So where do you eat out on New Year’s if you’re not the dress-up-and-party type? Or what if you just didn’t make a reservation?
While you probably read about what the fancier restaurants in town are doing to ring in the new year in last week’s 7 section, those places are mostly likely booked up by now. So I thought this could be a fun opportunity to try out some other restaurants that I often hear Fresno diners talking about, places that are guaranteed to be a lot more low key on New Year’s Eve.
The entertaining Luna’s waitress of more than 10 years, Jannifer Tipton — yes, Jannifer, “I’m a little different,” she says — and I giggled our way through a conversation about what to suggest to you readers and settled upon the “eggplant Parmesan speciale.”
It’s eggplant Parmesan (which also comes on its own and in a huge sandwich) with mushroom, meatballs and onions.
“It’s just one big dish,” she says. “We got the best eggplant, and I don’t say that because I work here.”
It’s big enough to share, she says, unless, of course, you want to take it home and keep it all to yourself.
Luna’s didn’t have many reservations when we spoke last week, but you may want to call ahead to be on the safe side. (559) 299-4141.
Let me be clear: This is a taqueria. Nothing fancy here at all. But readers often bring up the little Don Pepe’s Taqueria at 4582 N. Blackstone Ave. in conversations about local restaurants. A few have even told me they think it’s the best Mexican food in town.
It serves burritos, super burritos, combo plates, tortas and seafood and is inexpensive. (559) 224-1431.
If you’re the type who prefers to spend New Year’s Eve in your jammies in front of the TV, Chinese takeout might be an option. Ding Ho Kitchen, at 3022 W. Bullard Ave. at Marks Avenue, gets rave reviews from diners on Yelp.com.
This take-out-only restaurant has a four out of five star rating, and reviewers use lots of exclamation points in their reviews. The Mongolian beef, special chow mein and orange chicken appear to be popular favorites. (559) 431-9685.
Yes, California Pizza Kitchen is a chain, but it’s also a big restaurant where you will have a shot of getting a table on New Year’s Eve. Obviously, the restaurant at 7895 N. Blackstone Ave. is known for its pizza, but it also has big salads, soups, pasta and small plates.
I almost died and went to heaven recently when I ordered the crispy mac n’ cheese off the small plates menu. The little balls of panko-coated fried mac and cheese were delicious. (559) 448-0801.