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Fres-Know: Awww, look at the otter

otter

TOO CUTE: Fresno’s Chaffee Zoo opens its new exhibit featuring African spotted-neck river otters, Bee photog Mark Crosse reports. The zoo is open during Easter weekend. Don’t fantasize about taking one home, however. These little guys have teeth. [Bee gallery]

OPEN ALASKA MOUTH, INSERT MUKLUK-PROTECTED FOOT: The nation’s latest “stupid comment by a politician” scandal has a local connection. After Congressman Don Young of Alaska called Hispanic migrant workers “wetbacks,” he explains he “used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in central California.” [Bee]

STANDING ROOM ONLY: It seems the Elbow Room’s “Sunday Sizzle” afternoon events are so popular that the restaurant will stop taking Sunday reservations for music on the patio starting April 6 because of no-shows, open places at tables, etc. That, in turn, irritates many long-time customers who don’t want to take a chance on getting in under the new no-reservations policy. How irritated? Local entertainer Jim Lyons wrote an entire manifesto about the new policy, including a delineation of “Elbow Room responsibilities” and “Patron responsibilities.” Don’t get between an Elbow Room regular and his Sunday afternoon.  (Strange: There was a robust post with lots of customer comments about the matter going on about the issue on the Elbow Room’s Facebook page last night, but I can’t find it today.) [MySpace]

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Saigon Deli opens, pays homage to Tommy’s Hamburgers

photo(25)The new Saigon Deli opened last week at 944 Fulton Mall, just north of Tulare Avenue. It’s a Vietnamese restaurant in the longtime Tommy’s Hamburgers spot with the wooden porch out front.

Tommy died last October in a drowning accident and the restaurant was closed. You can read his obit here.

The new folks have a menu full of Asian food like pho, noodle bowls, rice dishes, spring rolls, and banh mi — Vietnamese sandwiches.

Some of Tommy’s old customers requested the restaurant keep their favorite hamburgers and the family agreed. In addition to the regular menu, a “Tommy’s Classics” menu is up the wall, featuring all kinds of burgers. Chili cheese burger, anyone?

The restaurant doesn’t have a website yet, but is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday (which means yes, they serve breakfast too). They are still figuring out their weekend hours. Here’s some photos from my recent experience there.

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