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Armenian Food in Fresno?

n
Nanaimo Bar Feb 13, 2002 10:36 AM

Is there Armenian food in Fresno worth going out of one's way for?

Thank you.

  1. j
    Jets Feb 13, 2002 04:08 PM

    I previously mentioned George's near the convention center in the downtown area. Open for breakfast and lunch, open for dinner if there is a Fresno State basketball game, in which case it is too crowded to go to. Has all the favorites. Good shish kabob & lamb shanks. Shish kabob & eggs are great for breakfast. Jerry Tarkanian eats there, and it is filled with lawyers and judges at lunch. Also a George's in North Fresno on Blackstone, which is open for dinner.

    There is also a restaurant called "Armenian Crusine" which I have heard good things about, but never eaten there. It is on the corner of Bullard/Palm.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jets
      k
      Kriss Reed Feb 15, 2002 10:25 AM

      Ate at the George's on Blackstone a few years ago, and it was a good experience. Lamb lovers will be very happy here, though I remember the wine list as somewhat pedestrian.

      1. re: Jets
        f
        FAT Traveler Aug 28, 2006 04:05 AM

        I'm pretty sure that Armenian Cuisine is gone. That location is now a Pakistani restaurant.

      2. j
        Jill Cornwell Feb 15, 2002 11:15 AM

        Anyone know of an Armenian bakery? In the 70's, we always stopped in Fresno to get what we called Armenian bread - not cracker bread, but a soft round loaf with sesame seeds on top that was scored so that you could break off servings. I'll be driving through soon, and would love to get some, if available.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jill Cornwell
          g
          Gar Feb 15, 2002 06:27 PM

          Valley Bakery on "M" Street, south of Ventura Street, has peda bread, which is what I think you're describing. Nothing beats fresh peda bread. Think they close around mid-afternoon.

        2. t
          teagal Aug 28, 2006 12:37 AM

          I am looking for souboreg an armenian lasagna. My Mom used to buy it in the 1960-1990's and freeze it. It is a thin noodle dough with layers of a white cheese, butter and parsley.
          Where can I find this and can it be shipped out of town.
          Thanks,
          teagal

          1 Reply
          1. re: teagal
            f
            FAT Traveler Aug 28, 2006 04:07 AM

            There is a small Medeteranian market on the NW corner of West and Bullard that carries excellent Souberag. The best we've been able to find since the little old lady in the Tower District died or went out of business.

          2. t
            tavmark Aug 28, 2006 01:51 PM

            Souboureg can also be found at Mone's Deli - corner of Cedar and Nees. I would also try Fresno Deli at the corner of Fresno and Gettysburg.

            Teagal, I am sure it can be shipped but you probably have to do it yourself. As far as I know none of the delis have shipping services. You would want to make sure it stays frozen. You can purchase dry ice now from most of the Savemarts (local grocery chain) in town. Beware, the shipping may be expensive if it neds to go to say Chicago in a couple of days. (I have personal experience with this as I shipped some che kirfta meat there last summer.)

            1. l
              Lisachocoholic Oct 30, 2006 06:34 AM

              There is also Bedrosian's Armenian deli, in the shopping center on the NW corner of Ashlan & First.

              I wish I could remember the name of the bakery item I had...it was flaky and delicious, very simple...and they probably used about 10 pounds of butter per square inch.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Lisachocoholic
                t
                tavmark Oct 30, 2006 02:43 PM

                Lisa,

                Was it soubourek? Or was it more of a desert item?

                1. re: tavmark
                  l
                  Lisachocoholic Oct 30, 2006 07:46 PM

                  Dessert - like a cookie of sorts....

                  I think I'm going to visit Bedrosian's this afternoon. It's been a while!

                  1. re: Lisachocoholic
                    t
                    tavmark Oct 31, 2006 02:55 AM

                    Baklava?? Or a butter cookie? (I will figure this out, trust me. :))) )

                    1. re: tavmark
                      l
                      Lisachocoholic Oct 31, 2006 04:59 AM

                      Wow, what an experience!

                      I did stop by and got a sampler meal to-go. (Please forgive any misspellings.) It had kalanchi (stuffed grape leaves), koofta (lamb meatballs with a covering of more lamb and cracked wheat), lahmajoon, cheese berag (I think that's the right name) lots of buttery pilaf, and a cold grilled eggplant salad. YUMMMMMY! The kooftah was my favorite. The meal cost $8.15, but it was enough for my lunch and dinner.

                      I called when I had questions about the koofta, and the owner chatted with me for about 20 minutes. Now *that* is the type of business I like to support. He went into detail about how the foods are made, gave me some personal history, and even invited me to come by and meet in person. I like that "small town" feeling.

                      Teagal asked about souboreg - they have a sign advertising "homemade souboreg" there. The lady who waited on me said they can't make enough of it at the holidays. Hopefully teagal will come back to read this post.

                      As for the dessert - it was kata (their spelling, but when I searched Google I got more hits for "gata"). I wanted to buy some for dessert, but they only had it by the dozen, so I got two "sigarettes" which are rolled with walnuts in the middle, and really should be called "cigars" if we're going by size;-)

                      They also sell some foods, and I did see lavosh and peda bread.

                      1. re: Lisachocoholic
                        t
                        tavmark Oct 31, 2006 12:44 PM

                        Lisa, Glad you liked it. I can tell from the phonetics what you had. My husband's mother still makes the koufta (we call it kirfta) by hand. Some friends have described them as "Armenian footballs" (hers are palm sized and fried but I have seen much bigger ones that are sometimes boiled.) Cheese boureg is also a favorite - triangles of phyllo, white cheese and parsley. And from your description I know the dessert as well.

                        If you want to branch out a little, I suggest trying vosp kirfta around Easter. Vosp is lentil and this is a lentil puree that is made for Lent.

                2. re: Lisachocoholic
                  f
                  foodie_girl Dec 13, 2006 09:21 PM

                  I LOVE BEDROSIAN! I am always in search for non-fast food places. I'm not Armenian, but if I was, I can say it taste like homecooking to me.

                3. p
                  pkatwillobee Oct 30, 2006 10:58 PM

                  I was just at Karabakh Market which used to be at First and Shaw and now has moved to the First and Barstow shopping center. Picked up pita, tahini, pomegranate molasses and garbanzos for hummus. Well stocked, produce, deli counter and baked goods, etc.

                  1. r
                    rtaheri Dec 29, 2006 10:45 PM

                    Hi folks,
                    I am going to Fresno in a week, and want to have dinner at an Armenian Restaurant. I have eaten at a couple of George‘s locations before, and wouldn't mind dining there again. I am also game for a place I haven't tried before. Here is the catch: I am bringing a soccer team of 10-year old girls and their parents there for a tournament. I know that many of the young ones, and maybe even a few of the parents, would rather eat at a Chili‘s/Chevy's/McD than an ethnic place. So, I want to pick a place that is not intimidating for a first-timer if you know what I mean. It would also have to have a large room that would fit 30+ people. I recall one of the George's locations had a banquet room. Any other suggestions?

                    Thanks,
                    Reza

                    1. sillyrabbit Dec 30, 2006 04:16 PM

                      An Armenian friend held her son's baptism party at The Phoenician Garden at 1025 E. Herndon. Although I didn't attend, I remember that they were able to accommodate a large group. She raved about the food, and I trust her opinion on Armenian food because she's an excellent cook. I'm sure the less adventurous in your group would enjoy chicken kebabs and pilaf.

                      I personally do not care for George's on Herndon. It leans towards Russian-Armenian food, but I prefer Lebanese-Armenian. The other George's is downtown in the Galleria but isn't open at night.

                      One of the best restaurants (actually, delis) in town is IZI Deli near Chestnut and Butler. It's not much to look at, but the food and service are amazing! The couple who owns it is always there. Their hummos is fabulous- I usually pick up a pint to take hoe after my meal, because it's the best I've had. It's even better than my mom's! Their pilaf is outstanding, as well, and you can frequently get choreg and other pastries hot just out of the oven.

                      Hope this helps!

                      Here's a link re: Phoenician Garden:
                      http://fresno.citysearch.com/review/3...

                      1. t
                        tavmark Dec 31, 2006 04:08 PM

                        I haven't been in a while but Phoenician Garden was good when I went. I agree it is a good choice for a larger group. It's in the strip mall at First and Herndon where TGIFriday's is. And BTW - in the same strip mall is The Parision (I think that's the name) that has really excellent croisaants.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tavmark
                          sillyrabbit Dec 31, 2006 04:31 PM

                          Their croissants and French bread are divine.

