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.
Revolucion is a restaurant and a tequila bar, and its menu has an entire page devoted to the flavorful liquor, just as Sylvester Stallone has an entire webpage devoted to explosions. Dozens of tequilas can be sipped individually or mixed into one of several flights, which orchestrate triplets of different drinks. The libation roster extends to colorful margaritas, cocktails, and draft beers. For pairing with these flavorful drinks, Revolucion delivers fresh corn tortillas filled with carnitas, chicken, and shrimp and gooey quesadillas oozing with blends of mexican cheese. Meanwhile, house specials include rib-eye steaks alongside delicate shrimp, chicken breast sautéed in a lime and tequila sauce, and beer-battered whitefish with aioli.
The sound of water burbling in a fountain greets patrons as they enter North India Bar & Grill. Further in, ornate chandeliers dangle from the ceiling, illuminating rows of plush, copper-colored banquettes. On select nights, part of this dining room transforms into a nightclub, where your can down an extra-spicy indian mary or spin around and around in circles before anybody notices you literally have two left feet.
As visitors let loose a few yards away, chefs buzz about the kitchen, pouring honey-cashew cream sauce over tender morsels of lamb and marinating chicken in authentic spices before roasting it in a 900-degree oven. They also concoct a selection of Indian-American fusion recipes including a flatbread wrap loaded with cream cheese and lamb and a tandoori-chicken pizza.
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.
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.
After spending a long month overhauling the interior, replacing the carpentry, and upgrading the electrical work, Risé Martin and her husband Mark were ready to fling open the rehabbed doors of Martin’s Bar. The couples’ upgrades included six flat-screen TVs, a pool table, and new lighting designed to illuminate a stage that hosts live musicians throughout the week. Now, visitors to Martin’s can sidle up to the granite bar to sip on high-end cocktails or domestic drafts while watching the game or requesting that the night’s musical act play Hot Cross Buns.
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).