Great Food Search: Taste of the Rogue

Mar 28, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Terrance V. Mc Arthur, The Great Food Search

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! Due to some computer issues, this column is a week later, but hey better late than never.

I received an email from our editor: “Sending a reminder that your column is due next weekend–any chance of something springy feeling?”


Considering that I’d just spent more than a week tromping through the Tower District, seeing 31 Rogue shows and writing reviews, I couldn’t think of…

The Tower District

On my way from show to show, I needed sustenance (otherwise known as food) to sustain me (What else would sustenance do?), so I stopped in many places to get something to eat. I like to eat, as can be deduced from the string of Great Food Search articles I’ve written…and from any pictures of me.

Golden Restaurant, 1135 N Fulton St.
My wife says that her family used to eat there in the 1950s and it’s still serving Chinese food. It’s good, old-fashioned fare and it can get crowded. The Almond Chicken Chow Mein is friendly food, with tender, pan-fried noodles. My wife makes an order of it her entire meal, and still has leftovers for lunch on the next day. The Pork-Fried Rice sits on the plate as a compact conic-section of delight. My favorite entrees are the Curried Chicken, Mushroom Chicken, and Pineapple Chicken; these combos come in around the $8 level. It’s a great destination if you have time to take your time or people who like to talk.


Golden Restaurant makes Chinese food look good!

Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt and Desserts, 802 E Olive Ave.


There are great toppings and bottomings at Cindy's Frozen Yogurt & Desserts in the Tower District.

This location used to be Karen’s Keepsakes, with celebrity portraits adorning the outside walls. Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, and Raquel Welch are still there, but the interior is now a monument to the glories of soft-serve yogurt. Cindy’s offers all sorts of flavors, from Strawberry to Salted Pretzel (44 cents per ounce), but that’s not all. There are toppings as diverse as chopped-up candy bars and fresh kiwi fruit. A special area is reserved for cookies, cakes, and brownies that can sit under, upon, or broken up into the creamy, chilly delight. It’s a bright, happy place, and a family fun stop.


A spinach Frittata lined with ham waited for me at Mia Cuppa in the Tower District.

Mia Cuppa Caffe, 620 E Olive Ave.
One of the fascinating aspects of the Tower District is change. You may love a shop or restaurant, but there will come a time when it will vanish from the Tower scene, and something else will take its place, and life will go on. The Revue gave way to Mia Cuppa, and this cozy coffee bistro is now a fixture of the area. Even a business will evolve; during last year’s Rogue, Mia Cuppa was my go-to place for good soups, but they have left the menu. Now, Ooh-De-Lolli provides delicious baked goods. I had a Spinach Frittata in a Ham Cup. Yummy! Yummy! Mia Cuppa has several areas that have turned it into a popular venue for the Rogue Festival and other events.

Olive Ave Donuts & Hot Food 2 Go, 601 E Olive Ave.
During the Rogue Festival, a tie-in special got me a lunch combo for $3.99: Chow Mein with thick, orange-y noodles, nice rice, an eggroll and a big piece of fried chicken? Oh, yeah–they have donuts, too.


Quick and good Chinese food at the Olive Avenue Donut Shop...and it comes with Fried Chicken!

Grandmarie’s Chicken Pie Shop, 861 E Olive Ave.
Another long-time fixture of the Tower District, the Chicken Pie Shop is famous for its chicken pot pies, oddly enough, but I am also fond of their Bierocks (also spelled Beerocks). However you spell it, you have a bundle of heavenly, doughy munchiness. It’s filled with beef, cabbage, onions, and just enough spiciness. The atmosphere is 50’s family dining, service is “howyadoinhoney” friendly, and you’re likely to find someone you haven’t seen in ages in the next booth.

The Chicken Pie Shop is good for Bierocks, too!

OTHER PLACES TO TRY in the Tower District

Piemonte’s Italian Deli: My grandmother-in-law went here for all her deli needs, and the sandwiches are delish.
Sequoia Brewing Company: Yes, there’s beer, but they have great food, and the appetizers are wild and crazy, guys.
Richie’s Pizza & Dogs: Pizza by the slice or by the pie, and the hot dogs…? I’ll tell you about them, next month!

Check out more food articles and more of Terrance’s Great Food Search column in our Food Fun section.

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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