getting cooler as they are expanding. HOP PK is new and awesome and going down well with Fresnans. Pine & Palm just moved to a bigger cooler location. Tactical Ops is doing their thing near the airport. Zack’s Brewing and 411 Ales are opening later this year (knock on wood).

So brewing and taproom things are happening. It’s great. But we deserve more. Hell, Visalia has a Barrelhouse remote taproom. Fresno has none. We need one before Bakersfield, Merced and Madera all have one and we don’t.

Someday I want to see this on Modern Time’s Instagram feed:

You see that? They also serve excellent coffee. Fresno appreciates its coffee, we know this.

A remote taproom by Modern Times in Fresno would be epic. We can have things. Dammit, Fresno deserves things. We like-a the beer. It all fits.

I’ll go ahead and start working on a cool Fresno taproom nickname now, MT. Let’s make it happen.

*Picture credit to Sunset.com.

The One Fresno Restaurant To Take Visitors To

Another title for this post could be “How Cuca’s Become THE Restaurant To Represent Fresno!”

Cuca’s. Yeah, dude. Cuca’s Mexican restaurant in the Tower District.

Surprising? Yes. Wrong? Maybe. Let me tell you how I came to this conclusion and you can see if you agree with me.

So this very cool dude, Mike Rohde, who wrote the Sketchnote Handbook, was in Fresno to do a sketchnote workshop with some Fresno Unified School District teachers. A rad and progressive thing for FUSD to be doing, by the way.

It was the first time Mike had come to Fresno. He lives in Milwaukee.

He happened to have a free evening, knew I was a fan of his, and asked if I wanted to meet for dinner. Normally I would run away from such a request given my crushing shyness. But I saw this as an opportunity to be a Fresno embassador, so I worked past my anxiety and called Mike up to work out a place to meet.

HERE ARE MY PARAMETERS FOR FINDING A DINNER PLACE
  • Having only a few minutes to think about where.
  • Mike is staying downtown at the Radisson and can only Uber.
  • Budget is a concern for myself, not a giant concern but I can’t just go to any place in town regardless of how much the dinner bill would be.
  • Mike has been to Limon and Hop PK already.

Knowing Fresno is known for Mexican food and tri-tip, I wanted to plant the Fresno flag in one of those. Given that Mike is a creative guy and he had not been to the Tower District, I decided on figuring out a place to eat in the Tower.

No place in the Tower District comes to mind when I think tri-tip. So I am going with Mexican. Bobby Salazar’s is too damn bro-heavy on a Friday night. So, what I am left with (in my head) is Casa De Tamales or Cuca’s.

I have been going to Cuca’s for many many years. Never had a bad meal. Never had to wait for a table. Always quiet but not too quiet. Service is solid. Prices are reasonable. Cuca’s it is.

GOOD FRESNO TIMES

We met up. Had a great meal. Both had the carne asada plate. Mike told me he knew nothing about Fresno before he came here. I explained the inferiority complex Fresno has in relation to San Francisco and Los Angeles. He explains Milwaukee has the same thing in relation to Chicago.

Mike says that FUSD will probably bring him back to Fresno in the future. Maybe next time we’ll go for tri-tip.

By the way, here is a sketch Mike did of his meal at Limon:

A post shared by Mikey Seay | The Fresnan (@thefresnan) on *Picture taken from here