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dimsumgirl Apr 2, 2007 07:50 PM

My next stop in the Central Valley is Kingsburg. I got the Sal's rec for Selma just north of Kingsburg. Any other stops that I shouldn't leave the area without trying? Thanks!

  1. PolarBear Apr 6, 2007 12:38 PM

    One that's been on our radar for a while but haven't tried yet is
    (559) 897-4842
    1335 Draper St

    I asked our cousin, a long time K'burg resident (of Armenian background), about the place and also about who took over the former location of an area favorite of the past that had a phenomenal wine cellar. Here's the response in his own words:

    " The original restaurant was called Vallis' -- it was owned and run by the Vallis family (basically the mother and her two sons) the mother was the one who was in charge of the kitchen and her two sons were in charge of the wine. The mother and youngest son have passed away -- the oldest son Jim is an attorney (former judge) and his office is next to the restaurant. The Hye Life has taken over the restaurant. I think they also have purchased the wine cellar and its contents, but I'm not positive of that. I've eaten there twice -- know the family that is running it -- he was basically a country style Armenian cooking. They give you lots of food. I am very picky about Armenian cuisine -- personally, I do not feel it is worth the price -- but that's just me & my parents opinions. Michael worked for them for a while -- I have numerous friends in town that love the place. Personally, I like Jonathan's restaurant better. However, that is not Armenian cooking. A place that Diane and I both like for Armenian food is "Uncle Harry's" in Reedley.

    It's hard for me to recommend Armenian restaurants, as I am used to a special/regional type of Armenian cooking, and most of the places around here do not do that type of cooking. Many of the Armenian restaurants around here are Lebanese Armenians."

    1 Reply
    1. re: PolarBear
      tavmark Apr 7, 2007 06:32 PM

      And I can second what PBs friend says. Having married into an Armenian family that hails from Jordan, our tastes do run much more to a Lebanese style. Uncle Harry's in Reedley is good and so far as I know is one of the few Armenian restaurants in that area.

    2. Sam Fujisaka Apr 4, 2007 01:11 PM

      Does anyone know if the annual Kingsburg Watermelon Fesitval is still held? We went when I was a kid.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
        bigjimbray Apr 5, 2007 04:24 PM

        Sam Its still going on, I think its in aug. or sept.

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
          ben54 Apr 5, 2007 05:40 PM

          Sorry to be the bearer of bad news again, but the Watermelon Festival is a thing of the past. Was discontinued a few years ago. Don't know for sure why, but it used to be fun. The free watermelon was fine, but more importantly it had a nice family atmosphere.

          1. re: ben54
            Sam Fujisaka Apr 5, 2007 06:03 PM

            B54, that is what I remember from the 50s and early 60s. Glad it, at least, can be fondly remembered. And it was free ice cold watermelon on an always hot and long Central Valley evening.

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
              bigjimbray Apr 6, 2007 04:10 AM

              Sam I am sorry about not knowing, I have been away for a while. 14 yrs. I use
              to go to that every year. I knew the man that supplied the melons years ago.
              he grew them down by Traver where I came from. His name was K. Ota. he
              grew melons for years. that does bring back memories.

        2. g
          glbtrtr Apr 3, 2007 08:45 AM

          If you want Swedish pancakes, you need to get to the Dala Horse cafe before 11 am in Kingsburg on the main shopping street. Othewise, they have some Swedish plate lunches instead.

          There is also one of the last Big Orange roadside drive ins up Highway 99 - tatty and derilict but still a local favorite and fresh squeezed orange juice and shakes is still worth a stop to support this aging roadside icon.

          Be sure to detour into Visalia to visit the moving "End of the Trail" statue in their large city park.

          4 Replies
          1. re: glbtrtr
            bigjimbray Apr 3, 2007 03:56 PM

            That park is called mooneys grove. and the end of the trail statue is a replacement
            of the original one that is in oklahoma city cowboys hall of fame. My mother saw it
            back there in a room by its self made of alibaster. its really beautiful. the sculptor
            that made the original one is from san francisco and it was made of plaster and
            chicken wire.

            1. re: bigjimbray
              foodchick45 Apr 4, 2007 01:07 PM

              Actually I wouldn't recommend Mooney's Grove as it has become a haven for gang and drug activity in recent years...

              1. re: foodchick45
                glbtrtr Apr 5, 2007 04:20 PM

                The Visalia park did look a bit dicey but there is a protected veiwing area right in front of this amazing statute and one can access directly from the street and not enter the park. It is worth taking some time to see and feel all the agonzing detail and pathos of this iconic piece if one is in the area.

                The Big Orange stop is a highway stop - the highway noise for me was part of its atmosphere - and best to just stop for the fresh-squeeze and orange shakes. It deserves support. It is the last of its kind. Make a donation in support of historic presevation of these former great roadside monuments by buying your highway beverages there.

                Wish there was a local group who would volunteer a fresh coat of orange paint and a little plaster repair - local Chowhounders in that area -how about it?

            2. re: glbtrtr
              ricepad Apr 4, 2007 02:09 PM

              I wouldn't bother with the Mammoth Orange. The last time I stopped there, the burgers were so-so but overpriced, and the roar of the highway (about 150 feet away) was deafening.

            3. b
              bigjimbray Apr 2, 2007 08:17 PM

              there is one place I think It is waffles/ribs, I haven`t been there but my brother and
              wife really like the place. Its right across the street from the swedish mill.

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