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Feb 23, 2010 09:59 PM

Fresno: Where can I find a Monte Cristo sandwich?

We are not Fresno natives and don't know the restaurants here very well, short of what we have learned of on Chowhound.

Does anyone know where I could find a Monte Cristo sandwich in or around Fresno? Preferably the kind that is battered and deep fried.


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  1. This may sound a little strange, but the best Monte Cristo is at a tea parlour in Clovis called Victoria Rose Cottage (in Old Town Clovis, on Pollasky and 4th). I kid you not. The restaurant uses the same recipe that a famous place (known for the Monte Cristo) in Disneyland does, can't think of the name though. VR Cottage batter dips, fries and dusts their Cristo with powdered sugar, served with a fruit compote (or jam) on the side. Hope you try it!!

    Don't let the decor throw you off (it is really over-the-top brocade and antiques), the experience is really fun!!

    8 Replies
    1. re: cocktailqueen77

      Wow, I feel dumb now. I actually live on Pollasky about 3 or 4 blocks from there, I just never had any desire for tea and fancy deserts. Not to mention, it is just not my ambiance. I like antiques, but yea the brocade and lace kept my wife and I shying away. But no matter, I want a Monte Cristo. Do you think they would have a problem with T-shirt and shorts? (Yes, I wear T-shirt and shorts even during the winter. The cold doesn't bother me)

      Thank you for the advise CocktailQueen77.

      1. re: livid_imp

        Go ahead and wear t-shirts and shorts, if the waitresses have to wear fluffy hats - well, you can wear whatever you want!! In all honesty, VRC does not get many men coming through its doors, but it is a restaurant in OTC (where cowboy boots are a-plenty), so I don't think that it will be a big deal. I hope the MC is as good as I remember (it was amazing, on many visits), I haven't trekked to Clovis in awhile.

        Let us know how it is!!

        1. re: cocktailqueen77

          I finally got around to trying this out. And yes, the Monte Cristo was delicious. It was whole battered and deep fried the way it should be (unlike some restaurants which try to pass a french toast sandwich off as a Monte Cristo). It was fried well and not greasy at all. The batter was crisp on the outside, soft and light on the inside. It was a little light on the ham and the dusting of powered sugar for my more pedestrian tastes, but I suspect a finer palate would find them perfect. It came with a side of pineapple compote. I had the broccoli cheese soup with it, which may have been more cream than cheese or broccoli. I found it rich enough, but fairly flavorless. The addition of some salt and pepper helped it out.

          My wife had a roast beef sandwich. The veggies on the sandwich were very fresh, the roast beef was tender and the horseradish was mild, but it was otherwise unremarkable. She had the mixed greens salad with ranch dressing. The greens were very fresh and the cucumber was sweet and mild (a nice break from the skunky grocery store veggies we normally have to eat). The ranch had a slightly blue cheese flavor which my wife suspected was a squirt of lemon in the dressing. Either way, I really enjoyed it.

          My wife also had the creme brulee tea which was excellent, even without sugar or cream. Perhaps the best tea I have had in my very limited experience. I am not much of a tea drinker, but I'll definitely trying other teas there in future trips. Who would have guessed that the tea cottage would have excellent tea? ;)

          Those are the important bits. Now for the atmosphere...
          Victoria Rose Cottage looks like a bomb filled with tea pots, doilies, and Victorian costumes went off in it. Of course this is their theme, and I am definitely not their target customer. The amount of brik-a-brak in somewhat tight spaces wouldn't bother most smaller women, but as a large man with all the grace of a walrus, I found it nerve wracking. It made it a little difficult to enjoy myself.

          My T-shirt, shorts, and unshaven appearance did evoke a few stares from the patrons, so as to say "are you lost?" But despite their proper Victorian outfits, the staff was extremely friendly and down to Earth.

          I was mistakenly handed a check for another table which said "Afternoon Tea $94" and I swear I felt my heart stop. I don't know what kind of tea runs $94, but it better be filled with an illicit substance that makes me want to clean my house for three days and nights. Thankfully when my bill was handed to me it was only $30, which is very reasonable considering the quality of the food. We would have spent that much at a chain coffee shop.

          Overall a pleasant experience. Victoria Rose Cottage is a "hidden in plain sight" gem in Clovis. We'll be back.

          Victoria Rose Cottage
          356 Pollasky Ave, Clovis, CA 93612

          1. re: livid_imp

            Glad you enjoyed it!! The decor is really over-the-top, but I suppose some people love it (not my style either).

            1. re: cocktailqueen77

              I'm glad you enjoyed your time at Victoria Rose Cottage, it's nice for dinner, too. We are weekly regulars at The Corner Cafe across the street, Giovanni's Cafe a few doors down is another great place for a meal in this area. Thanks for the report back! :)

              Victoria Rose Cottage
              356 Pollasky Ave, Clovis, CA 93612

      2. re: cocktailqueen77

        Hey CQ! Been wondering whatever happened with Imbibe Fresno?

        1. re: EatingoutFresno

          Wow, I didn't think anyone actually paid attention to my experimental blog!! Thank you, EOF - you have made my day!!

          I have been meaning to pick it back up, but I have been finishing up my BA (tons of extra classes, had to finish up the general stuff online) and working a ton. Lately, looking at computer screen has gotten me all dazed and confused. Plus, I had to spend almost a month in Albuquerque (my dad passed away) so that has taken some of my steam.

          I have a tone of news, so I'll get to updating. I'm sure Fresno has some cocktails coming my way (or visa versa)... :)

          1. re: cocktailqueen77

            My condolensces about your father passing away.

            But very glad that you're planning on hitting up the blog again! It'll be nice to have a fellow blogger on the booze crew side of the bloggosphere. hehe