Hidden Review - Shepherd's Inn Fresno

As someone who has long appreciated Basque restaurants, especially those in Nevada, it was pleasing to find a good one right here in the Central Valley.

For those not familiar with food at a Basque restaurant, let me start by saying if you are foodie looking for some extravagant dining experience, they will not probably fit your bill. If on the other hand, if you enjoy a hearty meal, with generous portions, you'll like these establishments.

We visited Shepherd's Inn in Fresno on a Friday afternoon just as happy hour started and began with two appetizers - warmed pickled beef tongue and fried chicken livers in green bell pepper and onion. 

The dining room was not yet open, but the ladies behind the bar were more than happy to serve us at the bar. 

I ask you, where can you find this as an appetizer? Not many places I can think off. They were great. 

Oh, we enjoyed our appetizers with a few picon punch cocktails - a drink you will not likely find in anyplace other than a Basque restaurant and bar. It is a staple, and the bartenders mixed them perfectly.

As for dinner - which after the hearty appetizers meant a lot more food coming was served Basque style, which is family style. We had their garlic fried chicken and Friday fish special which was Cod topped with clams and mussels, and both were fine.

Like other Basque restaurants, they offered several types of lamb. We are big lamb fans and often make it at home, so we decided to do something a little different and were pleased with our choices.  

Along with the clam chowder, salad, bread, beans, and potato salad, we ended up taking home most of our entrees which was fine by us. 

The staff was really nice. Shepherd's Inn is the type of place where there are a lot of regulars, but the staff and the patrons gave off a good vibe. If we lived nearby, we too would probably become regulars.

The location in downtown Fresno was easy to find, and we were lucky to find a meter spot by the restaurant. The restaurant is across from the bus and Amtrak station has some sketchy characters milling around, but we didn't feel unsafe.  

The building is non-descript, but once inside the bar is unique. If nothing else stop for a drink and look at the bar - they are not made this way anymore.

If you have the opportunity to have lunch, dinner or even happy hour while going through or visiting Fresno stop by - you will not be disappointed.

Shepherd's Inn
935 Santa Fe Ave.
Fresno, Calif. 93721

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