Cafe 225’s seasonally changing menu is a tour of California. Fresh seafood evokes the state’s scenic coastline, and chicken breasts hot from the oak-charcoal grill come with drizzles of cream sauce and slices of avocado that call to mind the state’s lush avocado groves. Crowned in fire-roasted chilies and chipotle aioli, the eatery’s burgers mimic the spiciness of the Mexican food just across the border; with bacon and locally sourced cheddar, meanwhile, they become a tastier American classic than a baseball on a pie tin. An array of personal pizzas and pastas rounds out the menu, and the wooden bar’s selection of 70 wines and artisanal beers complements meals.
The restaurant’s proprietor got his start in the industry at the age of 12, when he helped make sandwiches during the lunchtime rush at his father’s San Francisco eatery. In the ensuing decades, he has cultivated the know-how and taste to construct Cafe 225’s menu, along with its exposed kitchen and rotisserie grill. Today, he even makes a point of sourcing as many ingredients as possible from environmentally sustainable companies.
In 1975, after lending his expertise to the owners of a sub shop in Sparks, Nevada, public accountant John Larsen realized that his true calling was right beneath his nose?and it smelled delicious. Larsen wanted to make sandwiches, and it wasn?t long before locals eagerly supported his dream.
A community-wide contest helped to name Larsen?s enterprise Port of Subs, a name that now, after nearly four decades, graces approximately 140 locales. Each shop has a crew of sandwich makers that prepares subs to order in front of customers, piling freshly sliced meats between toasted bread with hand-painted grill marks. Cold subs feature filling combinations such as roast beef and provolone or peppered pastrami and swiss, available on wheat, white, or sourdough bread. Oven-baked grillers enclose barbecue pulled pork, new york steak and cheese, and other savory meats.
In addition to feeding the locals, Port of Subs partners with community organizations for fundraisers and other events.
At Tommy’s, candlelight casts dark wood wainscoting, burnt-orange walls, and stone floors in a warm glow. The elegant eatery—which has been hailed by Frommer’s as “the most creative restaurant in Visalia"—complements its environs with equally haute cuisine. Chefs serve succulent steaks on cedar planks and drizzle them with southwestern flourishes such as tequila-roasted green chilis, poblano cream sauce, and a single cactus tear. Additionally, Tommy’s stocks its wine cellar with an ample wine selection.
Just as it is done in India, the chicken, lamb, and shrimp at Taj Palace marinate in a bubble of herbs and spices before cooking in the clay tandoor oven. Chefs Kunal & Max replicate the culinary flavors and techniques of India, using a traditional tandoor and simmering pots full of curry. A number of vegetarian and vegan dishes find potatoes paired with spinach and cheese cubes dunked in a spiced tomato sauce. The eatery?s banquet hall hosts wedding receptions and birthday parties, with a variety of shareable dishes and libations.
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Fugazzis brings sophisticated ambience and casual fine dining to its clients with menus melded from fresh, local ingredients. Fugazzis California Bistro, the collective's flagship restaurant, parachutes palates into a metropolitan atmosphere matched with modern appetite appeasers. Delve into its menu with an order of sweet-potato fries ($6.75) or coconut prawns ($8.95) before opting for the Fugazzis Pizza, boasting barbecue sauce, chicken, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes ($13). Sandwichy sustenance includes the halibut wrap ($11.50), and more elaborate entrees range from spinach-striped raviolis ($12.75) to a grilled rack of lamb ($24.95). Fugazzis California Grill serves up lunch and dinner for both midday marauders and moonlit mischief makers. Dinner highlights include a pear and walnut salad tiara’d in tangy honey-mustard dressing and blackened grilled chicken ($10.75), as well as fire-flicked flare such as a 10 oz. filet mignon ($24.95) and an Atlantic salmon filet ($19.95).