From downtown Fresno to Champlain and Perrin, there’s a whole party platter of food news to catch you up on this week.
First, Rita’s Italian Ice is opening just about everywhere – or plans to at least.
In that story I explained that this East Coast business specializes in Italian ice, a combination of water and fresh fruit or flavored syrups that are churned like ice cream to create an icy treat that’s smoother and thicker than shaved ice.
On the East Coast, there’s almost as many Rita’s in Pennsylvania as Starbucks.
Matt Rasmussen, Rita’s Area developer
In Clovis, the mango and blue cotton candy (which tastes surprisingly like the real thing) are top sellers.
Rita’s also sells frozen custard. It’s similar to soft serve ice cream, but has an egg base, which makes it richer and creamier.
First up for another Rita’s is Champlain Drive and Perrin Avenue in Fresno, on the same corner as Five Restaurant. That is scheduled to open in late January.
Next is Visalia, which will get one around February at the Rancho Viejo Shopping Center at 5221 W. Walnut Ave.
Madera is getting one too, but the location is still being hammered out.
“It’s been going great guns. People love the product,” says Matt Rasmussen, Rita’s Area developer for central and northern California.
Eventually, four Rita’s franchises could open in Fresno, he says.
As long as franchisees and locations are found, pretty much every major city along Highway 99 could be getting one, he says.
Tree of Life
Dogs and people are welcome at downtown Fresno’s Tree of Life restaurant, which has started serving brunch on Saturdays.
People are welcome inside the restaurant at 2139 Kern St. and out, but dogs and their people must sit on the patio. The restaurant has homemade pumpkin dog biscuits available.
As for people food, Saturday brunch is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The restaurant serves sourdough waffles, made-to-order omelets, biscuits and gravy and other breakfast food. It also has its breads, including chocolate chip scones and gluten-free apple pie scones.