What does Fresno really want?

Posted by jamescollier on Jul 29, 2011
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I'm snarky. I know this about myself, just as I know that I get excited when I can direct that snark at something or someone that I feel is being utterly ridiculous. (I'm looking at you, WatchDoIt.)

Earlier this week, Nick from What Fresno Wants asked, "Fresno, do you want fries with that?" From the title, I thought the post might be a commentary on the Valley's "fast food" culture. It was, but instead of discussing issues of food security and obesity, or challenging the community to eat healthier or support local businesses, Nick listed some of the chains he'd like to see in Fresno, noting that these are the places he and his wife look for when traveling out of the area. (Alisa says this sounds like a dig, but it's not; I really did expect the post to touch on one of those topics.)

In Nick's words:

..one of our favorite things to do while we’re out of town is to browse through the internet (and our Garmin GPS) to see what kind of restaurants our new locale has for us. The only catch, they can’t be in Fresno. We’re not talking about little mom and pop local restaurants, we’re talking about national chain restaurants, that, for whatever reason, have not yet decided to put down roots in Fresno.  I don’t know about you, but to me it’s frustrating to see a commercial for Ruby Tuesday’s when the nearest one is probably a three-hour drive.

At first, I read this as sattire. But then I realized Nick is serious!

I put my head in my hands and cried.

Everything I've tried to rally against since moving to Fresno--including said fast food culture--was thrown back at me. Dunkin Donuts? Cici's Pizza? Waffle House? I've had those in every city I've lived in before Fresno, and haven't missed them, the low-paying jobs they produce, or the flavorless ingredients they ship in from other parts of the country world.

I started to muster a response rooted in frustration--and voiced in pure, unadultered sarcasm--but it just didn't come out. From the comment thread, I could see I was be outnumbered, so I bit my tongue. Maybe, I conceded, Nick's list really is what Fresno wants.

Standing in line for Dusty Buns last night, Kiel offered insight. I'm paraphrasing, but it was something along the lines of, "What Fresno wants is a marketing campaign and TV commercials to tell us what to do."

From the perspective of personal preference and entertainment, I understand the choices; again, their not my picks, but it's also not my blog. What I can't understand--or at least, agree with--are some of the assertions that get attached to these preferences.

Maybe Fresno does want a Dave & Busters. Or, maybe we want our local businesses to provide more consistency and better service--and to spend money marketing themselves.

That's my hope, at least. So what does Fresno really want? More insights can be found in the discussion about the soon-to-be-former Border's space at Riverpark.

Comments

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brodiemash (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:08

4 words: Roque's. Barcade. And. Funporium.

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jamescollier  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:13

Sounds like the perfect place for an industrial hot dog roller and a donut machine. Donut local!

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brodiemash (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:18

It would be like the Island Of Dr. Moreau of food abominations and I'll be Marlon Brando. I got the girth down!

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alisamanjarrez  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:43

I know you're not exactly anti-chains, James, but I do think Nick represents a huge sector of Fresno. When I was in college and my family came to visit me in Orange County, I'd take them to my favorite chains that we didn't have in Fresno at the time - Cheesecake Factory and BJ's. Even now, when I go back down to visit friends, I almost always make a stop at Yardhouse. I'm really looking forward to having it come to Fresno. I'd also love to have a Nordstrom's cafe - attached to the shoe dept, of course.

Having the mentality to try out local restaurants does not come naturally, though, so we can't blame people for not understanding (you were nice here). Chains have the $$$ to advertise and do all these cool things in their restaurants, where a mom & pop place can easily be found counting its pennies to replace the broken valve for the dishwasher. It's sad, really!

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jamescollier  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:49

Fair points, Alisa. In the case of Nordstrom (the store, not the cafe) and Yardhouse, the chains offer selection that no local shop can match. For the consumer, that's a win. I can't say the same about Grandy's or Krystal.

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Jason (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:46

I wrote a lot. You could say I'm passionate about food.. and it shows (size: double extra medium). Anyways, here's my take on what Fresno needs in the way of national chain food spots. Ready?.. go!

