Di Cicco’s offers good affordable food

The area off Cedar and Nees has sprung up significantly over the past few years. Some of the new buildings in the area are a Johny Quick, a GB3 and multiple small franchises at the Parkwood mini mall. Last, but not least is the brand new Di Cicco’s.

Dicco’s is a well-known small Italian franchise owned by a local Italian family. This Di Cicco’s however is one of the nicest if not the best Di Cicco’s building I have ever seen. The freshly painted stucco building sticks out among all the buildings in the area. On the inside plants and pictures of old Italy surround the patrons as they sit around new tables in comfortable chairs.

The new Di Cicco’s still gives off the feeling of being in Italy. Almost every thing from the lighting to the walls reminded me of Italy. A group of five friends and I went into Di Cicco’s for dinner on Sept. 23. Di Cicco’s sets the example for a semi formal restaurant, which is warm and friendly.

“It’s very slow paced working here (Di Cicco’s),” waitress Britt Erickson, said, “Because people come in at very different times. It is good to work here, because all the workers here are very friendly.” All the employees greeted us with smiling faces and were very attentive asking if we needed anything or wanted more water.

“Di Cicco’s is not my favorite Italian restaurant,” Byron Erkenbrecher, ’03, said. “but I do like their red sauce items. My favorite item would have to be the New York Steak ($15.95).” The prices of items range from about a $7 meatball sandwich to about a $16 steak. If you prefer red sauce the recommended item is Nonno’s Pasta that contains chicken, green peppers and mushrooms.

“The work here is easy most of the time,” hostess Brenna Esoci, said. “I usually like working here (Di Cicco’s), because all the people I work with are fun and friendly. I’m glad I got to know everybody here.” The service was a little slow, but always very friendly.

I will return because Di Cicco’s offers good affordable food at the right price.

By |2017-09-12T17:17:38-07:00July 21st, 2015|Food, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Gazebo Gardens hosts food truck showcase

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Gazebo Gardens is on the corner of Shields and Palm avenues in Fresno; host a food truck showcase on Friday and Saturday nights.

Every Friday and Saturday, authentic food trucks from all over Fresno come to Gazebo Gardens to share tasty dishes and drinks with the people of Fresno. Each weekend different trucks with a variety of foods are lined up in the gardens under the twinkly lights.

Gazebo Gardens hosts food truck showcase and starts from 5 p.m. and goes to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night. Different trucks arrive each weekend providing an assortment of food. To add the charm of the night, bands come together and perform genres of smooth jazz or R&B.

Once arriving at the entrance, I already heard faint sounds of welcoming music. The sun had set and the glowing lights began to flicker on. The trucks were ready and lines of hungry stomachs were forming.

On this night, trucks from Dusty Buns Bistro, Sno Cafe, Mattie’s Wood Fired Pizza, Tako BBQ, El Premio Mayor, P&R Fusion and Cowboy Shaman served varieties of unique American, Mexican, Korean and Peruvian-American food.

The first item that I chose were tacos from P&R Fusion (Peruvian-American). They tasted fresh and very flavorful for the small tacos that they were; the order came with two tacos for $3. This was a great deal considering that I wanted to try more food from other trucks.

The next food choice that I picked was from Cowboy Shaman (Chinese Food), and it was a meal that consisted of 3 pot stickers and 3 egg rolls with additional sauces for $8. The pot stickers were more crispy than others that I have had at other restaurants making it super delicious. The sauces that came along with it were a perfect match of sweet and salty.

For dessert I chose to try a snow cone in “Georgia Sunset” from Sno Cafe. The “Georgia Sunset” tasted of peaches and cream and was very tasty. The snow cone was a refreshing finish to the warm night at the gardens.

The food was prepared quickly and served hot so the wait was not that long. Towards 8 p.m. more people arrived making the wait for the snow cone 10 minutes. Overall the service and presentation of food was excellent.

While enjoying the food, locales from around Fresno chatted under the stars and listened to the music brought by the band. Near the end of the night, Gazebo Gardens was packed with people from all ages, enjoying the food and tunes.

