Great Food Search: Appetizers

Mar 26, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Food Fun, Terrance V. Mc Arthur, The Great Food Search

by Terrance Mc Arthur

Sometimes, you want a little something before your whole meal arrives, and that’s why the Great Food Search orders…APPETIZERS! Welcome to a collection of the mini-dishes the Valley has to offer: ethnic specialties, crunchy treats of the deep-fried variety, and culinary surprises.

Appetizers from Colton’s in Clovis. Zucchini Chips and Brussels Sprouts, and Deviled Eggs, oh my !

Colton’s Social House—1150 Shaw Ave., Clovis In front of the Sierra Vista Mall, Colton’s has an upscale style. We had a thick and hearty clam chowder as a starter for my starters. The crunchy Zucchini Chips came from some l-a-r-g-e squash, and the Caramelized Brussels Sprouts had serious power with clumps of cheese and decorations of greenery. Asked if I wanted my Deviled Eggs traditional or panko-coated, I said “Yes!” so I got both! (The crispiness of the coating was a delight, as well as the bacon strip garnishes.)

Appetizing appetizers with an Asian flair at Golden Restaurant in the Tower District of Fresno

Golden Restaurant—1135 N. Fulton St., Fresno A landmark of the Tower District, Golden has been serving up Chinese food for decades. The Combination offered samples of BBQ Pork, Onion Rings, Chicken Wings, Fried Shrimp, and Tempura Vegetables. The wings, jammed up along the bone to resemble meaty cake pops, were succulent, the onion rings were of a goodly size and toothsome, and the tempura-ed broccoli was softened, but not flaccid.

La Haciendita has tasty appetizers. See the Chile Verde Fries?

La Haciendita—1845 Academy Ave., Sanger At the southern tip of Sanger, La Haciendita has a reputation for good Mexican fare. The Quesadilla was tasty, and the Flautas were accented by mounds of sour cream and guacamole. The Big Kahuna (I know Big Kahuna is Hawaiian, but it expresses the Top Dog-ness of the dish) of the collection was the Chile Verde Fries: crinkle-cut potatoes, meat, refried beans, sour cream, and an amazing green sauce. That was something!

Whet your appetite with Sweet Potato Fries and Dip at Red Caboose in Clovis/Sanger

Red Caboose Café—5054 N. Academy Ave., Suite E, Clovis The Postal Service may say it’s in Clovis, but Sanger residents claim it as their own. Our (Choose Four) Sampler Platter featured Sweet Potato Fries, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Breaded Butter Mushrooms, and a Bacon & Cheese Quesadilla. The dip was something to dive into, the quesadilla had plenty of bacon, the mushrooms were juicy, and the fries elevated the sweet potatoes with their seasonings.

Fried fun from Triangle Burger in Fresno

Triangle Burgers Drive-In—753 E. Barstow Ave., Fresno A throwback to the malt shops of the 50s, with black-and-white checkerboard floors, oldies playing in the First & Barstow branch of the chain gives deep-fried appetizers star billing. Fried Zucchini (Sticks instead of rounds), Cheese Sticks (Happy Mozzarella), Breaded Mushrooms (Big boys, and lots of them), and an order of Fries kept us busy and stuffed.

The Verdict! The Golden’s Chicken Wings, the Chile Verde Fries of La Haciendita, Red Caboose’s Spinach & Artichoke Dip, and the Zucchini Sticks at Triangle were all standouts, but the King of the Appetizer Hill is Colton’s. The Chowder, the Brussels Sprouts, the Deviled Eggs, and the Zucchini Chips were all top-notch, making this the most Appetizing Appetizers of the Land.

Keep Eating, People! (Don’t keep eating People.)

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 worked for the Fresno County Public Library for three decades. He is retired, but not retiring. A storyteller, puppeteer, writer, actor, magician, basketmaker, and all-around interesting person, his goal is to make life more unusual for everyone he meets.

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