Food Review: Old Town Cafe

The Corner Cafe was a beloved icon that sat at the corner of 4th and Pollasky for years. Clovis residents ventured there on first dates, lunch with friends and business meetings to enjoy their famous tri-tip sandwiches and crispy onion rings for almost 25 years. Needless to say, Clovis was quite sad to see it close its doors.

Imagine our delight when we saw that a new cafe had moved into the space The Corner Cafe once occupied. The Old Town Cafe, run by Jesse Mendoza, and his family, has tenderly brought back the taste and feel of the old place.

Bright red umbrellas shade cafe tables along the sidewalk where diners can enjoy those delicious tri-tip sandwiches just like the former owner used to make. Yes, he gave Jesse his recipe and we tried it. It’s excellent. Perfectly tender and juicy and full of mouth-watering flavor, but you have to try it yourself.

My colleague, Billy Xiong, ordered the Western Burger. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a burger quite so juicy. This sandwich is piled high with bacon, egg, French fried onions, lettuce, tomato, Colby Jack and their special spread. Billy said it was “almost too juicy,” but I don’t think that could be possible.

The French toast was our photographer Ron’s choice. Six thick slices arrived on his plate, lightly dusted with powdered sugar. He lit into them after pouring on the warmed up real maple syrup and declared it to be the best French toast he’d ever had. “Like eating a piece of heaven,” he sighed.

Jesse Mendoza, who also owns Salsa’s, has worked hard to bring back the family friendly vibe that drew the crowds to The Corner Cafe. Along with his son-in-law Jacob Zapata and daughter Ondrea, has succeeded at recapturing the magic of the old  place.

“It’s not that it has opened, but reopened,” Mendoza says. The old customers are coming back and sharing memories with him of the old Corner Cafe.

Seeing their joy and being welcomed in to the Pollasky community has him excited and overjoyed. “There’s a lot of emotion and love on this corner.”

Bold flavors, customizable options, friendly waitstaff, great prices and generous portions make The Old Town Cafe this reviewer’s new favorite place.

Open for breakfast and lunch until 2 p.m., the Old Town Cafe is located at 361 Pollasky Ave in Clovis.

Heather Jamieson-Brown studied journalism at Fresno City College where she acted as a reporter for the award winning Fresno City Rampage, but took a break to be a caregiver for her ailing father who had Parkinson’s disease. She has three grown children and has lived in Clovis for 16 years. Heather has always loved reading books set in the American Old West, but rarely found any with strong female protagonists, thus, she wrote one. She is currently working as a reporter/journalist for the Clovis Roundup.