                        2. r
                          rtaheri Jan 7, 2007 05:22 AM

                          An update: we went to George's on Bullard, and had a terrible experience. The food was OK, but they were rude, and it was unreasonably expensive. I don't want to go on a rant, but feel that I should provide a little bit of detail if I blast the place. They were not very cooperative with us on the phone in the first place. Once there, they wouldn't take individual orders. They demanded that someone in the party take a count of each type of dish and give them the total. As expected, we took the wrong count. We ended up with 3 extra plates. I can't really blame this on myself since it hasn't happened anywhere else. And the bill for 29 adults and 18 children came to $1,228, without any wine and only a few beers!! Does it really make sense to charge ~20 for a shishkabab in Fresno?

                          Reza

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: rtaheri
                            f
                            FAT Traveler Jan 7, 2007 04:35 PM

                            I've tried dinner there a few times and wouldn't go back. Lunch, however, is another matter. The food is good and the service at lunch has always been friendly and accomodating. I understand your complaint about service but, frankly, feeding 47 people for $1,228 including tax and tip doesn't sound too bad.

                            1. re: rtaheri
                              sillyrabbit Jan 7, 2007 05:00 PM

                              I found that the food and service between the George's restaurants are wildly different. Don't ignore the George's at the Galleria based on your experience... The food is much better and the service is friendly, accommodating, and quick (with the exception of one surly waitress, but she's just kinda funny.)

                              1. re: sillyrabbit
                                t
                                tavmark Jan 8, 2007 12:13 AM

                                I'll second this. (I also know the owner and he's a really good guy.) So if you go, go to the one at the Galleria. Open for breakfast and lunch everyday except Sunday.

                            2. Melanie Wong Oct 15, 2008 09:28 PM

                              This seems to be an evergreen thread, so I'll add my question here. I want to put together a picnic lunch from Fresno's Armenian delis, restaurants and bakeries. Cold cuts, salads and spreads, pastries, breads, whatever you think I should try. We'll need to pick up our purchases before 10am on Saturday. I'll paste below the names of the Armenian spots identified in town so far. Would love to hear who's good and who's not and what the best things each has to offer. Thanks in advance!

                              1. Karabakh International Market

                              777 E Barstow Ave Fresno CA


                              2. Ohanyan's International Deli

                              1335 W Shields Ave Fresno CA


                              3. Bedrosian's Armenian Deli

                              3051 E Ashlan Ave Fresno CA


                              4. George's Shish Kebab

                              2405 Capitol St # 110, Fresno, CA


                              5. Mediterranean Grill

                              1031 U St Fresno CA


                              6. Izi Deli

                              4821 E Butler Ave, Fresno, CA


                              7. Occasion Bakery

                              4573 N Fresno St Fresno CA


                              8. Fresno Deli

                              2450 E Gettysburg Ave Fresno CA

                              9. A J's Armenian Cuisine

                              5048 N Maroa Ave Fresno CA

                              10. Hye Deli

                              3083 W Bullard Ave Fresno CA


                              11. Diana's Restaurant

                              3050 W Shaw Ave # 106 Fresno CA


                              12. Nina's Bakery

                              2022 W Shaw Ave Fresno CA

                              13. Yerevan

                              7747 N 1st St Fresno CA


                              14. George's Bar & Grill

                              6680 N Blackstone Ave Fresno CA


                              15. Marats Restaurant

                              8961 N Cedar Ave Fresno CA

                              16. Valley Lahvosh Baking Co

                              502 M St, Fresno, CA

                              17. Phoenician Garden

                              1025 E Herndon Ave # 106,Fresno,CA

                              18. King of Kabobs

                              424 E Bullard Ave,Fresno,CA

                              19. Zlfred's Restaurant

                              4030 N Blackstone Ave, Fresno, CA

                              28 Replies
                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                t
                                tavmark Oct 15, 2008 10:46 PM

                                I lost my whole long post. I'll e-mail you.

                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                  PolarBear Oct 16, 2008 08:57 AM

                                  Tavmark's our local expert, hopefully she'll repost any major corrections. After a quick once over...

