I'll admit, I'm somewhat of a reverse snob when it comes to restaurants, I think more people should be eating at small mom n pop type places as opposed to expensive northside trendy joints. The restaurant bigwigs in this town don't need my money and they probably don't want it frankly. My husband and I don't have the "right" clothes and we don't drive the "right" kind of car for places like that. We don't look like the kind of people who normally eat on the northside, even when we have the money to do it. Don't get me wrong, I like interesting food in a "nice" atmosphere and I have paid big money to get that. But I also expect big service for my big money, and frankly it doesn't exist much on the northside. I also expect a decent amount of food for my money, not some precious little miniatures artfully arranged in the middle of a too big plate.
I prefer small places in dicey parts of town, run by real people whose livelihoods depend on my dollars. People who work hard for their money, people who don't open restaurants because they're bored, people who don't hire management companies and PR people to run things for them. People who are genuinely glad you stopped in. People who learned to cook from moms and grandpas, and other family members. These places usually have food that is fairly ethnic or downhome and come in decent portions. The "atmosphere" isn't always great, because these people work with what they have...and they might not have time for you right away because usually the owner is also the cook and the waitstaff... but its REAL and REAL GOOD.
I've found good food all over Fresno, but I feel like the best food is that served with love and determination and sincerity. Even when the owner or staff is grumpy because they're tired from working so hard, I prefer places like this to ones where I'm treated with fake love because the waiter thinks I'll tip better if he kisses my ass.
So this "Restaurant Week", go to some "real" restaurants for a change ,and help stimulate the economy of some "real" folks. Believe me, they will appreciate it more than you know.