05 Mar Ofer Eitan Reports: Fresno, CA restaurant awards: Best of the Valley honors
All kinds of local restaurants were honored this week when the California Restaurant Association held its 29th annual Best of the Valley Restaurant Awards.
More than 30 restaurants won awards, and one longtime restaurateur won a Lifetime Achievement Award.
David Borunda, who took home the Lifetime Achievement Award, ran two Plaza Ventana restaurants known for upscale Mexican food and margaritas. Both have closed in recent years as he retired, describing himself to the association as a “recovering business owner.”
He’s run several versions of the restaurant since 1977, including locations at First Street and Shields Avenue, at Manchester Center food court, Fashion Fair’s food court and Caliente Wood Fired Grill.
Borunda is a founding member of the Fresno chapter of the restaurant association and the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He’s won several awards and is a supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California.
The restaurants honored Monday were chosen by fellow restaurateurs who are members of the Fresno chapter of the California Restaurant Association.
Best fast food: Chick-fil-A
Best desserts: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Best fast casual: Heirloom
Best winery: Toca Madera Winery
Best family dining: Pismo’s Coastal Grill
Best Coffee: Dutch Bros.
Best fine dining: The Annex Kitchen
Best bar drinks: Elbow Room Bar & Grill
Best sports bar: The Mad Duck Neighborhood Grill & Taphouse
Best Asian: Sakura Chaya Tokyo Cuisine
Best food truck: Quesadilla Gorilla
Best Italian: Parma Ristorante
Best banquet dining: Pardini’s Catering & Banquets
Best Mediterranean: The Phoenician Garden
Best catering services: The Painted Table
Best Mexican: Sal’s Mexican Restaurant
Best hotel dining: Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant
Best pizza: Mike’s Pizzeria Lounge
Best seafood/sushi: Wassabi
Best kept secret: Mochuelo at Hotel Piccadilly
Best breakfast: Benaddiction
Best steak: Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant
Best sandwich: Piemonte’s Italian Delicatessen
Best burger: Eureka!
Best barbecue: Westwoods BBQ & Spice Co.
Date night: The Lime Lite Restaurant
Friendly faces: The Annex Kitchen
New to the Scene: Heirloom
Beverage supplier of the year: Young’s Market Company
Supplier of the year: Sysco
Chef of the year: Jimmy Pardini, The Annex Kitchen
Restaurateur of the year: Brandon Smittcamp and Kevin Koligian
People’s choice award: Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant