A Fresno institution since the presidency of Herbert Hoover, Piemonte's Italian Delicatessen slings sandwiches made with fresh ingredients straight from the Central San Joaquin Valley's copious cornucopia. Piemonte's sausage, meatballs, and Italian sauce are all homemade. Deli biteables—served on your choice of wheat, sourdough, or French rolls—include the Piemonte special with salami, ham, mortadella, and provolone ($5.50) and the Michel Angelo with capicola, Toscano salami, Genoa salami, nunchucks, and provolone cheese ($7.75). Veggie Velociraptors can sink teeth and talons into the vegetarian's garden of artichoke hearts, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, and wax peppers ($5.75), and pathological liars can draw bologna-and-cheese power from the Full O'Boloney ($5) as they prepare to fake their way through performing open-heart surgery.
Head chef Scott Sauer oversees a rotating menu of inventive cuisine catered to discerning Fresnan tongues fluent in gourmet. The dinner menu raises the curtain with an appetizing aria of jalapeno-enhanced sweet-potato fries ($9) or calamari ($10) dotted with roasted sweet peppers. The feta-cheese and poppy-seed dressing of the strawberry and spinach salad ($12) likewise provides a sweet counterpart to savory evening entrees such as the osso bucco–style short ribs ($27), served with braised greens and polenta cake, and the Peruvian potato-crusted salmon ($27). Dining dates, meanwhile, can keep their busy hands doggy-bag-free for a romantic evening of casino implosions and roller-tango with light entrees such as the petite filet mignon ($26) and the crab cakes with house-made tartar sauce ($16). Before capping things off with a dessert of cinnamon-raisin bread pudding ($6) or crispy boysenberry pie ($5), be sure to take a scenic detour among Max's extensive list of wines by the bottle or glass, draft beers, and specialty martinis, including the Pretty Woman ($11), which blends Stolichnaya strawberry, orange juice, and strawberry puree with a champagne float and a lock of Julia Roberts's hair.
Taj Palace's well-seasoned chefs simmer a spiced spread of homemade Indian cuisine, including numerous vegetarian options. Hunks of shrimp ($12.99) and fish tandori ($12.99) emerge singed and steaming from the scorching atrium of a clay charcoal oven, which chars the crispy skin and incinerates erroneous nautical maps. A savory blend of fresh tomatoes, cream, and oriental herbs flavors slowly simmered morsels of chicken ($9.99) or lamb tikka masala ($9.99), and a plate of shrimp garlic nazara invigorates tongues with a zesty infusion of garlic, ginger, and green chilies ($9.99). A vibrant coalition of curries runs the gamut from tender vegetable ($6.99) to juicy lamb ($9.99) and colors lackluster plates in fiery rosy tones. Like a taco stand inside a pizza parlor, the sprawling lunch buffet supplies ravenous diners with a variety of tasty dishes.
When the owners of Crawdaddy's decided to put a little bit of New Orleans' distinctive flair right in the heart of Visalia, they knew it would take more than great cuisine. What makes New Orleans so unforgettable is that it caters to all the senses and makes the smallest outing a special event. To fill that tall order, they took residence in a spacious facility that could be an exciting venue for music, parties, libations, food, and sporting events, all in one electric, lively place.
The second-floor dining room welcomes guests with a menu of fresh seafood such as blackened catfish and bayou butter prawns. A fully stocked bar wets whistles, and balcony seating offers couples a romantic setting under the stars—all 50 of them. Meanwhile, more than a dozen flat-screen TVs light up the crowd in the first floor's sports bar, where a mixologist whips up creative cocktails and TVs whip up the big game. In the dining area of the first floor, Keith and the Crawdads treat diners to lively tunes during the evening, and on the second level the nightclub sends crowds into fits of dance spasms as late-night DJs spin everything from hip-hop to disco six days a week.
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).
Bentley’s seasonal and ever-changing dinner menu offers USDA prime steaks to steak-lovers and the vegetarians who are conjoined to them, as well as seafood dishes and more alongside an extensive wine list. The lunch menu features a list of burgers, ribs, soups, and salads, made with locally sourced ingredients to un-complicate the background-check process employed by most chefs.
For more than 15 years, By the Sea has been gifting guests with a menu of authentic Mediterranean-style vittles spiced up with a Caribbean flair. Office workers looking for a light lunch break after a hectic morning of dodging wrecking balls can order an elegantly esculent starter from By the Sea’s carte du jour, such as hummos ($5.95), tabbouli (a lemon- and olive-oil-doused dish of finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, onions, and bulgar wheat, $5.95), or four falafels fried in corn oil ($4.95). After a bowl of black-bean soup ($3.50), put your best fork forward into a plate of lemon chicken ($11.95), sautéed in lemons, white wine, olive oil, and cream sauce. Otherwise, daredevil diners can sword swallow shish kebabs of marinated lamb ($13.95) or wrestle a charbroiled Cajun catfish ($11.95) for digestion rights. By the Sea's board of fare covers Mediterranean cultures both extant and extinct, including the Phoenician chicken ($10.95), the Middle Eastern shawerma ($9.95), and the Moroccan kafta ($11.95), a charbroiled stew of minced ground beef and lamb mixed with parsley, onions, and spices. To end your classic Mediterranean meal with less bloodshed than most classic Mediterranean plays, wash down slices of cheesecake ($4) or puddings of rice ($3) with a cup of coffee or tea ($1.50).