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!
I missed Carrow’s. It was at 2100 Clovis Avenue, just south of Shaw, sort of an upper-scale Denny’s, but it closed. I was sad, but I’m not anymore. The old Carrow’s is now a new Huckleberry’s! For convenience, it’s across the parking lot from the new Costco building, so you can eat before you go to buy 100 rolls of toilet paper.
Huckleberry’s is a Cajun-style breakfast/lunch place that closes at 3 p.m., where the interior décor runs to tin roofs, Spanish moss, and gators. The chain currently has ten branches (three in the Fresno-Clovis area), with more on the way. I’d love them to be open for dinners, too, but I’ll be grateful for what I can get.How often do you find a place where the appetizers are really appetizing? Come on down! The Fried Okra, bite-sized bits with a pair of spicy ranch flavors for dipping, are not slimy, but be careful you’re not speared by a fork as other diners in the group reach for more than their share. Beignets (pronounced “ben-YAY”) are fluffy fritters, and you will say “YAY!” to the Mardi Gras Beignets, sweet, but not overpowering, floating on vanilla cream with dollops of strawberry, peach, and huckleberry toppings. Oh, the fruity goodness! For a bountiful breakfast, Huckleberry’s is a great choice. Take the 1/2-pound Chicken-Fried Steak Platter. You get three eggs, Country Reds, and a massive biscuit or muffin with it, and the gravy is worth it. The Country Reds are joyfully lumpy, bumpy chunks of potato that know they’ve been cooked and rushed to the table by staff who show how much they love this food by every smile. The steak is juicy, not the dryness you’ve gotten at other breakfast spots. My wife is fond of Eggs Benedict, and she loves Crab Cakes, so when she saw a Crab Cake Benedict on the menu, she knew what she was having. Poached eggs on crab cakes on an English muffin, drenched in Hollandaise sauce, and given an avocado treatment. Let the good times roll! I’d made a few visits in the prior week, and I kept seeing this monster among the offered dishes: Huck’s Breakfast Burrito: bell peppers, onions, scrambled eggs, cheese, and those amazing Country Reds, with a choice of ham, sausage, bacon, or Andouille sausage, bundled into a tortilla that looked the size of a large placemat, all topped with Creole Sauce or chili (I went with sausage and Creole). It was so-o-o good, and I got three meals out of it!
If you’re more in a lunching mood, go for the Louisiana Catfish, where you have a choice of Bayou or Creole style. If you take a walk on the Bayou side, sautéed mushrooms, green onions, and tomatoes top a skillet-seared, seasoned slab of piscatorial perfection that a fork slides through with no resistance. Choose the gumbo over the chili, and the okra, tomatoes, and sausage-dirty rice will launch a zydeco party in your tummy.
Many places have a Senior Menu, but Huckleberry’s has special dishes for Honored Citizens 60 and older. I tried The Swamp, a pair of eggs scrambled with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers, topped with Monterey Jack cheese, with Country Reds and toast on the side. It may be considered a smaller portion, but it’s more than enough. On the regular breakfast menu, I recommend the Quiche Florentine of eggs, two cheeses, spinach, onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms in a butter crust, with a generous blob of sour cream.
I’ve never had a bad meal or bad service at Huckleberry’s. even when it’s crowded, and the line goes out the door, the staff is still cheerful and friendly, eager to keep the customers happy.
Pole your pirogue down the bayou and get you some good eatin’, hear? I might be there.