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East coast pizza in Fresno?

foodchick45 Apr 4, 2007 01:15 PM

I grew up in Reedley, where we had a real Italian pizza place called Valentino's.. when you walked in the smell from the food was incredible...everything was homemade by the family.. and I have yet to find anything close to that here in Fresno... there is something really blah about the dough here... the dough on Valentino's pizza was not overly soft..it took some chewing.. and it was charred on the bottom and sides like east coast pizzas... the only dough choices here seem to be cardboard and grease, or overly soft bland dough... any suggestions?

  1. j
    jvgordon Apr 4, 2007 08:07 PM

    I'm partial to Popolo's pizza (Herndon & Blackstone), but I can't promise crust that matches the style you are looking for. In general, native Fresno pizza places seem to tend toward California-style pizza, as you might expect.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jvgordon
      foodchick45 Apr 4, 2007 08:59 PM

      Popolo's is one of the better Fresno pizzas.. I was rather dissappointed with Mother Mary's Wood Fired version.. I guess you have to know how to properly work the wood fired oven..just having it isn't quite enough..

    2. PolarBear Apr 4, 2007 03:47 PM

      Nice topic, hope someone has discovered a place. Google shows that Valentino's is still around on Manning Ave, would you know if they still do it the same way, owned by the same folks?

      6 Replies
      1. re: PolarBear
        foodchick45 Apr 4, 2007 04:14 PM

        From my sources still living in Reedley, after the old man died the family sold the place and the new owners retained the name.. they say it isn't the same at all... same exact story with New China restaurant after the matriarch died.. time marches on, but good food doesn't always....

        1. re: foodchick45
          PolarBear Apr 4, 2007 04:33 PM

          Sad, but time does change things, I recall some nice meals at New China in the past. What do your local sources say about Garden Gourmet Deli (or whatever it's called now), it was a really wonderful addition to their dining scene 10-15 years ago, unfortunately don't get out that way often enough. We did have a great meal and time at Jon's Bear Club a month or two ago.

          1. re: PolarBear
            foodchick45 Apr 4, 2007 05:08 PM

            Gourmet Garden Deli is run by an old friend of mine and his wife, the Hassetts. I haven't eaten there, but can vouch that Bill is an excellent chef.. he started his career at Alioto's in SF in the late 60's early 70's, then switched gears and became gas station owner for awhile before switching back to his first love of cooking. It must run in his family because his brother Ron who used to be chef over at Silver Dollar Hofbrau is now head of food over at the Save Mart Center.
            Jon's Bear Club is also a local gem with great food and another friend of mine is sous chef over there..

            1. re: foodchick45
              PolarBear Apr 4, 2007 05:22 PM

              That's good enough for me, need to get back to GGD soon. Jon Koobatian at JBC has been a model of consistency for decades, reminds me of the late Outpost in Fresno.
              Side note, just happened to be at the Int'l Water Techology Conf. at the Save Mart on Monday and heard raves about the luncheon they put on for the attendees, had to bite my tongue to keep from asking if the CSUF catering put in on, which we've had nothing but disappointment with in the past, apparently not. Wonder if they're available for on campus teacher education workshops, etc?

              1. re: PolarBear
                b
                ben54 Apr 5, 2007 12:06 AM

                Gourmet Gardens has been closed for a couple of years. In fact, Valentino's has taken its place on G Street in Reedley. Last I heard, Bill was taking care of the kitchen at one of the fruit packing houses in the area, cooking for the employees, lucky people. New China? The one in Fresno or Reedley?

                1. re: ben54
                  foodchick45 Apr 5, 2007 04:55 AM

                  wow...didn't know that about Gourmet Garden, didn't think it would ever close.. as far as New China, I meant the one in Reedley..

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