Though pizza and beer are a time-honored combination, BC's Pizza & Beer puts a new spin on the tradition with innovative pizzas and an abundance of uncommon beers. As its chefs load crusts with inspired arrangements of more than 40 fresh toppings—such as jamaican jerk spices with chicken and shrimp or mexican refried beans with ground beef and jalapeños—bartenders dole out pints of German and Belgian beers. At their fingertips are 33 tap handles and more than 80 import and craft bottles.
Out in the dining room, beer signs and playful knickknacks hang on the walls. Flat-screen televisions broadcast sports games in which football players zoom down fields and Lifetime movies in which football players learn valuable lessons about the wisdom of children.
A traditional Irish pub with a robust menu, a full bar, and an outdoor beer garden, Groggs wages a tactical twin strike on hunger and thirst. Patrons can test the waters with Dublin hot wings ($7.95), cordon bleu balls ($3.95), or Irish chips ($1.95) before wildly cannonballing into the deep end of a hearty soup. Options such as the meaty bowl, jammed with cheesesteak filling, grilled pastrami, green onions, and cabbage ($10.95), and the bucket o’ chowder—clam chowder served with Irish chips ($8.95)—come in bread bowls. Named after an old Irish crime-fighting duo, the banger and spuds fights the injustice of hunger with two grilled sausages, whole potatoes, and a slab o’ garlic bread ($9.95), and the German bratwursts served on a French baguette celebrate delicious globalization ($8.95).
Martin?s Bar boasts six flat-screen TVs, a pool table, and new lighting designed to illuminate a dance floor that hosts live musicians throughout the week. Visitors to Martin?s can sidle up to the granite bar to sip on high-end cocktails made from the full bar, daily specials, or one of several beers on tap while watching the game or dancing to that the night?s DJs or musicians. Martin's also hosts private events, including company meetings, after-work parties, weddings, and other celebrations. Located at the Gateway to the Sierras, Martin's also has plenty of free parking.
Raul and Maria Gutierrez were raised on fajitas in their native Mexico, where many families raise their own chickens and make tortillas by hand. After honing their culinary skills in several Houston restaurants, the couple chased their dreams to Fresno, where Fajita Fiesta was born. Instead of sprouting from a pinto bean, the eatery sprang from one of the Gutierrez’s favorite dishes: tacos al carbon, a union of handcrafted tortillas, fresh pico de gallo, and charbroiled steak, chicken, or pork. Made fresh every hour, the tortillas serve as a canvas for creativity by exhibiting savories such as grilled shrimp, onions, and poblano peppers. For deep-fried fare such as chimichangas and sopapillas, Raul and Maria use canola oil to minimize saturated fat. Margaritas add a heady kick to the evening's festivities, and horchatas end meals on a sweet cinnamon note, with textures smoother than a freshly shorn saxophone. The kitchen also caters feasts for a variety of events, filling bellies with hearty chicken moles and bite-size eats such as mini taquitos.
For over 20 years, Austin’s Sanger menu has inspired mouths to stop talking about their screenplay and dive into a hearty waffle breakfast with bacon or sausage and an egg ($6.65), Austin’s classic half-pound burger ($7.45), or an ultra-tender pot-roast platter smothered in gravy and roasted iron cauldrons and served with carrots, onions, and mashed potatoes ($10.45). Hopelessly lost University of Texas students, meanwhile, can find solace in Austin’s Downtown Grill and Sports Bar's menu, starting with the black-bean chili cheese fries ($6.99) or the bacon-, cheese-, and spinach-stuffed mushroom caps ($7.99). After appetizers, carnivorous customers can try out a slow-roasted half chicken ($12.99) or a 12-ounce coffee-rubbed rib-eye steak ($17.99) while seated on a large coffee beanbag chair. In Sanger, slake a terrible thirst with domestic and imported beers along with wines from the local Fresno State, Gibson, and Cedar View wineries. The downtown pub, on the other tentacle, boasts 17 beers on tap and in gilded spittoons scattered throughout the spacious interior.
The most beloved entree on Fibber McGee's dinner menu is its black and bleu filet ($28), 9 ounces of meat rolled in black pepper, topped with melted bleu cheese, and served with soup or salad, fresh vegetables, choice of potato or rice pilaf, and ciabatta bread. Fresno foodies, though, can work their way up to it by sinking teeth-tritons into the sweet-potato fries appetizer ($4.75) or the grilled artichoke starter ($6.95) served with spicy mayo. Carnivoyagers may wish to chart a course for the rib-eye steak sandwich ($13.75) or the corned beef and cabbage ($11.95). A selection of pasta dishes and salads are also available, as well as a lunch menu with sandwiches and burgers, including the 1/3-pound Fibber McGee burger ($7.95), topped with swiss cheese, avocado, and bacon—the holy trinity of hamburger heap-ons.