Di Cicco's was honored with the Best Italian in Fresno title in 2009 by the Fresno Bee. Six Yelpers give Di Cicco's Blackstone location a 3.5-star average, 80% of Urbanspooners recommend the Shaw Avenue location, and 83% of Urbanspooners recommend the Blackstone location.
Valley Lahvosh Baking Company's artisan bakers, who've been crafting doughy delights since 1922, forge their signature crackerbreads using three generations of Armenian family recipes. Bags of 15" crackerbread rounds––which double as throwing discuses for teddy bears––come in original and cracked-wheat varieties that buyers can slather in condiments or use to make wrapped sandwiches. A great base for hors d'oeuvres served at parties and social gatherings, boxes of Heart and Star Lahvosh crackers cheerily accept dips and spreads on unique cutout shapes. Rather than impersonating a horse to receive sugar cubes, buyers can get their sugary kicks with a bag of heart-shaped Sweetheart Snacks lightly dusted with cinnamon. Each assorted holiday package bears a chip clip that keeps snacks inside their bags and helps preserve freshness.
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.
With an Old West atmosphere and grill-centric menu, Joe's rounds up hunger, ropes it, and brands it "V" for vanquished. Sandwiches, burgers, and char-grilled delectables offer lunch and dinner eaters a meaty respite from the vegetation-laden workaday world. Bovinophiles can swoon over the Philly cheese sandwich, a pile of tender, marinated pulled beef cheese-bathing on a ciabatta lounge chair ($8.95), or the Cowboy Burger smothered in barbecue sauce and topped with bacon, onion rings, and melted pepper jack ($9.95). With Joe's signature steak menu, committed carnivores can sink canines into an array of cow slabs portioned to all manner of appetites, from the 6-ounce ranch steak ($12.95) to the 20-ounce porterhouse ($30.95). All steaks are served with warm bread, soup or salad, sautéed veggies, and choice of baked potato, mashed potatoes, or rice pilaf.
Most chicken wings look like bite-size drumsticks. Kocky's chicken wings look like chicken wings. Chefs roll each full-size wing in homemade batter before dunking it into a deep fryer. They then smother them with one of 10 made-from-scratch sauces, such as lemon pepper, buffalo ranch, Kickin' Teriyaki, and Sweet Fire. The menu also features pub-style fare ranging from chicken-wing-topped salads to burgers made with USDA-certified, natural Black Angus beef from Harris Ranch. Striving to fill Kocky's Bar and Grill with the same camaraderie they developed as fraternity brothers, the three founders encourage their servers to get to know patrons on a first-name, favorite-scene-from-Animal House basis.
Newly hired executive chef Chuck Nelson and his team at Café 1055 transform ingredients into lunch and dinner collections populated by upscale sandwiches and sophisticated innovations on old favorites. Fried green tomatoes ($5) kick off a noontime meal, before a sandwich—such as the combination of sliced turkey, melted brie, and pepper layered atop a toasted baguette ($6)—takes over tables with its entourage of fries, coleslaw, or a house salad. Both menus host a school of fish tacos— teeming with tilapia, corn-and-red-pepper salsa, and avocado cream ($9)—as well as flatbread pizzas ($5–$7 at lunch; $10 at dinner) dressed in a variety of toppings and festive hats. Soy sauce-glazed, pan-seared salmon ($16) flies in fresh from the Atlantic on lightly floured wings to join the choice of sides, including red potatoes and mushroom risotto, that accompany many of the dinnertime entrees.
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.