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Gigi "Divine" Dining


 
Posts from November 2016
by Gigi Divine posted Nov 23 2016 12:27PM
Hi friends!!!! I would like to take a moment to tell you how thankful and grateful I am for the opportunity to share my reviews with all of you! May you all have a forkin fabulous Thanksgiving filled with laughter, love and great food.

Until next time...eat well my friends,

Gigi Divine

 

divinedining95.7@gmail.com


 
 
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by Gigi Divine posted Nov 15 2016 6:39PM
Well, as I promised, I went to Sam's to see how they stack up against my favorite Italian deli, Piemontes. I went in with an open mind and a hungry tummy!! Located on the N.W. corner of First and Clinton in Fresno this place has been around for a very long time. The actual deli is smack dab in the middle of the building, the rest of the space is devoted to pastas, olives and other condiments as well as an extensive wine selection.

Service:

I was not greeted by anyone as I walked in and soon figured out that I needed to get a number in order to be served. When my number was finally called the counter person was efficient but not very friendly. When my order was completed I went to the cashier and she was a breath of fresh air. Very nice and asked if I needed anything such as forks, napkins etc. She kept the conversation going until my entire order was complete. Very nice.

3 1/2 forks for service


Food:

I ordered the Sam’s special, mortadella, ham, turkey, dry salami and jack cheese. All sandwiches come with the usual mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, wax peppers and pickles. I asked for extra peppers and extra pickles. I also ordered the cheese tortellini salad, macaroni salad and several types of olives. The sandwich was a huge forkin’ disappointment. While the ham and other lunchmeats were layered well the dry salami was stacked so thick and was literally like trying to bite into cardboard. I opened the sandwich to take some of the salami out and discovered that my request for extra peppers and pickles had been ignored, only 3 pickles and 4 pepper rings total!!! What the fork??!! The bread was also a sad disappointment. The top piece of the sandwich was so hard one could hardly bite into it while the bottom piece was soft.
While in contrast to the sandwich the macaroni salad was fabulous!! Fresh and full of yummy stuff, I will go back for it again! The cheese tortellini salad was also delicious with a wonderful blend of olive oil, pepper and fresh basil coating the scrumptious cheese filled gem. Again, I will be back for that!!
The olives and other condiments were also very good but I found the Sicilian cracked olives lacking in true flavor.

2 1/2 forks for food


Price:

The prices are much the same as Piemontes and I did like the individually packaged olives. The "house made" pastas were way overpriced and the packaging suggested a cold manufactured feel.  Not at all like the packaged pastas sold at Piemontes. But the wine selection was far more extensive than that at Piemontes and the pricing was very reasonable.

4 forks for price


Overall I was not impressed. As I said, I went with an open mind but I was super disappointed.  No wonderful Italian deli smells when I walked in, strait forkin’ up lousy sandwich and no personal service.

3 forks overall




So, in conclusion, I have to declare Piemontes the winner of the Italian deli challenge. The Piemontes special sandwich kicked Sam’s sandwich right outa the park as do the housemade pastas and sauces. The only saving grace for Sam’s is the macaroni salads and the wine selection and the wonderful cashier with the great personality and great customer service.
 
Until next time...eat well my friends,
 
Gigi Divine
divinedining95.7@gmail.com
 
 
by Gigi Divine posted Nov 14 2016 12:00PM
Hi friends!! I had a craving for sushi so I decided to hit up the newest sushi place in my neck of the woods. This place has set up shop in the huge former furniture store space on the northwest corner of willow and nees. Excellent location as it is right on the street and visible from all four corners. Inside the wide-open spaciousness is very welcoming.
 

Service:
 

As we walked thru the door there was a loud shout out of “wasabi” from the dining room. It was soon clear that this shout is given every time someone walks in. I liked it! We were greeted by a very friendly host who seated us immediately. Our server greeted us right away and was very informative and attentive without being invasive. My only negatives on the service were that small plates for the appetizer were not provided, we had to ask for them. The other negative is that the bussers, while totally efficient were in a bit too much of a hurry to take our plates. We wanted to take our time and forkin graze a bit and they kept coming up and trying to clear things away. But our drink glasses were never empty long and our requests for dipping sauces were met quickly.
       