                                  4 & 5, iirc are M-F lunches only,

                                  11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19 are sit down restaurants

                                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                                    PolarBear Oct 16, 2008 10:02 AM

                                    Might want to add Viktoria's to your list, Melanie, I'd noticed this place a couple of months ago but kept forgetting about it until Joan Obra did a piece on it in the local paper. It has Georgian, Armenian, and Italian dishes. We went the night the article came out with the BIL & SIL and had a great meal, been trying to find time to do a post on it. Got to know the co-owner, Zograb Tsolokian, who shared some of his homemade wine with us, so needless to say my recollection of what was available in the deli counters in the front of the house is completely MIA. Apparently he had a pizza place called Zoro's on Butler and 6th for some time.

                                    Viktoria's
                                    NE corner Herndon & Ingram btw Palm & Maroa (@ 0.5 mi W of Hwy 41)
                                    559-261-1505

                                    1. re: PolarBear
                                      Melanie Wong Oct 16, 2008 10:43 PM

                                      Cool, we're staying in Pinedale, so this would be an easy stop. Anything in particular that you recommend from your meal? And how would you compare it to George's? I read Obra's piece and added a link to it in the Viktoria's Place record.

                                      -----
                                      Viktoria's Place
                                      Herndon Ave and Ingram Ave, Fresno, CA

                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                                        PolarBear Oct 17, 2008 12:30 AM

                                        The four of us all ordered something different and shared, SIL got a pizza, which is a thicker crust than I prefer but well made with good toppings. BIL got sort of a kebab sampler plate, we all thought the lamb and chicken were very good. Can't recall what LadyPB ordered but I went with the calzone and reluctantly shared it. I've always been extremely particular about my 'zones, both the exterior and the fillings, and almost didn't order this one because it was baked, and I'd never had a baked one that was any good. I think I need to go for lunch tomorrow and have another.

                                    2. re: Melanie Wong
                                      t
                                      tavmark Oct 16, 2008 01:55 PM

                                      Here goes.

                                      As with SillyRabbit my preference is for Lebanese/Armenian (as opposed to Russian/Armenian).

                                      Ohanyan’s is the gold standard for bastirma and soujouk. If you want it from the source go there. From your list, the bakeries are Nina’s and Occasion. My preference is Occasion Bakery. Get the cheese or spinach bourek and if Rose has “tahin ov hatz” (tahini bread) you must try it. It’s a cross between a bread and a cookie. (If you call her, she may make some for you if you tell her when you’ll be there to pick it up and how much you want.) The other bonus is that Occasion is right next door to Fresno Deli. Of all the markets listed, again this is my preference because they have everything from canned goods to cheeses/olives, baklava, and breads (pita bread/lavosh, etc). They also carry Ohanian bastirma and soujouk. The other delis on your list - Karabakh, Bedrosian’s, Izi’s, and Hye Deli would have the same types of things but I think Fresno Deli has a bit better variety.

                                      The following are basically sit down restaurant’s (but you probably could order to go) - George’s Shish Kebab (#3), Mediterranean Grill (#5), Diana’s Restaurant (#11), Yerevan (#13), George’s Bar and Grill (#14), Marat’s (#15), Phoenician Garden (#17), King of Kebobs (18), Zlfred’s (#19).

                                      The following is what comes to mind with respect to these:

                                      George’s Shish Kebab (#4) - go there; get the rheyma (Armenian steak tartar) on Saturday morning (see my prior post on the thread about this place); but this is more of a sit down place; I think they close by 2:00 p.m. Mon-Sat.

                                      Mediterranean Grill (#5) - lunch only; good salads

                                      Diana’s Restaurant (#11) - has been a really long time since I was there

                                      Yerevan (#13) - although I know where it is, I don’t think I have been there myself; others however have told me they enjoyed it

                                      George’s Bar and Grill (#14) - reviews are mixed (see prior posts)

                                      Marat’s (#15) - again I’ve eaten there once or twice and it was okay

                                      Phoenician Garden (#17) - same as Marat’s

                                      King of Kebobs (18) - I am pretty sure you can order their stuff to go and I know they’ll do big orders for a group event; Kebobs are good; haven’t actually been to the restaurant though

                                      Zlfred’s (#19) - haven’t been there

                                      HTH

                                      1. re: tavmark
                                        f
                                        FAT Traveler Oct 16, 2008 03:14 PM

                                        The newest contender is Lily's. It's taken over the space of the old City Cafe on the NE corner of Blackstone & Shaw. Great food and service. they have no liquor license, so you can bring your own without corkage. I've only been once, but the Lula Kabob lunch plate (with salad & bulgar) was excellent.

