Bethany Clough

Quesadilla Gorilla to open 2 new Fresno restaurants

Miguel Reyes, left, and Mikayla Reyes, right, shows three types of quesadillas they offer at Quesadilla Gorilla along Visalia’s Main Street.
Miguel Reyes, left, and Mikayla Reyes, right, shows three types of quesadillas they offer at Quesadilla Gorilla along Visalia’s Main Street. ezamora@fresnobee.com

Fresnans will soon have the chance to chow down on a lot more creative quesadillas – say, a “Kanye asada” quesadilla – as Quesadilla Gorilla plans to open two restaurants in the city.

The business already has the tiny Visalia restaurant it started three years ago on Main Street, and a food truck that’s a regular at Fresno events like Gazebo Gardens nursery’s food truck nights.

Soon it will soon open its first restaurant in Fresno near Fresno High School, taking over the space at 608 E. Weldon Ave. that Dusty Buns used to occupy. Another location is planned for downtown.

Before we go any further, some trivia to impress your friends: Quesadilla Gorilla is pronounced “QuesaDEEYA GorYEEa.” Or “QuesDILLa GoRILLa.”

“As long as it rhymes,” says Miguel Reyes, who owns the company with his wife Mikayla.

The central Fresno restaurant will open soon, either at the end of March or early April. It will serve all kinds of quesadillas, including dessert quesadillas and its top-selling cilantro-lime chicken with bacon, cheese and jalapenos (named the Evan Boling quesadilla after the Visalia barber who came up with the Quesadilla Gorilla name).

The pair is still planning to open a downtown Quesadilla Gorilla. That one is slated for Warehouse Row, a cluster of historic brick buildings in the 700 block of P Street that are being renovated. It will open later, possibly in May.

The Visalia restaurant will remain open and the food truck will continue to operate.

One difference at the new restaurant? They’ll offer build-your-own quesadillas. They don’t do that on the truck because they don’t have the room to store all the proteins, cheeses, veggies and sauces from which customers can choose.

They’ll continue to have the “dilla of the day,” like that “Kanye asada” quesadilla made with asada steak, whole pinto beans, cilantro and cheese.

The restaurant’s bigger kitchen also eases things behind the scenes, giving them more room to prep food for the truck.

It’s an arrangement that’s similar to its predecessor in the spot, Dusty Buns, which had two food trucks and two restaurants (one in San Francisco) before filing for bankruptcy and closing.

When asked why he thought Quesadilla Gorilla could make it where Dusty Buns didn’t, Reyes declined to comment.

The couple are busy giving the restaurant a facelift with a coat of white paint that makes the dining space look drastically different, new tables and lighting.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

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