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!
Coupon for the Reedley Sandwich Shop at the end of this article.
Wintertime is soup time, time for a steaming bowl of goodness for the soul. Since January is National Soup Month, (Go ahead, look it up!) so in its honor the Great Food Search has conducted a FoodQuest in search of taste-tempting soups.QUINZOS: Civic Center Square, 2343 Kern St., Fresno, (559) 233-3078
Just across Kern Street from the Fresno Convention Center’s north Exhibit Hall is a Quizno’s sandwich shop, next to a Starbuck’s–if you insist on expensive coffee with your meal. I’ve always liked their Broccoli Cheese soup, but they didn’t have any the day I stopped by, so I had Chicken Noodle. It was happily hot, filled with sturdy noodles, nice chunks of chicken and snippets of carrot. The broth had a tasty flavor and I felt nostalgic for TV shows like Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best. GOODFELLAS: 2405 Capitol St., Ste. 107, Fresno, (559) 263-9700
Goodfellas is an Italian lunch spot in the downtown Galleria and their soup is usually Albondigas, Mexican Meatball Soup. Why does an Italian restaurant serve a Mexican soup? Because it tastes so good, that’s why! A happy, hearty meatball bounces around amid pieces of potato, chunks of carrot, squads of squash–zucchini, so they managed to get something Italian in there–slips of cilantro and more. It is guaranteed to make the stress of the workday vanish for a while. This stuff is good! CHINA HOUSE: 237 Academy Ave., Sanger, (559) 875-8838
At the north end of Sanger, in the shadow of a former Save-Mart and a McDonald’s, is China House, a Vietnamese-Chinese take-out place. There are some tables for sit-down eating, but it’s really convenient for call-in and pick-up. They serve an amazing Hot and Sour Soup. In my family, Hot and Sour is the go-to soup for stuffy noses and general “yuckiness” –sinuses get a sudden steam-cleaning and a pleasant feeling energizes the body! China House’s version features tofu, onions, carrots, chicken, mushrooms, and little black things that…I don’t know what they are, but they’re delicious! It’s good for what ails you. DiCICCOS: Italian Restaurant–267 Academy Ave., Sanger, (559) 875-5557
DiCicco’s and Italian food are synonyms in the Valley dictionary. I bring visitors there and they enjoy and are happy (the friends are. I’m not so sure if DiCicco’s is happy about SOME of my guests!). I like their everyday Minnestrone, but I usually go on a Friday night because that’s Clam Chowder Night. It’s creamy and silky, with potatoes and clams and undiluted yummyness! REEDLEY SANDWICH SHOP: Reedley Sandwich Shop–1154 G St., Reedley, (559) 643-0025
I was asking friends and co-workers about good soups in Reedley and “Reedley Sandwich Shop” and “Clam Chowder” kept popping up in the conversations. The RSS is on a main business street, but in a not-too-exciting stretch of it. I was going to have Clam Chowder, but there was Cheddar Broccoli on the menu, so I tried it with a Turkey Pesto sandwich. The soup was pretty good, but it was overshadowed by a seriously-scrumptious sandwich. When I reported back to my friends, they said, “You need to try the Clam Chowder.” Two days later, I went back for the chowder. At the counter, I was asked if this was my first time for their clam chowder. I said yes, and they warned me that it was a bit spicy. That sounded fine to me; I can use a little adventure in my eating. They brought me the $8.25 Cup of Soup, and ½ Italian Sandwich with a small slice of cheese bread on the side. Instead of the usual pearly-white color, the soup was pinky-orangey.
When I tasted it…WOW! WOWZER! YEE-HAW! I suddenly sounded like one of those judges on a Food Network show: “There’s an interesting touch of heat here.” It doesn’t peel the taste buds off your tongue, but it has a definite presence. I don’t know what spice they put in it and they wouldn’t tell me. It must account for the unusual color and the stand-up-and-shout-Hosanna quality. The sandwich was drool-inducing and the cheese bread was crusty and perfect for dipping. To make things even better, the Reedley Sandwich Shop’s Clam Chowder is not just a Friday thing. You can have it any day they’re open and there is a bread-bowl option, too! There’s also a daily chili and a Soup of the Day, but I will clamor for their clam any time I’m in Reedley.
As you can guess, the Clam Chowder at Reedley Sandwich Shop has stolen my heart. The Albondigas at Goodfellas still has a tender spot in my spirit, and I’ll go to China House for a Hot and Sour that heals the body and the soul, but the Reedley Sandwich Shop’s Clam Chowder is the newly-crowned royalty on my personal menu.
Eat hearty, people!
Check out more food articles and more of Terrance’s Great Food Search column in our Food Fun section.
Print this coupon and take to the Reedley Sandwich Shop: