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Great Food Search: I’ve Never Been There, Before

IN THE April 29 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andTerrance V. Mc Arthur,
andThe Great Food Search
SECTIONS

by Terrance Mc Arthur

Our roving food critic Terrance Mc Arthur continues his search for great food in Sanger and the surrounding communities. Check out more Great Food Search here!

Sometimes, it’s new. Sometimes, it’s been there a while, and you just haven’t had a good reason to go there. Sometimes, you never noticed it, before, and you wonder if it popped up overnight, and will magically disappear tomorrow. I tried some of those, lately. Here’s what happened.

Antojitos Nayarit Restaurant,1330 7th St., Sanger (3/9)—Antojitos means “little cravings,” the Mexican street food you get when you don’t want to go to a sit-down restaurant. Nayarit is a small state in Mexico, south of Mazatlán and north of Puerto Vallarta. Put them together, and it means “Mmmmm-mmmm!”

food

A Torta at Antojitos Nayarit in Sanger. Oh boy!

I grabbed a torta, one day, beef rippling out of the love-child of a pita and a loaf of French bread, avocado, tomato, and more. The Aguilar family started small, then, in January, expanded into a space in downtown Sanger that is becoming a solid restaurant that could help revitalize 7th Street.

Scott’s Smokin’ BBQ, 759 G St., Reedley (3/23, 3/29)—A Victorian-looking building between Reedley High and the business district that has been the home of many businesses (food-related and otherwise), now houses a wild-and-crazy barbecue joint. It caters to the high school crowd with burger specials, and feeds the grown-ups with some serious Q-ing.

food

Pulled pork, bacon, beef, cheese, onions, sauce. Go for it at Scott’s Smokin’ BBQ in Reedley.

I had a Pulled-Pork Burger that mixed a juicy beef patty with a mound of shredded pork, meltable cheese, and onions into a heaven-sent package of flavor. The coleslaw was angelic, with the right amount of liquid—You don’t want it dry, but too much fluid makes it sloppy and gloppy. At a second stop-by, I had a healthy tri-tip with good-looking tomato slices and onions…and some friendly fries.

Texas Burger Drive-In, 913 Park Blvd, Orange Cove
(4/6, 4/19)—I watched this place being built in the block next to the Orange Cove library, but I didn’t know what to expect. Inside, it’s basic burger-shop formica and booths, but the food surprised me.

foodA Texas Burger parlayed a patty, onion rings, bacon, cheese, and sauce into a wake-up call for my taste buds. A Pastrami sandwich featured yellow peppers with a decent heat level. It isn’t fancy, but it fills the bill and the stomach.

Willie’s Café, 1663 11th St., Reedley (4/12)— Formerly the Quickfire Grill and the Express Grill Burger, Willies Café better stick around. Let me start by praising the soup. The variety of Soup of the Days on the Facebook page is astounding. I had a Tomato Vermicelli, which reminded me of Lipton’s Chicken Noodle with all those itty-bitty pieces of pasta, only this was a full-bodied tomato that soothed the throat and calmed the mind. The fries are spritely-seasoned planks of potatoes piled with reckless abandon.

As for the entrees, the Spicy Patty Melt piled soft onions that shimmered over the cheese, jalapenos, and chipotle sauce, stacked onto marbled rye bread. It was three meals worth of yummy. The Asada burrito was the size of a well-fed chihuahua (It was beef!), with meat cascading out at the first cut. The specials change every day…and they ARE special.

food

An Asada Burrito and a Spicy Patty Melt from Willies Cafe in Reedley. Note: the Tomato Vermicelli Soup is superb!

The Bottom Line—Where would I go for good eats? For Mexican fare, set me down at Antojitos Nayarit. Put Willies’ soup in front of me, and I’d follow you anywhere. Actually, I’ll be making return trips to all these eateries.

Happy eating!

Check out more food articles and more of Terrance’s Great Food Search column in our Food Fun section. And check out a KRL staff profile this week on Terrance!

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Community Librarian for the WoW! (WithOut Walls) Division of the Fresno County Public Library, roaming the Valley to meet the public’s information needs.

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