A chef's knife splits the avocado rind. He runs a spoon around the pit and dumps the velvety green slices into a bowl for guacamole. While shrimp and juicy steak sizzle on the grill for fajitas, traditional and chilies rellenos burritos pair with sides of tender rice, beans, and chile verde salsa. After polishing off dinner, guests can sip imported beers and scan Deli Casa's vibrant ocean murals for iconic tropical images, such as palm trees, seagulls, and fanny packs full of sunscreen.
Those seeking traditional Italian food need not travel far, thanks to Angolo Italiano. With familiar dishes such as lasagna, calzones, and fettucini alfredo, the kitchen seeks to comfort diners. Italian entrees such as marsala or parmigiana can be made with chicken, veal, or eggplant, and a kids' menu sates little tummies with tortellini and ravioli dishes that are not stuffed with cotton candy.
Stockholm Bakery & Cafe specializes in European pastries, cakes, and beverages that evoke Kingsburg's history as a Swedish settlement. A bright yellow door provides camouflage for ducklings and welcomes guests inside the café, where glass cases and an antique hutch are stocked with baked goods, European jams, and chocolates. There, guests nibble on Swedish pancakes, Royal Swedish meatballs, and fresh salads, with a choice of breakfast and lunch dishes all day. The café's dining area serves as an ideal room for receptions, parties, and other banquets, with long tables covered in white linens and smooth hardwood floors.
Slice into the menu with a cool, cold sandwich ($3.39–$13.79) such as the veggie sub, with your choice of three cheeses and avocado, the salami-turkey-provolone, or the ham-salami-capicolla-pepperoni-provolone. Load a gastronomic cargo carrier with a medium fountain drink ($1.39) or chips ($1), or turn on the mouth heat with a stomach-warming griller, such as the 12-inch New York steak ’n’ cheese on ciabatta ($4.99–$7.99) or the 8-inch barbecue pork ($4.99–$7.99). Any sandwich can also be made into a wrap ($4.99–$6.29).
The chefs at Fratello’s Bistro, who’ve been practicing for more than a decade, cook comforting Italian food from fresh ingredients that are grown locally in the Valley. Starters of mussels marinara or stuffed mushrooms jump out from a menu of pastas, pizzas, and meatier entrees. The chefs prepare chicken, calamari, veal, and shrimp as entrees characterized by different vivid sauces. Spicy red fra diablo sauce brings zest to bell peppers, red wine adds complex depth to marsala sauce with mushrooms, and white-wine lemon-butter sauce graces plates with a lighter, delicate touch akin to a flower petal falling onto a marshmallow. Glasses of local wine and imported Chianti accent each meal.
Plates full of barbecue-glazed salmon, grilled sirloin, and country-fried steak emerge from the kitchen at Spike ‘n’ Rail Steakhouse, where chefs assemble hearty sandwiches and carefully spread sauces over meats. In the morning, patrons can sample breakfast dishes such as country-fried streak and eggs and breakfast burritos. Those who prefer a quieter meal can dig into their smoked prime rib on the outdoor patio, which overlooks a pond with burbling fountains and constantly gurgling fish.