Cracker Barrel -- Chain restaurant meatloaf and stuff with gravy on it. Hey, gravy, ok.
White Castle -- I know they have tiny burgers, and their fries come in 1 size. I want to know more.
Church's Chicken -- Good chickten! But I wanto to eat lunch without braving Yeastside Fresno.
Papa John's -- Daddy left us. We don't talk about him.
Taco Time -- Love this! Think.. Dairy Queen meets Del Taco. Mmmm
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company -- Fried shrimp, sauteed shrimp, shrimp burgers, shrimp soufle..
Joe's Crab Shack -- I see these commercials and I want to slit my wrists. Hey, I love crabs. Not in that way.
Naugles -- This was a SoCal taco chain that merged with Del Taco in 1988. I just like the name (reads like 'nalgas').
Claim Jumpers -- Just kidding. I ate there once. Know why they call it that? I checked my wallet after.. and claimed I got jumped.
Chronic Tacos -- I know nothing about this place. But the name has me intrigued I must admit.
Swensen's -- We USE TO have this ice cream spot, AND IT WAS AWESOME.
Schlotzsky's -- Austin based food chain. Just looks good. Where's my FLARE??

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brodiemash (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:51

There's a Papa John's in Clovis on Fowler & Ashlan.

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Jason (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:56

TruDat, but after factoring in gas/time/hassle, I gotta go with Pacifica or Me'n'Ed's (I by Fresno High). Good lookin out though. :)

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jamescollier  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:52

This made me laugh. Out loud.

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Jason (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:51

But in all seriousness folks.. Sconecutters in Utah. Wow, ok, wow! They make burgers out of donuts basically. And Navajo tacos. BAHM!

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cambriana62  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:56

This article is typical of what's wrong with Fresno in the bigger picture...as in..what kind of city do we want to be? trendy metropolitan, urban chic, hick ag town, the "smallest big city in the US" ? WHO do we wanna be??? Until we make up our minds on that issue, we will continue to be an odd mix of uptown snobbery, ghetto mentality, and uber conservative "not in my backyard-ism".. as far as food goes...well.. unfortunately not everyone is a "foodie".. and there are too many palates out there willing to settle for predictable... don't get me wrong..I've had some tasty stuff at chains... but nothing really interesting or challenging... and OMF'ing G, will we EVER have a Jewish Deli or excellent pizza? there..off MY soapbox.

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Jason (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 10:58

'Odd mix' is truly what we are. Feel you on jewish deli though for reals.

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jamescollier  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 11:07

I don't think we need to decide who we *want* to be - I think we have an identity. We're a highly diverse community that's surrounded year-round by ingredients that feed and flavor the rest of the country. We can own that. If a national chain can incorporate those ingredients and reflect our diverse cultures, I can get behind that.

And you're right - not everyone is a "foodie." (I don't consider myself one.) But economically, the community is better off when we prioritize local businesses over chains. Until we, collectively, do that, we won't see substantial change to chronic issues of unemployment, access, living wage, or [fill in the blank].

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cambriana62  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 11:11

well then we need to claim that identity and promote it more vehemently...because right now..we just come off as confused and running in 12 different directions at once... I think the mayor is heading in the right direction...but there needs to be a bigger push to promote local restaurants even when they're not in a very nice neighborhood...it shouldn't be just because its trendy but because it's actually GOOD.

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Melanie (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 11:16

The way people feel about food in Fresno is also what makes me wonder whether Twee (or something like it) will ever truly be successful. It also makes me wonder whether I really want to live in Fresno, and that's the part that breaks my heart. So many of us work so hard to be positive and embrace Fresno, while also trying to make an environment that we will enjoy even more, and hearing people wishing more chain stores would open just makes me wonder if it's a losing battle.

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jamescollier  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 15:45

Melanie, I'm with you in wondering if this is really where I want to live, and the WFW post made me ask, "What's the point?" There's so much opportunity here (that's what we're sold on, right?), but the opportunity comes because there's so much need. It's perpetually exhausting.

For what it's worth, I also place your business in the minority, in that you do invest in marketing. What you and your neighbors have created on Wishon is an example of a business-led "buy local" campaign, and it gives me hope seeing a group small business owners get creative in creating a destination point for consumers.

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chuckw  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 11:28

I have never understood why people in the valley stand in line for something like the Olive Garden. Or why they get excited over the arrival of some new chain. I visit the Philly area and NJ quite a bit so my wife can see her family. The chain places exist there around malls & hotels bot not nearly as much as you find here in CA. Nobody goes to them either except maybe tourists and teenagers. Everyone there has their favorite pizza shop, sandwich place or whatever. They wouldn't dare step into the likes of Macaroni Grill. Most people still visit the small deli or bakery too unlike we do around here. It is sad but that's Fresno. Actually it is most larger western cities I think.

