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Fresno: called for US District Court jury duty

I have been pulled for the US Federal Court jury duty at 2500 Tulare in Fresno. I am at risk for one month starting Nov 18 and potentially liable for multiple trips to the court. I live far enough away to qualify for a motel room. If I am called, I would plan to stay up north around Shaw or the airport.

What I need:
1. Decent lunch near (enough) to the court.
2. Decent breakfast along/near Shaw and/or FAT.
3. I will go anywhere for dinner. I like all kinds of food. Cost is not an object so anything from holes in the wall to high end is good.

I know 2 and 3 are are nearly unreliably vague especially wrt location. Sorry.

Thanks, Tom Hall

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  1. 1. Here's a link with all the downtown spots w/ addys and phone nos.

    http://www.downtownfresno.org/dining....

    Within a half mile or so to the NE (away from downtown) at U St. is the Mediterranean Grill, closer is Shepherd's Inn (Basque) x from the Amtrac station, can't vouch for 'em, would head the other direction to the Old Basque Hotel. Across the street is George's Shish Kebab, also a little Mexican place I've been meaning to try, Lily's.

    Half mile the other direction (toward downtown) is Fulton Mall, Milano's has gotten some favorable reviews (haven't tried), I had a mocajete chicken dish at Los Panchos a couple of years ago that was pretty good, off to the west (NW actually) on Van Ness just past Fresno St. are Mezcal (decent Mex. buffet) and the Smokehouse across the street. If you continue across the tracks on Tulare St. there is Mama Lo's just off to the left on F St. Smokey's is another short couple of blocks.

    In this same area one block left to Kern St. is Central Fish (G St.), La Elegante Taqueria, and Chris' Market (April Meat Co.), the latter is takeout only. One block over the other direction at Fresno and G is the Cosmopolitan Tavern.

    A short drive away would be Zamora's (N. Fresno St. btw Belmont & Olive), a little hole in the wall El Taco Rapido at the NW corner of Tulare and First that has great pozole. Across the street diagonally is a Mexican supermarket with a food court.

    2. The FAT area is pretty much a dead zone exc. for chains. Only breakfast I could reco would be the Country Fare Cafe (Mex.) on Belmont which is @ half way to downtown. On Shaw Ave (I assume you mean around Hwy 41?) there's BJ's at Shaw and First (NE) and another just south of Shaw on Blackstone (SE) for a typical American style, Leon's a mile south (NW at Ashlan) for good huevos rancheros, etc. or even Don Pepe's (SE at Gettysburg) would probably whip up something for you, don't know if they list any breakfast items.

    3. Too broad, you'll need to give us some more info.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PolarBear

      PB's link is good and prety much covers the places downtown.

      Sushi Hana is very good and in easy walking distance. I'd also suggest George's (in the Galleria) - about a block and a half from the courthouse. The mexican place in there is okay. (Not Lily's which is on Tulare.) There's a GoodFella's in there as well. Not my cup of tea but sometimes you go with what's close by. Le Roi had a bakery that served lunch items. Not sure if he's still open (think so). I'd skip Kikku's (japanese next door to Lily's).

      The Fulton Mall has some places on the link. Think I've only tried one and it was so so. There are a number of downtown places that do a $5 Friday lunch special. (If you have to be there on Fridays.) The Packing Shed which was north of Fresno Street (on Merced?) has large good sandwiches.

      For dinner, if I read the post correctly, you'd drive somewhere? If so, run "Fresno" as a search. there are a number of favorite places ranging from Cracked Pepper Bistro (Fresno & Shaw) to Trelio (downtown Clovis) to North India Bar and Grill (Herndon and Minnewawa). If you narrow it down geographically, maybe we can be of more help.

      Oh, last thought, there is a culinary school out by FAT that used to do these special lunches on the last (?) Friday of the month. The food was supposed to be pretty good. Never got there myself but heard really good things about it.

      1. re: tavmark

        I'll endorse the Cracked Pepper Bistro. It's a wonderful dinner. I really really need to get back to Trelio. It's literally 2 miles from me and I haven't been in years!

    2. Tom, you lucky dog! When I was on the Federal Grand Jury, my service was once or twice a week for a year and a half. If your assignment is anything like that, you are in for some good eating! I only get the opportuntiy to enjoy Fresno dining two or three times a year when I am there on business. I can't respond to #1 or #2, but the standouts for me are Cracked Pepper Bistro and Thai Royal Orchid for dinner. As you can see from the replies that you have received, the Fresno hounds are very helpful and friendly. They have been most kind and generous to me and I am sure you will find the same welcoming spirit in your communciations. Enjoy and please report back!