The setting was laid back and relaxing, with the twinkling lights and aroma of roses surrounding; it was peaceful. The next time you find yourself open on Friday or Saturday, check out Gazebo Gardens for flavorful varieties of food.

Check out the Gazebo Gardens website for upcoming events and line up of food.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @jennypenny.

For more reviews, read the March 17 article, Authentic Italian food offers traditional dining options.

By |2015-03-25T00:00:00-07:00March 25th, 2015|Community Events, Food, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Authentic Italian food offers traditional dining options

DoomanFood1Ryan King, Photographer

Feather editors ate at Il Palazzo restaurant in Little Italy. Both the food and service were wonderful and worth a visit. Ask for server Marchello.

Little Italy serves up fabulous meals at Il Palazzo

This year marks my fourth time ever traveling to New York City. Among these random trips, I have eaten at at least 40 different restaurants.

Today I had the great pleasure of partaking in the most impressive meal I have eaten in the Big Apple. Il Palazzo, in Little Italy, has made a statement in the community, as one of the most authentic and traditional restaurants around.

When first entering Il Palazzo, it appears to have a similar aura to most of other the other nearby restaurants until you reach the main dining room. With a glass rooftop revealing the nearby high-rises, and brick walls with fountains and topiaries, this place was giving off a great vibe.

Feather adviser, Greg Stobbe, has made this restaurant a annual tradition for his staff members. Stobbe asked for his favorite waiter, Marchello, by name to service our table for the afternoon.

Right away, I was impressed with not only the expediency of the service, but also the personal and welcoming touch that Marchello offered. While waiting for our food to cook, Stobbe and the other staff members engaged in conversation with Marchello, learning the about how he began his career with Il Palazzo many years ago.

Within five minutes of being seated, we were given a huge basket of various types of Italian breads and toasts along with an absolutely delicious house dipping sauce consisting of olive oil, parsley, garlic, red chili flakes and Parmesan cheese.

Two thinly cut pieces of deep fried eggplant, topped with rich marinara and a large portion of mozzarella cheese and a small serving of spaghetti on the side. I believe it was pure freshness along with the fact that it was cooked to perfection that truly made this dish. — Senior Ryan King

Five minutes after the bread was brought out, our table was given yet another complimentary appetizer. Fried zucchini with marinara dipping sauce, a dish I have never before realized to be a part of authentic Italian cuisine, satisfied the stomachs of everyone at the table.

The main course soon followed the appetizers, proving these meal no easy task to finish. I ordered the Eggplant Parmesan with the Calamari Fritti. This was fabulous Italian food.

The Eggplant Parmesan was almost breathe taking. I have tried this same dish in many other restaurants back home and I can say without a doubt that none even compare.

Two thinly cut pieces of deep fried eggplant, topped with rich marinara and a large portion of mozzarella cheese and a small serving of spaghetti on the side. I believe it was pure freshness along with the fact that it was cooked to perfection that truly made this dish.

Though it was hard to turn my fork from the eggplant, I forced myself to stop and try the Calamari Fritti. The day before we flew out of San Francisco, I dined at the famous West Coast hot spot, Scoma’s, on the San Francisco wharf. It was here that I tried there signature Calamari Fritti.

I can honestly say that it was hard for me to decide which calamari I liked more. While Scoma’s was tender and cooked perfectly, the true and fresh calamari flavor was somewhat drowned out of the meat. The calamari at Il Palazzo was a little tougher, but the flavor was exquisite. I, personally, enjoy the tough texture of calamari and therefore hold Il Palazzo’s slightly higher.

While it is normally a custom to order dessert after such a meal at a place like this, we made an exception, because it was not dinner. Our meal was concluded with a plate of fresh fruit to cleanse the palate and sooth the stomach.

If there were one thing I could have changed, I would have perhaps left out the chili flakes in all of the dipping sauces. Although I love chili flakes and personally enjoyed them, not everyone has a taste for it. I would leave the flakes on the side to let the consumer decide whether or not they want the spice added.

All in all, these meal was almost perfect. The quiet, laid back nature of the building really calmed the group, allowing for a much needed hour of relaxation. The food was top notch, the service was top notch and the atmosphere was top notch.