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jamescollier  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 15:47

I think Joe Moore said it best on Twitter, Chuck: 'It's validation by brand: "if only we had a Ruby Tuesday, people would take us seriously"'

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Jason (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 11:32

LOCAL > CHAIN
Guadalajara > Chevy's
Mike's Pizzaria > Olive Garden
Ming's > Panda Express
Sam's Deli > Von's Deli

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jamescollier  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 15:50

I like this, Jason. Might have to use the concept and create a more formal list of local options.

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Dead in 60 Dives  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 12:30

The chain restaurant obsession in Fresno can be a product of blight. Chains buy in a degree of bulk that is hard to imagine, have an advertising budget, and some are publicly traded. Riverpark's rent have makes it seem impossible for a start up to come in, remodel, build a client base, and have money left to do anything but hire a bankruptcy lawyer. My thought is, as far as Riverpark goes, who cares. Apparently in Philly and NJ they have these type of chains by malls for tourists and teenagers. The abundance of high khaki shorts and Hawaiian shirts make me believe this is our tourist hub as well as our teenage wasteland. So, let them have Riverpark. You most note that we do have high rent places for non-chair restaurants. Fig Garden village has had one major restaurant close this year - Applebees, while The Elbow Room, Patio Cafe, and La Bou seem to THRIVE. Even Friant and Fort Washington, a place so North you wouldn't be caught dead there, is full of locally owned business. The duechiest bar/eatery in town The Standard, Yala Yala, and Sakania (sp??) are BOOMING in NORTH FRESNO !!! We have a lot of fast food and chains and I hate it sure, but were not doing all THAT bad...right?

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The Cured Ham  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 08:14

Excellent set of thoughts first of all. I've been thinking along the same lines recently and with a similar take. Riverpark is probably the toughest place for a local restaurant business to thrive, save Limon (but they're young). Friant/Fort locally owned and many have failed. So has Gold's Gym for that fact. Think high rents. It's good to be a landlord.

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jamescollier  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 15:56

Good perspective here. I'm not sure how thriving all of those businesses are, but they're certainly surviving. And you're right: we can keep the chains, but push them to the margins and tourist spots.

The notes about blight speak to the deeper issue of community awareness and "consciousness" that I'm trying to speak to. That blight is a byproduct of continued sprawl - we have space for large chains because we keep spreading out. With all that space, we demand convenience; gotta get in, get out and get home to our suburban stucco so we can hold up inside and catch up on Tivo.

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cambriana62  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 12:44

I guess to me, its more important to see the dive-y mom and pop places thrive, than the "I'm a rich local restauranteur and this is my 4th restaurant that I opened cuz I'm bored and I'm gonna charge an arm and a leg" kinda place.. Local doesn't always mean good.. I think local should also be accessible and welcoming to all...not just the trendies.

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jamescollier  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 15:57

I think it has to be mixed - the "trendies" attract people with disposable income, and that's a good thing.

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chuckw  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 12:56

We lack local specialties and brands too. Philly has cheesesteaks (not like the sad excuse sold here), hoagies, zeps, pretzels, Italian ice, Tastykakes, chipped beef, birch beer and other stuff. Jersey has tomato pies, frozen custard. NY has anything and everything. Cincinnati has their unique chili, Grippos chips and Graeters ice cream. New Orleans has gumbo. KC has barbeque. Seattle has coffee. What does Fresno have? Nothing. No regional favorite dish, style or brand. People have no real attachment to anything so the chains are appealing.

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The Cured Ham  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 09:10

Good point. Maybe the Hye Roller or Tri-Tip sandwich (but did we really just swipe the Tri-Tip from SLO/Santa Maria).

Another article pointed out when Guy Fieri will come to Fresno from Mike Oz and borders on your thoughts. It generated some thoughts and lots of local spots. I'm a fan of Mike's Grill personally and I certainly like Guadalajara (has it been earthquake retrofitted?) Hell, I'd vote for the Hungry Hut in Shaver...talk about a dive, but they have huge burgers.

The difficulty that Fresno has in finding a meal or a dish that truly stands out and that we are known for nationwide, despite our 1 Million people in the county population is actually somewhat interesting.

