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2011 Rewind: Favorite local discovery?

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Will 2011 be the year that you discovered your favorite. thing. ever? Perhaps.

As you know, we started our 2011 Rewind series with talk of local events then our favorite release of the year. Now we’re onto our favorite local discovery. What new (or new to you) Fresno thing rocked your world in 2011? It could be a restaurant you love an event you don’t miss or a favorite place to visit. Or, heck, anything else.

Check out our picks and leave your own in the comments.

KATHY: I discovered Eureka!Burger and fell in food love. I especially love the Turkey Cobb Burger with its gooey mix of blue cheese, avocado, bacon and spicy mustard. Delicious. I’m looking forward to trying some other creations on the menu in 2012.

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DONALD: I’m going to slip in two “Discoveries” — one from the arts beat, the other from the food beat. For arts, 2011 was the year I discovered how much I love play readings. (A reading is just that: cast members read their own roles, usually with script in hand, and there are no sets, costumes, blocking, etc.) The precipitating factor here was The New Ensemble’s Hot Off the Stages! play-reading series, which brought us wonderful readings of such plays as “Red” and “August: Osage County.” There’s something invigorating about listening and watching skilled actors read a play rather than perform a fully staged version. The experience tickles your imagination.

And on the food scene: I discovered a charming little Mediterranean restaurant called Noah’s Cafe on Barstow Avenue right across from the Fresno State football stadium. (It used to be at Herndon and Cedar avenues.) The chicken shawarma is great, and the hummus is first-rate. Yum.

MIKE OZ: I’m going to keep with the food theme and choose Dusty Buns Bistro Bus. Now, I didn’t *discover* Dusty Buns in 2011. I knew about it last year. But I didn’t try it until 2011 — and with Dusty Buns, that’s really when you get to experience the magic. I think much of Fresno discovered Dusty Buns in 2011 too. Of course, who can forget its much-publicized dust-up with the city? But Dusty Buns is still truckin’ (well, expect for its current hiatus while its owners have a baby) and still a very, very popular mobile food option. As it should be.

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Responses to "2011 Rewind: Favorite local discovery?"

pk says:

Rice Bowl at SW corner of Palm and Bullard–
I could go on about the food but it fills the void left by the closing of the other Japanese ‘bowl’ place at Fig Garden
Plus their chili sauce is awesome on anything there!
Their tempura was crispy delish not soggy–and the rice bowls and cucumber salad–excellent!

msbee says:

Taqueria y carniceria El Charrito
A little meat market between Clinton and McKinley on West. A burrito can “feed a family” for under $5. Love the chili verdi!

Patti Ogden says:

This isn’t a new entertainment venue, but it was new to me, so I’m going to plug it.

We recently attended a Lively Arts sponsored ballet at the Shagoian Center. We were impressed with the facility. First, there was plenty of FREE parking. The interior of the lobby was simple, clean and attractive, as was the interior of the theater itself. Most impressive were the acoustics. There were so many pluses compared to downtown that I hope to attend more events at the Shagoian.

On the food scene, (and we are super qualified foodies LOL), I heartily recommend a drive up Auberry Road, to Don Fernando’s at Marshall Station. It’s about a 30 min drive from the northern part of Fresno, at Auberry and Wellbarn Roads, right across the street from the fire station. It’s Mexican food, but definitely not the Americanized version to be found at most places in the city. Fernando, owner/chef says the cooking is typical of the state of Michocan. It’s gourmet Mexican. Portions are generous and prices are quite reasonable. You can get tacos, enchiladas, etc., and even those are made with a flair. However, I suggest trying some of the more unusual things on the menu. The ribs are to die for. The Mexican meatloaf is luscious, and all of the shrimp dishes are heavenly because of their flavorful sauces. If you’ve never had a sopa or a molotes, give them a try. Order one of each on your plate and you’ll be taking one of them home. That’s not all bad IMO. The corn chowder is hearty and, with a salad, can be a meal in itself. Wine Margarita’s and beer can be ordered. Don Fernando’s-open Weds-Sunday, 11am to 8pm. The atmosphere is rather funky, but the food is outstanding.

Give it a try. It’s worth the drive. I guarantee you won’t be sorry.

Donald Munro says:

Thanks for the recommendation, pk. I live close by but have never stopped in at the Rice Bowl. I’ll have to give a try.

Kristie Leyba says:

I agree with the reading of the plays by New Ensemble as a highlight in addition to the FUSE fest with kept me excited to see so many top notch musical acts around every corner and in little books of the downtown area. So many good things happening here!