4 forks for Service!



 
Food:

We ordered the calamari appetizer. This comes with a fabulous spicy mayo dipping sauce. Sadly, that was the only thing good about the appetizer. The calamari served cut in thick strips, breaded and deep fried was so chewy I actually had to discretely “get rid” of it in my napkin. The breading was soggy and added no flavor what-so-forkin-ever.
The mushroom soup and the miso soup were great. And the house salad was served with a fabulous house dressing that I shall crave. We ordered, on the advice of our server, Robata-Yaki. This is different cuts of meat, fish or vegies skewered and grilled. We ordered the bacon wrapped asparagus and the bacon wrapped scallops. The asparagus one was fabulous! Tender spears gently wrapped in bacon and drizzled with teriyaki sauce. This comes three pieces to an order, perfect for sharing. The scallop one was not so fabulous. One sad little undercooked scallop wrapped in bacon with a scarce drizzle. It definitely did not live up to the hype our server gave it when we asked about it.
The sushi was the star of the evening. We ordered two different rolls. The super girl, Shrimp tempura, imitation crab unagi, cucumber and avocado topped with fried calamari, macadamia nuts and unagi sauce. Super delicious!
Also ordered, the Booty booty. Shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado, cream cheese, imitation crab, topped with tobiko, macadamia nuts, unagi sauce and wasabi sauce. Again, spicy and delicious!

3 ½ forks for food!
 


Price:

The prices were very reasonable allowing us to sample several items without breaking the bank.

5 forks for price!
 

Overall we had a good time. The atmosphere is very comfortable and we sat for quite a while just talking. Great place for a date or a family outing. While some of the food didn’t knock it out of the flavor park I will be back for another run. And, as I said the sushi is forkalicious!!


4 FORKS OVERALL!!!



Until next time...eat well my friends,


Gigi Divine

divinedining95.7@gmail.com

 
by Gigi Divine posted Nov 3 2016 5:53PM
CLICK ON "OCTOBER ARCHIVE" TO SEE GIGI'S REVIEWS FROM LAST MONTH!
by Gigi Divine posted Nov 3 2016 5:42PM

This review is a little different in that it is not about a restaurant but a bakery. I spotted this little gem located in the large shopping center on the northeast corner of Herndon and Willow. The place is in between the dollar store and Rue 21 clothing store. Now I am not a cake fan, never have been, frosting is forkin yucky to me. But this place may have just changed my mind!

 

Service:

I was greeted immediately when I walked in by a friendly woman who directed me to a sample table loaded with yummy treats. She asked if I had been in before and when I told her I hadn’t she gave me a mini tour of what they had to offer along with a booklet and a treat card good for a free treat after so many purchases. (I shall be redeeming that soon!)

 
4 forks for service!


 

 Food:

In addition to the featured flavors, they have nine basic flavor choices and two different types of frosting to choose from. I went with the lemon and the pecan praline bundtlets, a smaller version of the large bundt cake. And I tried both kinds of frosting. Holy smoley!! These little bundts of heaven are forkalicious!!! Incredibly moist and packed with flavor I was forkin blown away! Both frostings were delicious but I did prefer the drizzle as I am not a huge frosting fan.


5 Forks for food!

 

Price:

The prices are varied, $4.49 for the little cakes that I had, serves two. They also have smaller, bite size cakes sold only by the dozen $19.75. 8 inch cakes run, (serves 8 to 10), $23.00. Then they have larger cakes as well as layered budnts and gift packs. A little pricey but still a wonderful cake!!


3 ½ Forks for price


Overall I really liked this place! I can’t wait to go back and try some other flavors. Perfect with coffee!


4 Forks overall!!


 

Until next time…eat well my friends,

Gigi Divine

divinedining95.7@gmail.com

 

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