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Fresno Tastes Yummy
It's been said before, in this very column. But it bears restating — Fresno is a foodie's town.
Yes, a quick count of Applebee's in the area (it's five — six if you count Hanford) says otherwise. But that's discounting every person who ever ate farm-fresh produce, sipped locally-roasted coffee or was blown away by the ethnic curiosities of some restaurant tucked inside a strip mall.
For instance: B&K Asian Kitchen.
“It just blew me away. There was this little building over by First and Olive. If I hadn't been told by a friend, there is no way I would have ever know about it. You barely notice it,” says Nick Gundry, who along with James Collier, runs Taste Fresno, a local Web site dedicate to local foods.
“There's a lot of great restaurants and chefs in town, and a lot of people willing to explore different tastes. It's almost like its own food chain, from growers and distributors right the way through to restaurants and our homes. Food is all pervasive in this town,” Gundry says.
That sums up the site, which launched three years ago and has been through more than a few re-workings. The latest incarnation (with design help from Hundred 10 Designs) offers users a space to share reviews, post recipes and just talk food.
And these people can talk food. They can debate the best place get get pho (pronounced fuh) and seriously back it up.
So this isn't a head-to-head challenge to Yelp or Chowhound.
“It's all wrapped up in the stories and the relationships,” Gundry says. “We want people to own it, to belong and not get lost in the vastness of something like Yelp.”
It's not just about the reviews or recipes, Gundry says. It's what's behind them. Sharing that is how you grow the on-line community, off-line.
Which has always been the purpose of the site.
On point, the site is hosting a recipe drive through November to benefit the Community Food Bank. One dollar will be donated for each recipe added to the site. There's also talk of a community cookbook, which would feature recipes from local restaurants — like Max's famous sweet potato fries or the salsa from Guadalajara. Gundry and Collier even envision hosting dinners for local bloggers and food enthusiasts.
“We've always talked about using dinner clubs as a way to created a vibrant food community.”
For a taste, check out this recipe for potato parsnip mash.
Follow it up with Spiced and Spiked Apple Cider.