What is ICONIC and local food? How many times have Fresno residents dined in San Francisco and craved clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl? I speak as a Bay Area resident, foodie, and Fresno native...I HATE the clam chowder bread bowl. I hate The Stinking Rose...I really dislike most of the food in North Beach, all San Francisco icons.

I'd vote for tacos as our number one food in Fresno and area, but my guess is Tri-Tip will probably win out. Not so bad, it pairs with wine and beer, there are plenty of options locally, LA and SF don't really pride themselves on it (unlike tacos), and the meat is readily available.

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jamescollier  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 16:02

I think Mike Oz and I could make a strong argument that Fresno has a strong taco culture, if we really want to own a dish. That's representative of a large portion of our demographic, and it can speak to our ties to ag, farm workers, etc. We also have a wide selection of Pho and other Vietnamese dishes.

But I think Fresno stands out from other communities in its diversity. With so many cultures represented, it's hard to meld them into one "signature" dish or meal, and that's okay. Maybe we should be known for what's growing here - we should be the primary consumers of the fresh goods growing all around us, and make others jealous when biting into a peach, or a tomato, weeks before they're available elsewhere. And weeks after.

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lisachocoholic  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 14:35

There WAS a Jewish deli - Lenny's, at River Park. Nobody went there so it's gone. If we want these places, we have to support them.

There are so many mediocre chains, we really don't need any more.

There was a Swenson's, a Schlotzkys and there are a couple Del Tacos in Fresno. (Yuck...they are not Naugles, and they never will be. BTW it's pronounced nawhgulls, not nalgas.)

I think Fresno does have a regional favorite..beerocks. I'd never heard of them until I moved here in the '80s. That's a somewhat limited choice though, can't imagine more than 1 oar 2 beerocks joints in any town.

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Anonymous (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 15:08

NALGAAAAAAS!!!

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cambriana62  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 16:49

chuck...Jane and Michael Stern once asked me about the "Fresno Sandwich".. I had no idea what they were talking about, until they described it... they meant what we call a hye roller or caravan ...

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cambriana62  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 16:51

lisa, I remember Lenny's..I liked it..but my Jewish friends hated it..plus it wasn't run by Jewish people..so maybe we need someone local for that...

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MattShupe (not verified)  |  Fri, 2011-07-29 20:18

I am a amateur foodie and I have also only lived in Fresno for a year. I was recently asked what I missed about my home town in SoCal and really the first and only thing I thought was "the food". I think the food options in Fresno are horrible and every mom and pop I have been to out here is far sub-par.

When I moved here, one of the most devastating realities to me was that the area lacked a YardHouse. I have been to every Yardhouse in SoCal and Vegas. That is my second home, I frequented there at least 3x a week.

To think that mom and pops offer a superior product inherently from their nature is flawed reasoning. It goes along the same path that mom and pop retail faced with the expansion of Walmart, Best Buy and Costco. Big chain restaurants are not only far superior for our economy as they hire more people, pay better, spend more money in the local economy than small businesses do they are also able to afford better chefs, ingredients and atmosphere. Why do people wait in line for places like olive garden? Because people know exactly what they are going to get, the food is always the same and its consistent. Whereas when you go to a local restaurant you have no idea what you are in for and the quality and portion may vary every visit. I am not shy for adventure, but the worst all time customer service/dining experience I have ever had was at a mom and pop italian restaurant in San Luis Obispo. What happened during my visit would have never happened in a chain restaurant and if it had, I would have received a $500 gift card and begged to come back instead of being told "get the fuck out of here"

This is market economics at work. Big restaurants provide superior service, products at a better value which more supports the local community than any local mom and pop ever could.

By the way. Me N Ed's sucks.

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The Cured Ham  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 09:19

Matt,
I certainly like your take on economic impact. I often make the same argument for economic impact with my more opinionated pieces on TasteFresno. Whether I believe the entire set of reasoning and comparisons, is up for healthy debate. I was born in Fresno, regularly visit, but live in the Bay Area.

Chains provide a standard, training (for front and back of house), and food that often comes from a commissary all to protect the brand and provide consistency. Generally all good things. And you're right, stockholders want ROI, therefore a corporate overlord and corporate standard are there to ensure the product and service are consistent.

