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.
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).
In business for more than 60 years, the petal peddlers at Fowler Floral continue to assemble and deliver elegant stem-bounds in a charming, welcoming storefront. Pore through an extensive, colorful collection of flowers, gifts, and arrangements, and stuff your pockets with non-poisonous posies for all occasions. Warm seasonal hues emit from fall flowers such as Teleflora's Autumn Grace ($45), a winsome display of red roses, purple daisies, and Matsumoto asters in a plum glass-cube vase. Meanwhile, cunning gift givers can surprise unsuspecting birthday stoops with a Birthday Wishes bouquet ($40), or finally rub their genie boss the right way with the Make a Wish bouquet ($40). Other items include Dashing Daisies ($35) and the pink rose hat trick of the Tender Trio ($24.95).
Pacifica Pizza hand-tosses its dough to create a strong and delicious foundation for a menu of specialty pizzas created with toppings fresh from California farms. The traditional veggie pizza contains a veritable garden of mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, tomatoes, and a hedge maze. The heart attack special combines a plethora of meats— sausage, pepperoni, salami, canadian bacon, and ground beef—into a super-pizza packed with enough animal to legally qualify as livestock. Try a traditional hawaiian pizza topped with canadian bacon, pineapple, and extra cheese, or choose not to choose with the almost-everything-on-it bulldog special. A sidecar of breadsticks and a handle of soda transform your pizza from part of a complete breakfast into a complete breakfast.
In 1985, a little drive-in burger joint called Rally's was born in Louisville, Kentucky. A year later, a similar drive-in burger joint called Checkers opened in Mobile, Alabama. After nearly a decade of competition between the more than 200 Rally's and Checkers franchises, the two merged in 1999. There are now more than 800 Rally's and Checkers double-drive-thru burger spots across the country.
At each location, patrons cruise through the drive-thru lanes or head to the walk-up window to request made-to-order burgers, creamy milkshakes, and, of course, Checkers and Rally's well-seasoned fries. In 2012, Checkers and Rally's CEO said that they sell more than 300,000 fry orders per day, which doesn't even include the 100,000 sent to Paul Bunyan's house.
Owner Rosalinda Tovar has been delighting Fresno-area eaters with authentic, award-winning Mexican cuisine since opening the first Rosa Linda's in Selma in 1997. Whipping up each delectable dish from scratch, Rosa Linda prides itself on fresh-to-order flavor. On weekends, patrons can partake of the accolade-earning menudo, or hominy and tripe soup ($6.25 for small bowl). Many a blushing taste bud has fallen prey to the tamales, a seductive selection of pork, chicken, or beef wrapped within a tailored waistcoat of fresh corn masa and an elegant corn-husk dinner jacket ($10.95 for plate of two). The popular Selma special features two crispy tacos stuffed with generous portions of grilled steak, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and guacamole ($10.95), and the fajitas deluxe showcases a sizzling triumvirate of beef, chicken, and shrimp with mixed veggies, guacamole, and sour cream ($14.95). For chronic coin-flippers, the list of combination plates stumps the stodgiest statisticians with its overwhelming set of flavor coefficients (up to $10.95). All entrees come with rice and beans.