Help me plan a weekend trip to Fresno
Los Angeles howhound driving up to Fresno tomorrow morning and I need help with a few meals. We'd like somewhere to grab a light afternoon lunch when we get there. We're staying at the Courtyard Marriott on Shaw so somewhere near there would be great, but we're also fine driving. Maybe somewhere with good tacos or a great sandwich? We also need a place for dinner that night. A date type place would be great, but delicious food is the highest priority so if the atmosphere is lacking, that's fine, probably no more than $50/pp for food. Finally, I love breakfast/brunch. What's the best place in Fresno to grab brunch the next morning? Thanks in advance and I'll make sure to report back!
Hi there mollyo! Seen you on CH for awhile - always enjoyed your posts!!
mangOsteen (not tacos, but great food) - SW corner of Fresno and Shaw
Don Pepe's - Blackstone & Gettysburg
Campagnia's - pricier, but there really aren't too many options for brunch here
Imperial Garden (not brunch but GREAT dim sum) - Blackstone & N/Sierra
Thank you so much again for taking the time to respond to my query, cocktailqueen! Thanks to you, we ate incredibly well in Fresno.
We got into town around 3:30 and headed to mangOsteen for what we had planned to be a late lunch. We arrived to an empty but pretty restaurant and received excellent service as the only table in the house. the waitree brought us shrimp chips to start and we decided to share appetizers of the escargot in banana leaves and the kabocha soup.
The escargot was an interesting sort of chewy texture that was a little odd at first but definitely grew on us. The escargot seemed to be mixed into a sort of batter and then formed into finger shaped dumplings and then steamed with a piece of lemongrass inside. My boyfriend had never tried lemongrass and was absolutely taken with the scent and flavor it imparted.
The kabocha soup didn't soup or look especially interesting, but I love kabocha so was excited to try it. Oh my, was I in for a surprise. In a year where I have been fortunate to eat some amazing meals, this was one of the top ten best dishes of the year for me. The broth was so perfectly balanced and delicately sweet from the kabocha and the kabocha itself was beautifully cooked as well. I am dreaming about this soup and considering asking for the recipe since Fresno is a little far of a drive.
For an entree, we shared a side of the garlic noodles and the twice fried eggplant with tofu and sugar peas. All of this was absolutely delicious, but I was so focused on the soup, we barely made a dent in either dish. The waitress brought us a complimentary order of bow ties and we shared a bowl of the guava sorbet for desert. Although we had been planning to go to dinner later in the night, we were both so stuffed and had so many leftovers that we just couldn't. We also got the mangosteen shot, which at $5 was the only disappointment of the meal. I think the total came out to around $35.
The next morning, we decided to check out Imperial Gardens for dim sum and despite doing no research besides here, we were lucky enough to arrive there on the dot of eleven just as they were opening and so we were able to score a seat as part of the first seating. This was great dim sum and my only regret was that there were only two of us so we were very limited in what we could sample. My boyfriend had never tried dim sum but really enjoyed it, especially when they brought the bill and it was $16 for so much food.
Thank you again for the great advice. I don't think either of us we're expecting that food would be such a high point of our trip but it was!
Imperial Garden Restaurant
6640 N Blackstone Ave Ste 108, Fresno, CA 93710