                                        (559) 226-2400

                                        5048 N Blackstone Ave
                                        Fresno, CA 93710

                                        1. re: FAT Traveler
                                          fresnohotspot Oct 16, 2008 04:08 PM

                                          A couple of servers at Lily's came over from the Mediterranean Restaurant at Fresno and Gettysburg. Their cuisine is Lebanese Armenian. An interesting note - one of the original owners of the Mediterranean Restaurant (in the 80's) was a guy named Tony Ghazal. Tony later handed the business to his sister Greta and brother Jay after they emigrated from Beirut. Jay has branched out to Samba Brazilian Steak House, By the Sea and the evolving restaurant in the Tower district which used to be Daily Planet.

                                          I still love the food at The Mediterranean Restaurant, by the way. Several owners later and they have managed to keep the old flavors. Fresno Deli is located across the street if you want to shop for your own fixings.

                                          1. re: fresnohotspot
                                            Melanie Wong Oct 16, 2008 10:47 PM

                                            Cool, it's interesting to hear about the distinctions drawn between the Lebanese influence vs. Russian. I recall a poster on the SF board looking for French Armenian, apparently the cooking of those who spread to Paris in the diaspora.

                                            Any particular salad or other specialty that you like at Mediterranean Restaurant? Is it related to Mediterranean Grill too?

                                            -----
                                            Mediterranean Grill
                                            1031 U St, Fresno, CA 93721

                                            Lily's Grillhouse & Cafe
                                            5048 N Blackstone Ave, Fresno, CA

                                            Mediterranean Restaurant
                                            4631 N Fresno St, Fresno, CA 93726

                                            1. re: Melanie Wong
                                              fresnohotspot Oct 17, 2008 07:15 AM

                                              The two Mediterraneans are unrelated. Over the years, it's a simple thing like their hummos which I remember. They must get their ingredients from Fresno Deli, and they put it together... just right. Then I come in and slather it on everything, and later take a big container to go.

                                        2. re: tavmark
                                          t
                                          tavmark Oct 16, 2008 06:20 PM

                                          Forgot to add. Valley Lavosh is known for their crackers and again if you want to go to the source, go there. I am pretty sure that Fresno Deli carries it. They are heart shaped crisp crackers that are pretty addicting.

                                          1. re: tavmark
                                            Melanie Wong Oct 16, 2008 10:51 PM

                                            Thanks for the addendum.

                                            Anyone speaking up for Nina's?

                                            -----
                                            Izi Deli
                                            4821 E Butler Ave, Fresno, CA 93727

                                            Valley Lahvosh
                                            502 M St, Fresno, CA 93721

                                            Nina's Bakery
                                            2022 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93711

                                            1. re: Melanie Wong
                                              k
                                              Ketchebashian Nov 13, 2008 12:55 PM

                                              I always buy my souboreg from Nina's...she is fabulous and will spend time talking with you about the food any time you ask. She will also make larger trays of souboreg or baklava (and other items) if you are having a party and need more than she has. She does a large 9x13 size souboreg and an 8x8 one. As an Armenian-by-law (I married an Armenian man), she is always teaching me new Armenian words and giving me recipes to make for him! It is great!

                                              They stock a variety of canned/jarred goods as well as lots of breads and pastries, cheeses, etc...would be an excellent venue for picnic supplies!!

                                              Nina's is a the northwest corner of Shaw and West...449-9999

                                          2. re: tavmark
                                            Melanie Wong Oct 16, 2008 10:39 PM

                                            Thank you, thank you, of course that helps! Funny thing is that the sum total of my Fresno Armenian experience includes Ohanyan's, Fresno Deli, and Occasion Bakery which head up your rec. I know where to find 'em, and this time I'll have a little more time to browse, I think and taste a few things from the deli, if they'll let me.
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/524298

                                            I'd put all this onto a chowlist, but the map is so small its useless and the feature is so buggy now, I'm not making it public. If it ever works, we have compiled a more comprehensive list of Armenian chow than anything I could find on the web.

