Take a tour of Smallcakes, a new Fresno 'cupcakery'
A classy brunch is a Mother's Day staple.
The central San Joaquin Valley has plenty of those, but there are a lot of different moms out there. What if brunch isn't her thing? What if she likes beer? Or cupcakes? Or gospel?
With that in mind, we rounded up some Mother's Day events and food options that are a little different. And for those traditional types, we've thrown in a few classy brunches, as well. Note that some of these events are Friday and Saturday, though Mother's Day is Sunday.
For moms who like to get creative — Several sip-and-paint events happen on Mother's Day and surrounding days. These are the classes where a teacher guides you through a painting while you sip wine or other drinks. No painting experience necessary.
These sessions fill up fast, so act quickly.
At Pinot's Palette, at the corner of Palm and Herndon avenues, there are four Mother's Day-themed events on Sunday. Moms can choose a painting that says "Bless this home" with a cross, a vase of flowers or other images.
Paint Nite doesn't have any sessions on Mother's Day, but it has events in the days before and after. These are held at restaurants and wine-tasting rooms around town.
For moms who like gospel — A brunch on Saturday catered by Chef Paul's Cafe features a musical tribute to Edwin Hawkins, the "father of contemporary gospel music" known for the song, "Oh, Happy Day." Several musicians will perform.
The gospel brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's at a new downtown venue, the Broadway Event Center at 721 Broadway St.
Tickets for brunch and show cost $30, show-only tickets cost $15. Tickets are available online.
For moms who likes beer — Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. downtown will host a musician, food truck and beer Sunday.
The beer garden is a mellow hangout place and on Mother's Day will feature jazz musician Randy Freeman from 3 to 5 p.m. Food truck Nay Nay's Filipino Flavors will serve lumpia (Filipino egg rolls) and other food from noon to 5 p.m. As for beer, be sure to try the new Zorro Especial, a lager paying tribute to the Fresno Football Club, the Foxes (zorro means fox in Spanish).
It's at 745 Fulton St.
For moms who like cupcakes — Smallcakes Fresno is taking pre-orders for Mother's Day. The cupcake bakery offers four of their large cupcakes with decorations like tiny signs that say "I love my mom" for $17.99. They come in strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and red velvet flavors.
Another "boozy" Mother's Day package includes these flavors of cupcakes: pink Champagne, cosmopolitan, a chocolate-dipped strawberry cupcake and a white Russian cupcake made with Kahlúa and infused with coffee. That sells for $18.99.
For moms who like local, organic food — The Tree of Life Cafe & Bakery in downtown Fresno is holding two "spring chickens for Mother's Day" events. The interactive brunches feature Mary Pitman of Mary's Free-Range Chicken and Tree of Life owner Carolyn Ocheltree. The pair will share stories of motherhood and growing their companies.
Each event includes dinner, instruction on how to prepare different chicken recipes and wine. A hands-on class limited to 15 people runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and costs $30. Another, larger class runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday and costs $25.
Call 559-663-7776 to buy tickets.
The event includes a roller derby match on the concrete slab just outside the brewery. The Central California Area Derby will compete against the Rough Diamond Rebels of Riverside County. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the match starts at 5:30 p.m.
Food and beer will be available for purchase. Try a Killwood IPA, a beer named to raise awareness of thousands of trees in the region killed by the drought and bark beetles.
Tickets to the roller derby match cost $10 and can be purchased at the door or online.
For moms who like chain restaurants — Several national chains have specials on Mother's Day.
Macaroni Grill opens early at 9 a.m. Sunday for a brunch that runs until 4 p.m. There's avocado toast and other items on the limited menu. The restaurant is also offering a fixed-price, two-course dinner for $25 per person Thursday through Sunday. That includes steak or chicken and desserts like chocolate cake. The full menu for both events is on the restaurant's website.
Mimi's also hosts a three-course brunch from 11 a.m. to close Sunday. The meal costs $18.99 for adults, $8.99 for kids. The menu includes quiche Lorraine, a mushroom and brie burger and several other options, along with soup or salad and dessert. Kids pick from a separate menu.
For moms who like cocktails — The Elbow Room in Fig Garden Village is selling $5 "MOM-osas" all day Sunday. Moms can pick from several flavors of mimosas, including the traditional cocktail made with orange juice or pineapple, strawberry, peach or mango versions.
The restaurant also hosts brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Eureka! restaurant also is jumping on the mom-osa bandwagon. On Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant at Palm and Nees avenues will serve a $12 flight of mimosas in four mini glasses featuring mimosas made with different fresh-squeezed juices. They include orange, pineapple, grapefruit, and a housemade ginger lime juice.
Eureka! also debuted some new seasonal cocktails last week. They include the wild child, made with watermelon, mint, vodka and rosé, and the New Delhi sunrise made with a garam masala syrup and rum. The Botanist G&T is made with its namesake gin and tonic water, rosemary and basil blossoms that diners are encouraged to pluck off their stem and add to the drink for a little extra flavor.
For moms whose kids are broke — Wienerschnitzel and Hooters both have free-food deals on Mother's Day. Though if you take your mom to either of these places you really should make her a card or some other nice gesture.
Wienerschnitzel is giving away a free chili dog, french fries and small soda Sunday to moms. Moms will need to show proof of motherhood, which can include bringing their children to the restaurant, showing a family photo or sharing a family story with Wienerschnitzel workers.
Hooters has the 10-piece chicken wings, a burger or a chicken sandwich free with purchase of a drink.
For moms who want brunch — There's nothing wrong with a traditional brunch. However, you need to make reservations as soon as possible. Here are a few options.
▪ CRU Winery and The Painted Table catering company are hosting a Mother's Day buffet brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets ($40 for wine club members, $50 for nonmembers) are available at www.cruwinecompany.com. Details: 559-673-6372. Address: 20146 Road 21 in Madera.
▪ RIley's Brew Pub is amping up its normal brunch and will feature tri-tip, waffles, chocolate-covered strawberries and more from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $20 for adults, $12 for kids. Moms get $4 beers. Details: 559-862-3925. Address: 2674 Owens Mountain Parkway, Clovis.
▪ Arte Américas is hosting its El Día de las Madres brunch in its plaza from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. It includes live music, a Champagne toast and silent auction under a shaded tent. Tickets cost $60 per person. To purchase, call 559-266-2623. Address: 1630 Van Ness Ave.