Being from the east coast, I'm sure most readers will not agree with this review, but maybe some will since there are so many Californians who aren't from here originally!
This review is about the food scene as I see it after living here for 15 years. While 15 years isn't a long time, I believe I can give a somewhat honest review at this point. It may not be what you're looking for or something you agree with, but it's my honest opinion.
If nothing else, it's an opinion that you can either take with a grain of salt or toss it out thoroughly.
I can't write about all the restaurants I've tried, so I"ll be writing a great deal in general terms about their service, cuisine, and other details.
I may sometimes mention certain restaurants that stand out to Patti and me, and I hope you'll understand these are our favorites, not yours.
You're welcome to mention your favorites in the comment section, and we will make an effort to try them and write about them in the future.
I'll start with something I know a great deal about, Italian cuisine. Italian cuisine has a special place in my heart and life.
Growing up in Catania, Sicily, I had the opportunity via my parents and grandparents to enjoy the entire spectrum of Italian and Sicilian food.
Not just Italian food either. I had the opportunity to enjoy the complete Mediterranean cuisine offered, so my taste buds are well imbibed with traditional cooking.
Now that doesn't make me an expert, but it does to me, my family, and friends who count on my honest opinion about Italian food in Fresno and Clovis.
Italian food in Fresno, Clovis, and most of California is not traditional in the true sense of the word. They have taken traditional dishes and added a California flare to please their customers, which is a restaurant's duty.
There's nothing wrong with that since that's how they survive, but the advertising and using the word traditional get me.
Be proud of your recipe with a California flare and announce it like I want pizza shops to develop their own Fresno/Clovis pizza style.
But, the pizza issue is for another day. The Italian food isn't bad, and I have found a few places that almost seem traditional, and I have to say it's a pleasure when I do find that one spot.
I'm definitely not an expert on Mexican food. I can't even begin to tell you when I have traditional Mexican food, but I know I like tacos, burritos, and many other dishes.
There are so many restaurants in Fresno and Clovis alone, never mind the entire state. It's a chore to pick the ones I like here in Fresno or Clovis.
I haven't been to many Mexican restaurants, but the ones I've dined at always impress me with their dishes.
What I've been doing lately is visiting the hidden food scene, as I call it. The people who host a taco or other food stand late at night at their homes to raise money.
Many have said their food is traditional, and I take their word for that, but I've heard from others it isn't. I don't know if they are trying to hurt these hidden scene vendors or not.
Either way, I was in Mexico once in my lifetime for a business meeting, and I enjoyed the food tremendously. So I only can go by that one event judging what I eat here. So far, I've been happy.
Patti and the kids are the devil's advocates for enjoying Mexican food. They were brought up on it being they are part Mexican and always guide me when we dine out on what to eat that they feel I'll enjoy. So far, they've been right every time.
Like Mexican restaurants, there is a ton of Oriental food from Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and more.
Living overseas, I had the opportunity to enjoy Oriental foods in their homelands; honestly, I haven't found a traditional place here yet.
There are some great restaurants, but it's hard to cook traditionally when you don't have the right resources.
I'm not saying I don't like the restaurants that we've dined at, from that. I've enjoyed the food at each one and would go back and recommend them to anyone.
There are just too many to write about here. If you have a favorite one, let us know in the comments, as with all types of restaurants.
This review is to be taken with a grain of salt. It's what I feel about the food scene here compared to other places.
Is this food scene that different from other cities I've visited? No.
Over the years, I've traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America, and restaurants in the US work hard at making their food traditional. I give them credit, knowing that getting some of the traditional resources needed to make that meal is almost impossible or costly to attain.
We're in the melting pot of a food scene here in Fresno and Clovis, which makes our cities fantastic to visit, dine, explore, and enjoy throughout the year.