                                            -----
                                            George's Shish Kebab
                                            2405 Capitol St Ste 111, Fresno, CA 93721

                                            Ohanyan's International Deli
                                            1335 W Shields Ave, Fresno, CA 93705

                                            Occasion Bakery
                                            4573 N Fresno St, Fresno, CA

                                            Fresno Deli
                                            2450 E Gettysburg Ave, Fresno, CA 93726

                                            Marats Restaurant
                                            8961 N Cedar Ave Ste 103, Fresno, CA 93720

                                            Phoenician Garden
                                            1025 E Herndon Ave, Fresno, CA 93720

                                            1. re: tavmark
                                              f
                                              fresnovisitor Oct 30, 2008 08:11 PM

                                              Hi Tavmark and everyone else. Thanks for your help. About the reviews for George's being mixed, I am confused since there seem to be three George's. I could not sort out which George's was getting panned.
                                              When we got to Fresno we drove past several places (AJ's, Diana's, maybe one other and George's Bar and Grill on Blackstone.) We were wary of George's Bar and Grill since it featured steak and other basic American, but since George's Bar and Grill was near our motel, we decided we would check out the menu to see if it went some beyond basic kebobs If not we would go some where else. It did have more, so we decided to make it our first Armenian restaurant experience.
                                              I asked the hostess if there was a traditional Armenian drink, and ordered an Arak.
                                              Soon our server arrived and said, "So, you ordered an Arak?" We asked for some help with the menu, and finally settled on a sampler plate plus an assortment of kebabs that the server arranged for us.
                                              We were quite pleased with the meal, although we did not get to try some of the items that some of you have mentioned in this array of posts. As we wound down our eating, our server, who said his name is Akram Elbanna, sat down for some conversation about Middle East politics. He'd been a Poly Sci major at Fresno State, and had some sound analysis.
                                              It was a great evening for us, and we look forward to another Armenian meal in Fresno as soon as we can arrange it. thank you all for your guidance.

                                              1. re: fresnovisitor
                                                PolarBear Oct 31, 2008 08:24 AM

                                                Good to hear you had a nice experience, at George's. We frequented the one on Blackstone for years prior to one opening near our home at Bullard and Marks, which is sadly now closed. We found one key to getting a gread shish kebab sand was to order the meat medium rare. The only other George's that remains is downtown in the Capitol Mall.

                                                A local hound has reported a new sighting:

                                                Lily’s Armenian
                                                (559) 226-2400
                                                5048 N Blackstone (NE just past Shaw)

                                                Two others we've been meaning to try, Yerevan's at First and Bullard, and Yeraz which is downtown in the Armenian Community Center at 2348 Ventura.

                                                For a weekday lunch it's hard to beat the Mediterranean Grill and Cafe at 1031 "U" St.

                                                Thanks for reporting back.

                                                1. re: PolarBear
                                                  f
                                                  foodwhore Nov 2, 2008 01:32 PM

                                                  What about AJ's @ Shaw & Maroa???

                                                  1. re: foodwhore
                                                    PolarBear Nov 2, 2008 02:25 PM

                                                    Thanks for that reminder, fw, I'd forgotten to put them on my list. Any dishes there that you're especially fond of?

                                            2. re: Melanie Wong
                                              Sam Fujisaka Oct 16, 2008 04:21 PM

                                              Arrrghhh!!! You guys are always making me salivate like a frustrated dog. I grew up with Armenian friends and food. My first wife and I ate at Zlfred's regularly - back in the late 60s and early 70s. I've been fortunate to eat around the world, but Fresno remains the only place for me for Armenian and Basque.

                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                Melanie Wong Oct 16, 2008 10:49 PM

                                                Wonder if it's changed since then . . . or maybe staying the same is the secret to longevity.

                                                -----
                                                Zlfred's
                                                4030 N Blackstone Ave, Fresno, CA

                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                  PolarBear Oct 17, 2008 12:18 AM

                                                  We must have crossed paths, Sam. Ate many meals at Zlfred's back then. A dear friend of ours waited tables, don't suppose you remember a Sandy? Haven't been back in decades, she quit because the job wasn't worth putting up with the owner and the food took a serious downhill slide. Haven't heard a positive word on the place ever since.

