When one of the local favorite food trucks puts down roots and goes the brick-and-mortar route, it’s a beautiful thing.
Right? I mean, food trucks are amazing in their own special way, but for klutzes like myself, with a toddler in tow, they are packed with pitfalls. One hand is always desperately clutching at a tiny person who will inevitably drop and roll on the ground at key moments. The other hand is juggling my wallet, plate, cutlery, and napkins, and there’s a beverage tucked in the crook of my arm… something’s gotta give and more than likely, it’s my entrée. All this while I search for a table that never seems to materialize.
Although I’ve tried on several occasions, I’ve come to accept that it is not meant to be: I am no longer a sassy, freewheeling, food truck person.
So, with this in mind, I’d been wanting to check out the new, non-mobile location of The Gastro Grill since it opened in January, and finally managed to get the timing right last week.
The Gastro Grill is located at 760 Pollasky Ave. in Old Town Clovis. It’s not a huge place, but it’s got a great cheery vibe—a little industrial, a little pub, a little bistro, and a LOT of people waiting to get in.
Lots of hustle and bustle, but the staff was super friendly and helpful. I asked a few questions about the menu. There’s an appetizer item simply called “The Dog Bowl,” and I just had to know! It’s Chef’s Choice, in case you’re curious, too. And they were out of it, so it must be a popular option.
The Chef in this case is Reyes Chacon, who cooked at restaurants all around Fresno before going to work for the City of Fresno. In 2011, Reyes and his wife Debbi started a catering company, which eventually led to a food truck and now the restaurant in Clovis. The Gastro Grill is a family business, and you can read more about Reyes and Debbi’s story here.
So, on to the food. The menu at Gastro Grill is a little mix of everything. Starters include Pork Belly and Blue Cheese Fries, as well as Shrimp Cocktail and the above-mentioned Dog Bowl featuring “house scraps.”
There are filet mignon tacos, vegetarian tacos, and salmon tacos. Smoked Blue Burger Sliders, Candlestick Hot Dog, Vegan Burger, Gastro Cubano, Lulu Burger, and Cast Iron Entrées round out the menu. And of course, there is dessert (more on that below).
The menu at Gastro Grill is inspired by seasonal selections, meaning it will change from time to time. Food is locally sourced, and on the website, you can find out where the restaurant gets its beef, produce, bread, and honey.
After taking all of this in, I decided to check out the Bone Marrow Burger, and my husband ordered the Blackened Chicken Cast Iron Entrée.
The Bone Marrow Burger is described as a “1/2 lb Harris Ranch beef patty, rosemary garlic aioli, oven dried tomato, carmelized onions, lettuce, herbed roasted bone marrow.” It came with fries.
The Blackened Chicken Entrée was served with a bacon jalapeño cream sauce, alongside fries and seared cabbage with bacon.
My husband cleaned his plate, so the chicken must have been good. I was so distracted by my burger, I didn’t even think to grab a quick bite of his entrée.
The burger was great—definitely a fun presentation and enough of a “speciality item” to get excited about. I’d typically skip the fries, but my son was hoovering them down with such gusto, I had to check ’em out. They were perfect fries: nice and crisp on the outside.
Everything was so good, we decided we had to try dessert.
On the menu, you’ll see that there is a Dessert of the Day. When I was there, we were presented with two options: Vegan Strawberry Mousse and Lemon Basil Pot de Crème.
That’s right: there was a vegan dessert option. If it seems odd that a place that serves bone marrow as a condiment also caters to the vegan crowd, well… true story. As you read above, there are vegetarian and vegan options on the menu that look and sound amazing. No sad garden salads for you, veggie peeps!
We went with the Lemon Basil Pot de Crème. It showed up with whipped cream and blueberries on top, and I have to say, it’s one of the best desserts I have ever had. Really dense, rich custard, not too sweet, and the combo of lemon, basil, and blueberry flavors kept it from feeling too heavy.
Thankfully, it was a generous serving. Even so, I carelessly neglected my last bite while talking to the waitress, and my son shamelessly inhaled it while I was talking. (He’s lucky he’s cute.)
It was the perfect finish to an impressive meal.
Find Out More
Want to check all this out for yourself? The Gastro Grill is open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
I was born in Fresno and grew up here, as did my husband and my parents. I'm thrilled to be raising my young son here too! I've gone away for school and spent brief periods in other parts of California, but have always ended up homesick for my hometown.
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