Restaurants & Bars 1

Report, in and around Fresno (long)

Deelish | Mar 4, 2004 08:36 PM

The Fresno Chowhounds turned out to have amazing recommendations. We lunched in Los Banos on the way at the Woolgrowers, dined at Georges on Blackstone, snacked at Hungry Bear in the Fig Garden Village and Laucks Bakery on Olive, had a great meal at Cuca's on Olive, and terrific breakfast at BJ's Country Kitchen on Blackstone.

Several places we tried to go were closed on Sunday and we were very disappointed. They were La Posada and Corner Cafe in Clovis, Daily Planet and Chicken Pie Place in Tower District.

Woolgrowers: For $12 per person we thought the quality was high, taste was great and the value was tremendous. We had the usual mixed vegie/noodle soup and salad with a good garlic dressing. The bread was average and some of our party really liked the bowl of beans, but I found them boring. The lamb shank stew was the best thing we had, big pieces of flavorful lamb in a rich, saucy gravy with potatoes, carrots and onions. This was followed by very good garlicy juicy lamb chops and pork chops which were dry, overcooked and tough. The french fries were also decent. To end this extravaganza with a little prepackaged cup of vanilla ice cream seemed silly and out of place considering all the fresh food.

At Georges we ordered tasty appetizers and a moussaka which was not good. The hummos was full of tahini, the yogurt was thick and tangy, the dolmas were juicy, the tabooleh had so much parsley we felt cleansed from one bite and they all came with very good fresh, warmed pita triangles. We should have ordered the kebabs, but didn't want any more meat after Woolgrowers.

We tried many cookies at Hungry Bear and all were warm, chewy and lucious, I especially liked the dark chocolate covered peanut butter. At Laucks we ate a Borreck (sp?) which was average, but the pecan bun was divine. We also picked up some yummy parkerhouse rolls and irish soda bread to take home.

Cuca's proved to be a great find. We had a great chile verde, tasty enchilladas, and one of the best bowls of posole I have ever had. We loved their homemade tortillas. The flan for dessert was forgettable, but the bunuelos were hot and crispy with just the right amount of cinnamon.

Again, chile verde was ordered but this time in a fabulous omelet at BJ's Country Kitchen, a winner. The meats accompanying egg dishes were generous and good, potatoes were bland. We found the biscuits that were really muffins not to our liking, the coffee was bad, there was only margarine instead of butter and the jam on the table was packaged to look like homemade but it wasn't.

At roadside stands in Sanger and Orange Cove we bought lovely navel oranges, and mexican pastries. On the way home we detoured to Le Grand for organic pistachios and almonds at Buchannan Hollow which I totally recommend for nuts and confections. Then stopped by the Hilmar Cheese Co for a sandwich picnic and cheese to take home. It was a blossom and food filled weekend and all of us want to go back to explore some of the places we missed. Thank you all for your tips.

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