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Great Food Search: It Came From Someone Else’s Kitchen Take-Out Edition

IN THE June 27 ISSUE

FROM THE 2020 Articles,
andTerrance V. Mc Arthur,
andThe Great Food Search
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by Terrance Mc Arthur

It happened. My daughter and I got sick of our own cooking. After three months of “It Came From My Kitchen,” we (and my wife) couldn’t take any more variations of Slow-Cooker Surprise and “Stuff Added to Packaged Mixes,” but our editor didn’t want us going to restaurants and dining like nothing was wrong with the world, even if they were open for business. For that reason, this Great Food Search features take-out food. (Lorie wanted places that deliver, too, but I have a perfectly rational fear of strangers coming to my door.)

Sunnyside Delicatessen—5691 E. Kings Canyon Rd., Fresno—Since the Sunnyside Deli is less than a half-mile from the Sunnyside Library where I’m working, it was no trouble to order/pay online and pick up on my lunch time, refrigerate it all at work, and take it home for dinner. My wife loves the French Dip with the au jus container on the side, with all that melty Swiss Cheese over the yummy roast beef. I tried the TBA—Turkey Bacon Avocado—which did all it could to keep those slices of wheat bread as far from each other as possible. Since I did drive-up/pick-up at the rear door, where they set up a tent, I ordered a pineapple crème soda for my efforts—If you haven’t had it, you should.

Turkey Bacon Avocado from Sunnyside Deli

DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant of Sanger—267 Academy Ave., Sanger—We’ve been going to this branch of the chain for so long, pick-up is almost as common as dine-in for us. They have brought back dine-in service, but we called in an order for Scarface (Penne with chicken, white sauce and mushrooms) and Lasagna al Forno (cheese-topped and baked). Of course, my wife would probably go for Cheese al Forno. The minestrone and bread that come with the meal are still a highlight of DiCicco’s.

Lasagna at DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant

While restaurants were on lockdown, they satisfied Sanger’s Italian food cravings with Family Quarantine Specials that could deliver foil trays of food to your door, and I thank them for their service.

Papa Murphys

Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza—5171 E. Kings Canyon Rd., Fresno—Another work-close location, only a mile out of my way. Call and pay online, park and pick up. Easy as that. Take it home to a pre-heated oven, and minutes later—Oo-oo-ooh! Classic Cheesy Bread and a Garlic Chicken Pizza! The Cheesy Bread was soft and tasty, but I overcooked the pizza a bit, but it was still good…and good for lunch at work the next day.

Sanger Buffet

Sanger Buffet—1839 Academy Ave., Sanger—When California went into lockdown, I wondered what would happen to my friends at Sanger Buffet. Could you re-open a place where everybody crowded around the steamer tables dishing up their choices? Finally, the Buffet is back in business, using a restaurant & take-out model. Outside, advertise their menu, listing entrees with white rice, combos with chow mein and egg roll, lunches with chow mein, and to-go specialties like Pot Stickers and Fried Bananas. The meals come with a fountain soda or lemonade. Call in an order, pull up in front, go in and pay through the plastic sheeting, and take it away! There are a few socially-distanced tables available.

The Honey Shrimp packed a loving sweetness, the Beef Onion cried out, “Here am I! Taste me!” (My daughter and I looked at each other’s food, and both of us said “That’s what I’m having, next time!”), and the Orange Chicken strained at the limits of the take-out dish, providing my wife with three additional meals.

This is going to sound weird, but I may like the take-out version better because food is made in smaller amounts and sent out without a cooling period on the buffet. At any rate, I’m happy to see them serving with a smile, again.

Deli Delicious

Deli Delicious—602 Academy Ave., Ste 8, Sanger—Order and pay in advance, and come and get it! The Roast Beef, Mushroom and Jack Sub was a surprise and a delight, with slabs of mushroom. The Hot Pastrami and Provolone was a really-good choice, even for someone who didn’t feel like eating. The Smoked Turkey and Provolone was a hit.

The Bottom Line—I’ll keep going to Sunnyside Delicatessen for the pineapple crème sodas, but my Oh-So-Good choice has to be Sanger Buffet. They have triumphed over the troubled times, and I’m thrilled about what they have done!

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 Librarian in Fresno County, California. He is also a storyteller, puppeteer, magician, and maker of pine needle baskets. On top of that he writes stories that range from rhymed children’s tales to splatterpunk horror. He’s an odd bird, but he’s nice to have around.

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