I have some wonderful friends.  Last night three of them drove down from Fresno (well, only one of them actually drove, the other two just rode along) to pick me up for a dinner date here in Visalia.  We went to Fugazzi’s, one of Visalia’s favorite bistro style restaurants.  (It was packed!)

I tend to eat in places like Quiznos and Subway, so I seldom have occasion to dine at a fancier establishment.  Fugazzi’s is comfortable, you don’t have to dress up, but nobody was in shorts and flip-flops.  I did see a couple of tshirts with blue jeans, but most of us were dressed nicely.  Black seemed to be the choice of the evening, with many men in black shirts and pants, and the women in black dresses.  (Some of those men looked really hot in black!)

I ordered the salmon, and this is what they brought me:


I don’t recall getting a flower in my food before.  Pretty, though, isn’t it?

While the presentation was wonderful, I’m not particularly thrilled with the current trend in dinning.  Stacking all the food in a single pile is more a hassle than anything else for me.  The fish on top of the rice on top of the vegetables, while making for a pretty plate, makes me play with my food!  Maybe I’m just too used to old ways, where the meat is here, the veggies there, and the rice over here.  ( OK, presentation critique off.)

The meal itself was delicious.  The company made it even more enjoyable.

After dinner, we took a stroll down Main Street, where there was a lot of foot traffic.  Visalia’s done a lot of work over the past couple of decades to make downtown the hub of Visalia’s night life, and it’s turned out very well.  We walked along, commenting on the various shops, and I told some local history to my Fresno compatriots.  One of them had never been downtown, even after years of coming to Visalia for work-related visits.  I pointed out where Sears and Montgomery Ward used to have stores on Main Street, and we stopped to get ice cream at the Baskin-Robbins inside Togo’s.

Back up the other side of Main Street, past the Fox Theatre, where comparisons to Fresno’s Tower Theatre were made.  The Fox got extra points for it’s clear use of modern marketing methods, as evidenced by nothing more than the window display at the box office.

In front of the Rio Grill, we stopped and chatted with the bar tender, who two of our group knew from Fresno.  Oscar was friendly and chatted with us for a time, and told us a few things about the Rio.  Next time we do this, we’re having dinner there!

One up the street, then back west, past Surplus City, where I got to tell them a bit about the “Mearles on Main” ice cream counter.

A nice dinner, a nice stroll down the Main Street of the Jewel of the Valley, and the evening came to a close.

I’ve got some great friends.  This outing was designed as a “get Jim out of the house” event, due to the stress of dealing with the eviction of a relative from my home.  I’m afraid I wasn’t the greatest company during dinner, and I did apologize and thank Ted for the effort, but I suppose it all has effected me more than I thought it would.

So, thanks, Ted, Jim, and Adi.  It was a wonderful evening, and I appreciate your coming down.  Next time, Rio Grill!