      4 Replies
      1. re: dimsumgirl

        I think Tom pulled simple jury duty, but if he is chosen those trials could go on for weeks or months. Fresno has a new Federal Court building and it is quite plush. I ditto the recommendations of Polar Bear for downtown lunches and dimsumgirl for suppers. I've been on a Thai and Vietnamese mission and I love Thai Royal Orchid.

        I would approach the potential stay from another direction. I would try to get lodging in the north end of town near freeway 41, then I could easily commute to downtown and at the end of the day I could hit some of the recommended restaurants. TRO is near Herndon and so is Wassabi (awesome sushi), The Phoenician (mediterranean cuisine), By The Sea, the Riverpark restaurants, and a little farther away - the Fig Garden restaurants. You can search the Fresno board for a bunch of threads on these places. Oh and I almost forgot - Hunan Restaurant, near Cedar and Herndon - make sure to request the Chef's menu or you'll get an American-Chinese menu they have had to adopt for some customers.

        The hotels near Herndon are new and clean. Here are some links.

        Springhill Suites (Marriott) http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-s...

        Comfort Suites
        http://www.hotelstravel.com/North_Ame...

        Holiday Inn Express
        http://www.hiexpress.com/h/d/ex/1/en/...

        Homewood Suites (Hilton)
        http://homewoodsuites1.hilton.com/en_...

        Good luck and good eating.

        1. re: fresnohotspot

          I goofed - this is the Holiday Inn Express in north Fresno -
          http://www.hiexpress.com/h/d/ex/1/en/...

          For Asian fare you can try the dim sum or chinese cuisine at Imperial Garden, a chowhound favorite of the locals. There are also some great southeast Asian joints. Here is a thread on B & K Asian Kitchen (Lao and Thai)
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/540607

          There are also 4 Pho restaurants near the intersection of McKinley and First, I like Pho 99 and Pho #1.

          1. re: fresnohotspot

            Apologies for the minor picking of nits....

            >>Hunan Restaurant, near Cedar and Herndon - make sure to request the Chef's menu or you'll get an American-Chinese menu they have had to adopt for some customers.>>

            It was the American-Chinese menu that, unfortunately, Chef Liu was forced to retain, when he arrived about 4 years ago from China Village in Albany, in order to keep the built up clientele and generate revenue. The sad part has been, that if you walked in during the meantime and were Anglo, it was assumed that was what you wanted. Hopefully Chowhound is raising the bar of awareness for our local treasure.

            1. re: PolarBear

              - better said PB.

              And yes, hounds should take the opportunity while we have a world class chef in our backyard at Hunan.

        2. Two caveats:

          I won't eat at Mezcal Grill downtown. I was there one time, I watched a server pick up a hotel pan of vegetables from the buffet table, walk it into the glassed-in kitchen, and dump the contents into a skillet with other veg, heat it all up and then re-pour it back into the hotel pan and return it to the buffet.

          I don't know if I'm overreacting or not, but IMHO that indicates an appalling lack of care for the food and customers, and I don't know if that act would be a violation of health code.

          Secondly, Wassabi makes good-tasting sushi rolls, but they're very Americanized--huge, akward to eat things. I think it's the sushi equivalent of In & Out's Double Double! LOL....

          1 Reply
          1. re: KenWritez

            Ixnay on the Mezcal Grill veggies - thanks for the heads up.

            The second caveat is almost a temptation... hmmmm, Double Double Spicy Tuna.

          2. Great help including room advice. I will stay off 41 up north. I have been deferred from jury duty 3 times and check back in Fri, Dec 5. Thanks.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Tom Hall

              Well. I never was called. The Modesto Bee had an article a couple weeks ago and I was very "lucky" as only about 7500 people a year are put on call for the Eastern California Federal Court for jury duty and fewer than 2500 annually actually have to report to the
              court.

              I actually like Fresno a lot, having spent 4 years there in the late 70's- early 80's and would have enjoyed a reason to return. As always, I appreciate the 'hounds input, especially those in central CA.

              1. re: Tom Hall

                Let the local hounds know when you are in town and we will try to point you in the right direction for the current hot spots... Heh heh.