                                                2. re: Melanie Wong
                                                  Melanie Wong Oct 17, 2008 02:55 PM

                                                  Should have said this upfront --- if anyone would like to join us for the field trip to Kings Canyon Park TOMORROW morning and the armenian deli picnic lunch spread, please email me (check MyChow for address).

                                                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                    Melanie Wong Oct 20, 2008 10:49 PM

                                                    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Here's what we managed to try,
                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/566237

                                                    Next time I hope to sit down and have an Armenian meal. That steak tartare sounds great.

                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                      ken ivorous Oct 28, 2008 12:58 PM

                                                      hey melanie, sounds like a good trip. is it just me, or is ohanyan's bastirma and soujouk a bit underwhelming. just curious how you feel it compares to sahag's down in la?

                                                      did you get to try any hmong, lao, khmer, s.e.a., etc. food?

                                                      1. re: ken ivorous
                                                        Melanie Wong Oct 28, 2008 02:06 PM

                                                        ken, ltns, miss you! Please do catch us up on the SF Bay Area board or wherever on what you've been eating.

                                                        Ohanyan's wasn't so thrilling, nor the Eureka brand bastirma from LA. I've not had sahag's, but I'm thinking of stopping at Haig's in SF and buying a few slices of whatever brand of bastirma it sells for comparison.

                                                        Most of my free time in the month of May was spent in Fresno chowing. I had some excellent Lao and stumbled on some Hmong sausage. Also good pho and hu tieu, and not so lucky to find khmer or mien yet. You'll find my posts (and a couple still to come) on Fresno here,

                                                        http://www.chow.com/search?Search.x=4...

                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                          ken ivorous Oct 29, 2008 12:58 AM

                                                          boy things are looking a bit different around here eh, eek! btw, somehow i have a feeling that haig's might be selling bastirma supplied from ohanyan's - there's some vague memory from many moons ago that i can't quite fully recall, and i think i remember the soujouk sandwich at haig's being pretty blech.

                                                          updates: i think i might've found my platonic ideal of a chaan bao this month, and strangely enough it's a roll they gave me with my combo at a fried chicken joint in seattle called ezell's (specifically, the 23rd ave location). to contextualize it, my favorite in sf is the one they give you with a meal (but they won't let you get separately) at gaa fe siu guun restaurant (next to their bakery side - where they ought to sell the restaurant-style chaan bao's) on noriega. gotta go back to seattle to confirm though. and the chicken was just fine, sides were okay.

                                                          in chicken, i can't really remember the last time i had fried chicken i liked this much - got it from sandra dee's in sacramento (on a friday early lunch) - thinly crusted, extremely moist dark meat pieces, and even the white meat was pretty acceptable.

                                                          vancouver, bc has a place called peaceful restaurant that does northern-y chinese very, very well. i was impressed by the touch their cook(s) have. ridiculous good xinjiang lamb on flat sesame bread sammich, and excellent touch of wok hei when i had the fried cat ear noodles. definitely want to try as much of the menu as possible next time i get out that way.

                                                          portland's apizza scholl's actually is very good. now i guess i don't have to go all the way to new york in a pinch. except they let their dough rest wrapped in plastic wrap - i suppose i am a bit attached to the stash-it-in-the-drawer thing. sausage and peppers is excellent, so is the truffle oil, as well as the house cured pork on margherita. their sicilian-style on sundays is also excellent. slight personal preference to the neapolitan though. well that's enough for now.

                                                          and a heads up, i wanted to email you a question i had that i was hoping you might have info about.

                                                          1. re: ken ivorous
                                                            Melanie Wong Oct 29, 2008 12:54 PM

                                                            Cool. Chaan bao would be a plain dinner roll? Baked? Also, are you referring to Cafe Bakery on Noriega?

                                                            No email from you yet ... address on MyChow page.

                                                    2. re: Melanie Wong
                                                      PolarBear Nov 14, 2008 04:41 PM

                                                      Here's an update on Occasion Deli and the delightful Ms. Rose

                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572366

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