If you’re going to do it, do it big.
That seems to be the sentiment behind Fort Blossom Cafe, Bar & Grill in northeast Fresno. The restaurant opened several months ago in a large space once occupied by Chapala Grill and then Guadalajara at Friant and Fort Washington roads.
Now it serves breakfast all day, along with lunch and dinner from a huge menu. On that menu you’ll find American, Mexican, Italian and French food like crepes. There are even a few healthy options that aren’t on the menu for people running or walking in the area – more on that in a moment. And there’s a bar.
“We have a little bit of everything,” says Aurora Ortiz, who owns the restaurant with her husband Jorge Ortiz.
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If the word Blossom in a restaurant name sounds familiar, there’s a reason for that. The couple used to work at the Blossom Trail Cafe in Sanger. If you’ve been there, Jorge may have cooked your food. They got permission to use the word “blossom” in their new restaurant, incorporating Fort Washington Road into the name too.
But the couple met at another kitchen. Both were working for El Pollo Loco on Blackstone Avenue near Sierra Avenue when they got married.
Like many family run restaurants, there’s more members involved. You’ll find daughter Erika Ortiz waiting tables at Fort Blossom. (She also helps ferry around Aurora’s other children ages 7, 10 and 13 years.)
“She helps me out a lot,” Aurora says. “We’re a team.”
What to eat here?
“Chile verde is the main one here,” Aurora says. “It’s very popular.”
You can get it with eggs for breakfast or as part of a platter with rice, beans and tortillas for dinner.
The restaurant also makes crepes. They range from the BLT crepe filled with eggs and bacon inside and guacamole on top to the dessert-like Nutella crepes.
Mimosas are served “all day, anytime,” along with bloody Mary’s, micheladas and margaritas.
The Ortiz family has noticed business coming from customers at a nearby gym or people who have been running or walking on trails at nearby Woodward Park. They want to eat healthy so salads are on the menu. Smoothies aren’t on the menu, but you can get them made with low-fat yogurt in flavors like mango, strawberry and blueberry.
Jorge likes to play in the kitchen, and ideas often come out of the kitchen on a plate. Like the huevos divorciados (“divorced eggs”) with two eggs separated on a plate, one with chile rojo and the other with chile verde.
“He invents food all the time,” Aurora says. “Every day he has an idea for what to do.”
Fort Blossom is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and until 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Details: 559-231-5259 or on Facebook at @fortblossomcafe.