Great Food Search: How Cheesy Can You Get?

Sep 25, 2021 | 2021 Articles, Terrance V. Mc Arthur, The Great Food Search

by Terrance Mc Arthur

Coagulated milk protein. Sound delicious?

Hold on! That’s cheese we’re talking about, and there are over a thousand types, each with a different combination of the animal source, its diet, added enzymes to speed coagulation, pasteurization, butterfat, and aging. The Great Food Search presents the ooiest, gooiest, cheesiest dishes we could find—How Cheesy Can You Get?

Lasagna al Forno from Sanger’s DiCicco’s

DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant—267 Academy Ave., Sanger—Lasagna Al Forno, Al Forno means “baked in an oven,” but to me, it’s “baked with extra cheese.” At DiCicco’s, you get a hot-hot dish with stick-to-your-fork cheese that stre-e-etches all the way to your mouth. It’s my wife’s favorite dish at Italian restaurants, and it doesn‘t hurt that the Sanger DiCicco’s is only half-a-mile away from our house.

I hop for IHOPMushroom and Spinach Omelet

IHOP (International House of Pancakes)—7119 N. Fresno St., Fresno—Mushroom and Spinach Omelet—You see, there are a lot of doctors’ offices in that part of town bordering on Herndon, and I needed something good and soft. Fluffy eggs, mushrooms, chopped tomato, bits of onion, lots of spinach, and drippy cheddar over all of that—Wow! I even had it with a side of pancakes, and I ate it all! Double Wow!

Biting into a Buzzard Junction at the Red Caboose between Clovis and Sanger

The Red Caboose—5054 N. Academy Ave., Suite E, Clovis—Buzzard Junction—Buzzard Junction doesn’t seem like an appetizing name for a sandwich, but you haven’t seen this sandwich! Start with grilled chicken, add on mushrooms and jack cheese, slap it between two slices of sourdough, and put a pot of honey mustard on the side as a dip. THAT is a sandwich with a high level of gooey cheesiness, and the grainy honey mustard nudges it into amazing territory—By the way, the dill pickle spear stands on its own.

Poncho Villa Breakfast Enchiladas at Sandy’s Country Junction in Clovis! Oodles of ooey Gooeyness!

Sandy’s Country Junction—532 Clovis Ave., Clovis—Pancho Villa Breakfast Enchiladas with Chile Verde with a side of Sour Cream—The name caught my eye, and I have a fondness for Chile Verde, but I held off, and watched my wife devour a plate of the stuff. For our next visit, I thought about it, so I—Heavenly days! What have I gotten myself into?!? Fluffy scrambled eggs wrapped in a feather-soft tortilla, smothered in munchable chile verde, and topped with cheese-cheese-cheese! Stretchable, sticky-wicky cheese! But wait—There’s more! Sour cream in a cup, and a side of refried beans. What more could you want—except more?

The Verdict—I think it’s easy to guess, my choice for the month is Sandy’s Pancho Villa Breakfast Enchiladas, but all of these dishes come highly recommended by The Great Food Search.

Chili Mash from my kitchen (with help from Sanger’s Chuck Wagon)

Bonus Home Recipe—Chili Mash—Chuck Wagon is the beloved fast foodery that is uniquely Sanger (See the Great Food Search: Hot Dog!), and the beanless chili is a wonder to be tasted. I buy it by the quart, and look for new dishes to make with it. Chili Mash is one of our favorites. Start with a batch of mashed potatoes—I use a brand of potato buds that is no longer made, but I have some in my food storage. Pour on a generous layer of Chuck Wagon chili, and top it with two handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese. Throw it into the microwave for less than a minute to heat the chili and melt the cheese, and enjoy. For an extra oomph, slice up a turkey frank and toss it onto the mass of mash.

Happy eating!

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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