If you ever find yourself in desperate need of a good meal in the middle of New York City, please hear my words and try out Il Palazzo. You will not be disappointed.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @namoodnhoj.

For more reviews, read the March 10 article, Featured app: GameChanger.

By |2015-03-17T00:00:00-07:00March 17th, 2015|Food, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Kiosk food offers delicious BBQ tri-tip dining options

Mike’s Grill heats up the competition in NE Fresno

IMG_2594Jeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

A top ti-tip BBQ spot is Mike’s Grill near the SE corner of Herndon and Cedar.

While FC students, especially seniors, have come to know many of the restaurants in the vicinity, however, there is one hidden treasure many may not know about. Mike’s Grill, a small kiosk located in the CVS parking lot on the corner of Herndon and Cedar, is slowly becoming a local hot-spot, mainly due to their incredible tri-tip.

I recently decided to try it out after seeing it almost everyday as I pass by the intersection. Due to my fear of stereotypically sketchy kiosk food, I was slightly hesitant, but I came to my senses when I smelled the glorious aroma coming from the grill.

With a selection of food you would find at almost any other barbecue joint, I figured I could not go wrong with the jumbo tri-tip sandwich. I was not hungry enough to get a side, but there chili beans are also highly publicized.

The food took about three minutes to prepare before it was bagged and in my hand. Though I took my food to go, there were also a few tables and chairs near the kiosk for those who wish to eat their food there.

I started off on the first half of the sandwich by dipping it in the side of complimentary barbecue sauce. I was almost overwhelmed by how flavorful the sandwich was. The barbecue sauce was probably the sweetest sauce I have ever tasted; it also had an almost sinful tang.

The sandwich itself was like none other I have ever had. It was seasoned with what seemed to be a garlic marinade. The meat appeared to have been simmering in it own hot juices by the way it leaked delicious liquid every time I took a bite.

Mike’s is the perfect place to go for FC seniors who want good barbecue, but do not have time to go all the across town to get it. I know that I will be eating there often and I recommend the same to, not only FC goers, but also anyone in Fresno looking for good food. — Senior John Dooman

On the second half of the sandwich, I tried eating it without the sauce. I also separated the meat from the bread to make out which flavors each ingredient was giving off. I discovered that the hint of garlic I was getting was coming from the toasted sesame seed bread.

I would put this sandwich on a similar level to the tri-tip sandwich from the famous Dog House Grill. My only real issue with it is how thinly cut the meat is. If they put thicker slices of meat on their sandwiches, they would give Dog House a serious run for their money.

While the meat is not as thick as preferred, it is still seasoned to perfection. Mike’s seasons and smokes the meat on the premises right before your eyes; guaranteeing excellent flavoring every time.

Mike’s is the perfect place to go for FC seniors who want good barbecue, but do not have time to go all the across town to get it. I know that I will be eating there often and I recommend the same to, not only FC goers, but also anyone in Fresno looking for good food.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @namoodnhoj.

For more reviews, read the Feb. 11 article, Family friendly movie incorporates emotion, real life scenarios .

By |2015-02-27T00:00:00-08:00February 27th, 2015|Food, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Japanese restaurant adds entertaining aspect to preparation

Student Reviews Local Japanese Restaurant

With such a large selection of dining options in the Fresno and Clovis area, it can be hard to find a restaurant with originality and authenticity.

IMG_6133Ashley Garcia | The Feather Online Archive

With such a large selection of dining options in the Fresno and Clovis area, it can be hard to find a restaurant with originality and authenticity.

I made it a goal to locate a new restaurant that offered not only good food, but also a hint of creativity. This search led me to find Sakanaya, a Japanese restaurant offering teppanyaki.

Walking through the front door, it feels like you have just entered a Japanese garden. Exotic plants hanging off the ceiling and winding their way down the torii, this restaurant has a beautiful atmosphere.

In a teppanyaki restaurant like this, you are seated at a small bar, wrapping around a grill, along with other random customers. Because of this dining system, you may have to wait a while to be seated, due to the fact that they must fill the bar. I had to wait about 20 minutes.

I received my drink immediately after I was seated and the waitress took my order within 5 minutes.

