There are lots of ways to honor a veteran, but filling his or her tummy is a favorite one.
Restaurants all over the Valley – mostly chains – have freebies or discounts to honor veterans and active-duty military for Veterans Day.
Check the fine print for details, but most restaurants require a military ID. Another thing to pay attention to this year is which day the deal is offered. Some of these restaurant deals happen on Friday, not the actual Veterans Day, which falls on Saturday this year.
▪ Starting Friday:
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Free cheeseburger: Burger and breakfast spot Farmer Boys is giving away a free “big cheese” cheeseburger to veterans and active-duty military members.
The Valley has three Farmer Boys locations: 745 Herndon Ave. in Clovis, 200 S. Twelfth Ave. in Hanford and 1197 E. Prosperity Ave. in Tulare.
Buy one, get one free meal: Boston Market is offering a deal that includes buying one meal with a drink at regular price and getting a second one free. The deal runs from Friday through Sunday and you’ll need this coupon to get it.
Boston Market has restaurants in Fresno at 110 E. Bullard Ave. and 637 E. Nees Ave.
Free Grand Slam: Denny’s offering a free Build Your Own Grand Slam for veterans from 5 a.m. to noon Friday. The customizable breakfast meal can include buttermilk pancakes or hearty wheat pancakes, two eggs cooked to order and bacon or hash browns.
▪ Starting Saturday:
Free local lunch: REV’S restaurant at 401 Clovis Ave. in Clovis is offering a free lunch for veterans from noon to 3 p.m. Brian Velasquez, who owns the local restaurant with his wife Renee, was a Marine before opening REV’S.
Free pizza: Richie’s Pizza & Hot Dogs in the Tower District is holding a buy one slice, get another one free for veterans.
Free lunch: The Gastro Grill at 760 Pollasky Ave. will give away free lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
$2 off: The Smokin’ Burrito Food Truck and Catering gives veterans 10 percent off all year. Veterans can get $2 off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The truck will be at Ficklin Vineyards as part of the Madera Wine Trail.
50 percent off: The Point Patio Bar & Bistro at 2940 E. Nees Ave. will give veterans 50 percent off their meals all day.
Free lunch: Texas Roadhouse is offering a free lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Veterans can choose from one of 10 entrees, including a 6-ounce sirloin steak, grilled pork chop, pulled pork dinner or sandwich, fried chicken, cheeseburger or barbecue chicken sandwich.
Free food: Chili’s Grill & Bar is offering veterans one of these free dishes: Chicken crispers, chicken bacon ranch quesadillas, Oldtimer burger with cheese, bacon burger, chili or soup and salad.
Free chili dog: Veterans can get a free chili dog, fries and a 20-ounce drink at Wienerschnitzel locations in the area.
Free meal: Applebee’s will let veterans choose from one of seven entrees (beverages and tip not included, dine-in only). Choose from three-cheese chicken cavatappi, the butcher’s meat and potatoes plate, the American Standard burger served with bacon, and double crunch shrimp.
Applebee’s has three restaurants in Fresno, two in Visalia and one each in Hanford and Porterville. See website for addresses.
Free appetizer or dessert: Red Lobster is giving away free food. Pick one freebie from the list of appetizers: sweet chili shrimp, mozzarella cheese sticks, Parrot Isle jumbo coconut shrimp, seafood-stuffed mushrooms, lobster and langostino pizza or a signature shrimp cocktail.
Or, vets can get a free dessert, choosing from vanilla bean cheesecake, Key lime pie, warm apple crostada, chocolate wave, and brownie overboard.
Red Lobster has locations at 1460 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno and 1545 S. Mooney Blvd. in Visalia.
Free ribs: TGI Fridays is giving away a half rack of its “Big Ribs” or any other other entree up to $12. This special runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Veterans also get a $5 off coupon for another visit. TGI Fridays has a restaurant at 1077 E Herndon Ave. in Fresno.
Free appetizer: Yard House restaurants will be giving free appetizers to veterans. No purchase necessary.
Free meal: Olive Garden is giving veterans a free meal from a special menu with six of the restaurant’s most popular items. It includes unlimited soup, salad and bread sticks.
There are now two Olive Gardens in the Fresno area – a new one in Fresno and another in Clovis – and one in Visalia.
Red Robin has restaurants at 3385 W. Shaw Ave. and 7675 N. Blackstone Ave. in Fresno and one at 950 Shaw Ave. in Clovis.