SAVOR: Guri’s GrubHouse
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SAVOR: Guri’s GrubHouse
Story and photos by Amy GuerraWhen it comes to food, there are few offerings that could be more diametrically opposed. On the one hand is a rich, seasoned pastrami sandwich, smothered in bacon and stuffed between two thick slices of marble rye. On the other is a carefully melded quinoa patty with cheddar, grilled onions and a chimichurri mayonnaise.
Each dish is decadent on its own but, juxtaposed, they underscore the eclectic menu – a carefully planned work of art – created by executive chef Megan Beck of Guri’s GrubHouse.
Guri’s menu features everything from corn dogs and pizza to sandwiches and nontraditional yet delicious spins on comfort food. The decor is part brick, part wrought iron, with tall leather backed booths and wood surrounding the raised bar. There are white plates, cloth napkins and Mason jar glasses – each a tiny but necessary part of the experience.
On this day, an electric string quartet (two guitars, one bass violin) plays contemporary music on a stage framed by a chalkboard advertising the next “Beer Dinner.” With 24 beers on tap, the dinner planned for the following weekend will offer beer pairings and traditional Irish food in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
“For Easter Brunch, we’re going to have bottomless mimosas,” Beck says.
The menu changes monthly, and appetizers like Tachos (homemade tater-tots with cheese) are replaced with new favorites like homemade jalapeno poppers. If it can be made from scratch, it is.
“That pepperoni took me years to perfect,” Beck laughs, referring to one of the most popular items on the menu: the Meat Lover’s Flatbread Pizza. Beck and her team also make the pastrami and bacon. Items that aren’t homemade are still local, like the Max’s Bread every sandwich is served on.
Beck graduated from the French Culinary Institute of New York and has worked at well-known Fresno establishments Vino & Friends and Cracked Pepper as well as restaurants in both San Diego and Seattle. This her first turn as an executive chef.
“I like food that’s approachable for everyone,” she says of her style.
She succeeds, with offerings such a corndog wrapped in blue cornmeal for the carnivores to vegetable lasagna and other vegetarian options for those who eschew meat.
“I’m working on more gluten-free items next,” Beck says.
For dessert, she brings out what appears to be traditional bread pudding.
“It’s made from doughnuts. Sometimes people notice the sprinkles,” she says proudly before pointing out that the side of ice cream comes from Fresno State.
We’ve been here less than hour, yet, like a traveling band of foodies at a county fair, we’ve somehow made our way through corn dogs; a burger composed of a 50/50 split of ground chuck and bacon smothered in apple butter and pickled onions; a pastrami sandwich; homemade chips and fries; and, of course, a doughnut bread pudding.
A perfect afternoon.
Guri’s GrubHouse is located at 1713 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno. The phone number is (559) 225-2902. To make a reservation or learn more about the establishment, visit gurisgrubhouse.com.
Amy Guerra is a criminal
defense attorney practicing in Fresno. She has written for several
publications throughout California and enjoys writing about the law, food,
travel and all things Fresno.