If you are interested in attending Sakanaya for dinner, you will be looking at dining on the more expensive side. The cheapest meal starts $18 while prices can reach up to $40 plus.

I decided on the teriyaki chicken because you can never go wrong with cliche asian dishes. All meals come with a small salad and bowl of mushroom soup beforehand.

The chef wheeled a food cart containing the all the required ingredients to prepare everyone’s dishes. This is when the entertaining aspect of the Sakanaya experience came into play.

The chef threw all the ingredients on the grill and proceeded to astound the crowd as he twirled his utensils high in the air. The most fascinating trick performed must have been the onion volcano, consisting of a pile of onion rings funneling a plume of fire out the top.

Because the chef must prepare food for many different people, not everyone is served their food right away. A large portion of fried rice was prepared first for everyone. Next, a generous helping of stir fry was divvied up between the customers. Finally everyone was served their meat following the proper cooking time.

I was expecting to come away from this meal feeling hungry, but to my surprise, the portions were much larger than I was anticipating. I could not finish the whole meal.

This restaurant would be the perfect place to dine on a date night or a special occasion with a large group. I would not recommend eating here alone due to the extreme awkwardness of being paired with strangers.

While the food was delectable and the atmosphere was very inviting, the biggest issue I had was the prices. While you may sacrifice the high profile dining experience, you can eat at a variety of other teppanyaki restaurants around Fresno for virtually the same quality of food at much lower prices.

I will give this restaurant a four out of five stars because of the great tasting food and fulfilling meals. Next time you are looking for a place to take a date or have a family night, try checking out Sakanaya Japanese Restaurant.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @Nohjnamood.

For more reviews, read the Nov. 25 article, New album sparks interest in community.

By |2014-12-01T00:00:00-08:00December 1st, 2014|Food, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Cafe impresses, exceeds expectations

IMG_5098Sydney Belmont

During the time I spent there, I could not find a single thing that I disliked. Kuppa Joy can expect to see me again.

I have to say my first visit to Kuppa Joy was a wonderful experience; the cafe impresses multiple people every day. The cafe is located in Old Town Clovis and is open Mon- Sat. from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The first thing I noticed when I walked through the doors was how comfortable the environment was. It was as if the room was a stress free zone. As I looked around the room, I was welcomed in with a very polite hello.

The atmosphere was lovely, and not noisy to the point where you could not keep a conversation going. On a busy night, there is not much seating, but at 5 o’clock the seating was just enough for the coffee house. All the walls were filled with different pieces of art and old coffee bags.

As I ordered, the set-up was beautifully set and not overwhelming. Another thing I noticed was the slow draining coffee. You rarely see a slow draining coffee set up in a local place like this.

This coffee house, like others in its league, serves frappes, lattes, and iced drinks as well as bottled water, coke and almond milk. I ordered the Spiced Chai Latte which cost $4.50.

This drink was like fall in a cup. When I took my first sip it was absolutely perfect! The chai was not too spiced, it was perfectly balanced.

As for food, I ordered the Apple Crumb Cake, most of the pastries are made by Fire House Cookies which are home kitchen made pastries. In my opinion, this pastry was better than the Starbucks apple cake.

I could not just take one bite of the apple cake, the slices of apple were not too much because they were covered by pound cake and cinnamon. On top of the cake were balls of brown sugar which were a great topping to this delicious pastry.

As I ate I heard alternative music in the background, which was very appropriate for the coffee house. It made me feel cozy. The music was not too noisy, it was just loud enough to listen in peace.

Kuppa Joy is a wonderful coffee shop that strives for relationships with their customers. Not only is the atmosphere quaint and charming, but paired with their excellent coffee, they have achieved their goal. The shop is focused on quality – but that is not to say that they lack in quantity.

During the time I spent there, I could not find a single thing that I disliked. Kuppa Joy can expect to see me again.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @sbbelmont98, Email: sbbelmont@gmail.com.

For more reviews, read the Oct. 10 article, Local Mexican food offers authentic flavor.

By |2014-10-13T00:00:00-07:00October 13th, 2014|Food, Uncategorized|0 Comments