2 new restaurants coming, one with deep fried mashed potato tacos

The Fresno Bee — January 27, 2016

How does a taco stuffed with mashed potatoes and cheese and deep fried sound?

That’s one item on the menu of Chronic Tacos, which is headed to Fresno and Clovis. And if burger is more your taste, both cities are also getting more Five Guys burgers and fries restaurants.

Chronic Tacos

Chronic Tacos, with its deep fried taco, is a southern California quick-service Mexican chain with a twist. It is opening in the former Thai Fusion restaurant space, which closed last year, at Herndon and Willow avenues.

The signs are up, but the restaurant still has another month or so before it opens, says Chronic’s social media coordinator Ali Frugé.

Fresno will get a Chronic Tacos too, at the Marketplace at El Paseo in about three or four months. That’s the new shopping center near Highway 99 and Herndon Avenue (the one that is also getting an Olive Garden).

But Chronic Tacos isn’t all fried stuff. Most of the menu is made up of more traditional burritos, bowls and salads. Customers choose from proteins like chicken, fish, slow-cooked pork, carne asada or beans and veggies. Like at Chipotle, customers order their meal as they walk down the counter. Everything is customizable.

“You can be as creative as you want,” Frugé says.

Fries are on the menu, however. “Chronic fries” are essentially carne asada fries, but with anything else you want to put on it them.

Five Guys

Five Guys burgers and fries is opening several restaurants in our area, including one under construction at Fashion Fair.

In addition to the restaurants at River Park and the Marketplace at El Paseo near Herndon Avenue and Highway 99, a new Five Guys opened last month at Fowler and Herndon Avenues.

That restaurant is part of new construction on the southeast corner that will soon be home to Chipotle, Jersey Mikes Subs, Sport Clips and Blaze Pizza (but The Phoenician is no longer opening a second restaurant there).

At the Clovis Five Guys, a few people have gathered outside the door each day waiting for its daily 11 a.m. opening.

The restaurant is known for its burgers and fries, of course. Like the other Five Guys, the new restaurants have the stacks of bagged potatoes in the dining room, and free peanuts to munch on while you wait.

One semi-secret menu item: A milkshake with bacon in it.

Five Guys has all the regular flavors of milkshakes, but you can add free mix-ins – mostly traditional things like cherries and Oreo cookie pieces, but bacon too. They get blended into the shake so they’re broken up into small pieces.

“A lot of people underestimate the vanilla and bacon. It’s amazing,” says assistant general manager Natalie Pantoja.

The Fashion Fair Five Guys is still under construction, with no opening date yet.

This restaurant won’t be a tiny food court-style version, but instead a regular size one with indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant is taking over a former store space just to the east of the food court entrance.

A patio is being built for outdoor dining, similar to the existing one outside the food court. No opening date is set yet.

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