Mom and Pops can be inconsistent, especially with guarded family recipes. They may not train their staff properly. They may lack formal training as cooks. But that's no excuse for not going to a Mom and Pop.

Comparisons to Wal-Mart and Target versus Mom and Pop are a little stretched. Many M&P retailers can be specialty, higher priced, and service oriented stores which the Wal-Mart model is not consistent with. Sure M&Ps go out of business because of large retailers, just like they do when Starbuck's shows up on a block, but there is room in every economy for both to thrive.

The French Laundry, Cyrus, Gary Danko, Diavola, and Scopa are all technically Mom and Pop's. It would be hard to argue that Michelin Stars aren't consistent with Mom and Pop restaurants or that a big chain can put them out of business. I argue it's a matter of standards, training, discipline, and most of all ROI, just like it is with a corporate chain. Mom and Pop is no excuse and not synonymous for poor service or meal execution.

I also happen to think that the greater the viability of chains in Fresno points to the fact that Fresno has an economically viable structure to support high-end food. Ruth Chris doesn't come to a town to fail, they come because the economics support it. That should mean, Fresno should have a locally grown equivalent to Ruth Chris or Fleming's that serves high quality Prime steaks. Fresno currently does not.

As for some of the opinion in your response...I've eaten at YardHouse, the ahi stack is consistently good, fresh, and quite large. They have a good concept. I despise Olive Garden with every bone in my body and will never eat there as long as I live. And Me N Ed's is the pizza most Fresnan's grew up with and is familiar, nostalgic, technically a chain (ah the irony of a locally owned and operated chain). I happen to love Me N'Ed's. I also happen to like pizza in Naples, but for a much different set of reasons.

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cambriana62  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 09:26

as big of a fan as I am on local "dives" and real low brow mom and pop places...I would go to the French Laundry in a heartbeat if I had the opportunity.. there are some places that MUST be visited.. as for Fleming's...you're kidding right? I can't speak for the food there, because the service was so bad (on an anniversary dinner nite when we had reservations) that we left before ordering and never went back... but I feel that Ruth Chris is another place that, despite being a chain, must be visited at least once (who can afford it more often?).. and their service is legendary... but for the most part..the major chains can be left alone in favor of the smaller places... I'd rather try something interesting and homemade by someone I can get to know and who is usually MEGA appreciative that you're there, than some slick, corporation chow.

If you want great meat and great service without a chain...try Yosemite Ranch btw...

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The Cured Ham  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 10:46

The only claim I made about Fleming's was the fact they serve high quality beef and came to Fresno because of demographics. I'm made no claims as to service. I personally have been to Fleming's around the country well over 20 times, I go because it's the best option in many towns I visit.

I'm glad you brought up Yosemite Ranch. All their beef is "USDA inspected". Big deal, all beef in the US is inspected. What they don't tell you is what grade of beef they buy. Funny really, but also a statement. Wood fire certainly helps flavor. At Ruth Chris at least I know the quality of the beef is ALWAYS high. I don't know that at Yosemite Ranch.

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cambriana62  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 10:54

So you would never eat anywhere that you didn't know the grade of the meat? I suppose that lets out street dining either in trucks or food stalls in exotic places? All I know is..Yosemite Ranch had the best tasting and prepared food I'd had in a long time AND the service was wonderful, therefore, I'll be back..

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The Cured Ham  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 11:08

I never made the absolute statement 'never', except as it related to Olive Garden. I regularly eat at taco trucks. I've been a proud diner in the Djemaa el-Fna as well eating goat. And had more than a wonderful dinner in back-country kitchens.

However, when it comes to steaks in the US that I'm paying $30 or more for and claim to have the best steaks in town, I would like to know where the product comes from and what grade it is.

Please don't read any more or less into than that. I'm pleased you like Yosemite Ranch, I want more disclosure from them, that's all.

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jamescollier  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 16:05

I'm with David, in that I'll eat meat from a divey roadside stand, but if I'm going to pay $20-30+ for it, I want to know it's quality, and the labels many places use are intended to deceive. But that's not just found here.

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jamescollier  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 16:15

"Sub-par" is a relative term - you and I and anyone else in the conversation will have very different understandings of what that means. That being said, many mom and pops fall short, which I've outlined in countless posts before this one. I have yet to go to a chain, though, that is anything *but* par, and I like to be surprised. I've only found that at local restaurants.

