Avocados have dark, leathery skin covering bright green flesh, like the Hulk after years of forgetting to use sunscreen. Bulk up on this California staple and its regional relatives with today's deal: for $15, you get $30 worth of fine California grill cuisine and drinks at Cafe 225 in Visalia.
Cafe 225 triggers taste sensors with eclectic lunch and dinner menus boasting a range of California-influenced dishes. Patrons can etch dinner’s prologue on stomach walls with crispy artichoke fritters served with basil aioli ($5.50) or the sweet-pepper relleno ($5.85) filled with California goat cheese, pine nuts, and roasted garlic. The avocado chicken with roasted garlic cream ($14 lunch, $17 dinner) arrives from the grill while the rotisserie turns out entrees such as duck leg ($16.50), basted with soy, honey, and balsamic and accented with homemade mango chutney After tasting a signature burger ($10.75) or the Bikini pizza, covered in ham, pineapple, and mozzarella ($11.75), tone-deaf taste buds find themselves serenading incisors with John Fogerty lyrics. Coffee from San Luis Obispo’s Coastal Peaks Roastery ($2.75) paired with a ganache-crusted Chocolate Lovers Mousse cake ($6.75) fends off soporific spells.
A sleek wooden bar puts guests face to face with 70 varieties of wine as well as artisanal California brews such as Firestone Pale Ale and Mineral King IPA (both $5). Rustic scents emanating from the exposed kitchen’s rotisserie oven and oak coal grill rouse olfactory delights, and walls adorned with rotating work from community artists delight the eyes and inspire ideas for covering unsightly time portals over the mantel.
Cafe 225’s seasonally changing menu is a tour of California. Fresh seafood evokes the state’s scenic coastline, and chicken breasts hot from the oak-charcoal grill come with drizzles of cream sauce and slices of avocado that call to mind the state’s lush avocado groves. Crowned in fire-roasted chilies and chipotle aioli, the eatery’s burgers mimic the spiciness of the Mexican food just across the border; with bacon and locally sourced cheddar, meanwhile, they become a tastier American classic than a baseball on a pie tin. An array of personal pizzas and pastas rounds out the menu, and the wooden bar’s selection of 70 wines and artisanal beers complements meals.
The restaurant’s proprietor got his start in the industry at the age of 12, when he helped make sandwiches during the lunchtime rush at his father’s San Francisco eatery. In the ensuing decades, he has cultivated the know-how and taste to construct Cafe 225’s menu, along with its exposed kitchen and rotisserie grill. Today, he even makes a point of sourcing as many ingredients as possible from environmentally sustainable companies.