Big restaurants provide investment and purchasing power, which helps to ensure "value" (another relative term). But that's not supportive of a local community, unless you're referring to the community where such a restaurant is headquartered. While there may be a workforce, it's not created by chains; that workforce pays minimum wage to residents already in the community, and often just pulls talent from existing establishments.

Market economics shows that out of every dollar you spend at a locally owned business, the amount of that dollar that stays in the community is three times higher than if you spend it at a chain. When factoring in the percentage of the workforce employed by small businesses - 60-70% - it's hard for me to understand where the community benefit is in supporting chains over mom and pops.

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cambriana62  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 00:10

Matt, while I agree about Me n Ed's... the rest of your argument is the reason people think Fresnans have no palate and only crave chains.. if you want predictable (boring), food.. go to your chains.. there are quite a few wonderful mom and pop restaurants here in town.. .. and really..shame on you..you're from SoCal and what you miss most is the Yardhouse???? Please don't call yourself a foodie..amateur not not... a real SoCal foodie would miss Phillipe's or Brent's or Tommy's.. not some overpriced microwaved, pre-frozen junk... and superior service? You're kidding right? I've never had the excellent service I've had in local places in a chain.. because chains don't care how they treat you, as long as they have sheep like you, continuing to patronize them.

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lisachocoholic  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 00:37

Matt: "Why do people wait in line for places like olive garden? Because people know exactly what they are going to get, the food is always the same and its consistent." Exactly! It's always the same, and it's rarely good. Some chains are better than others. Cheesecake Factory does a good job; Olive Garden definitely doesn't.

It depends why a person goes out to eat. I want to taste real food. I don't want predictability and bland uninspired food. I find it fun not knowing if a new place will be great or a disaster. If it's bad, oh well, at least I tried something new!

I do however agree with you about Me n Eds.

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MattShupe (not verified)  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 02:00

"1/2lb kobe style beef patty with swiss cheese, grilled asparagus, maine lobster sautéed in garlic butter, tomato béarnaise"

CRAB CRUSTED SWORDFISH
over wasabi mashed potatoes, snow peas, carrots and lemon grass beurre blanc

CUBAN ROAST PORK DIP
roasted roma tomatoes, pepper jack cheese, pickles, dijon and garlic aïoli on pressed garlic french bread with bbq au jus

Evelyn's Favorite Pasta
Penne Tossed with Broccoli, Oven-Dried Tomato, Roasted Eggplant, Peppers, Artichoke, Kalamata Olives, Garlic and Pine Nuts.

Farmhouse Cheeseburger
Topped with Grilled Smoked Pork Belly, Cheddar Cheese, Onions, Lettuce, Tomato, Mayo and a Fried Egg.

I'm sorry, what exactly here sounds tasteless, bland and boring? And I know for a fact that none of them are frozen nor microwaved.

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Anonymous (not verified)  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 02:34

Hey. MattDushe. You'll get 'hater's cramp' typing that much.

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jamescollier  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 16:06

Easy there, Anonymous. Let's focus on the topic, please.

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MattShupe (not verified)  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 04:05

Oh and Yardhouse offers around 100 beers on tap. Pretty awesome.

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cambriana62  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 05:23

where to start... 1. there's no tomato or bbq au jus on a real cuban pork sandwich, 2. a "kobe beef and maine lobster" burger sounds like an expensive disaster, 3. crab crusted swordfish? really? I can only imagine the price on some of these items...When I go to my local mom and pop places, I get to chat with the owner (who is also usually the chef), eat things I know are crafted by their hands, and give back to the local economy AND help a small business man or woman...oh..and eat REAL food.. not something dreamt up by a PR person..
For so much less money, my palate can travel to Mexico, Vietnam, India, Ethiopia, and the American South, ...without filling the pocket of some corporate fatcat.

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The Cured Ham  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 09:21

I've seen "Douche" spelled incorrectly twice in the responses section. If you're going to use words for impact or shock, please spell them correctly. If I made a spelling error, please tell me.

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cambriana62  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 10:52

well said, Mike.

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Anonymous (not verified)  |  Sat, 2011-07-30 13:53

How boring and insignificant is all this. Fresno is a great place! With ok food. It could be better. But we got time. Besides a short day trip can take you to half age places on 'Diners Dives & Drive-ins'. So quit complaining and let me enjoy my 4 chicken enchiladas from Guadalajara. Be well!