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Bakersfield


malachi
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Hi Folks

My girlfriend is going to have to spend the next three weekends in Bakersfield.

It could be rough and I'd love some advice.

While she's an adventurous eater (she lived in the Philipines for a while, in east Africa for a year, has traveled extensively in Thailand, etc.) she is a real foodie. She'll eat weird food, cheap food, any food as long as it is good food.

Is there any good food in Bakersfield?

Also - she's almost as serious about coffee as I am and is rather nervous about the prospect of having to drink Starbucks. Is there a decent coffee bar in town?

And finally (and this is the difficult one - grin) does anyone have a suggestion for where she should stay. She is a serious design/luxe fan. Her favorite hotels are Opus in Vancouver, Mondrian in LA, Morgans in NYC, Helvetia Bristol in Florence, Phoenician in Scottsdale and Penninsula in Hong Kong.

I know, I know. You're laughing. But if I could give her any hope it would be good.

Thanks.

fanatic...

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I know, I know. You're laughing. But if I could give her any hope it would be good.

Nope, no hope available :laugh::laugh::laugh: unless you made a typo and meant carmel instead of bakersfield :wink:

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I've successfully managed to avoid ever going there, but I'm guessing there will be great soft tacos and other Mexican food. If she is going soon, she can gorge herself on great tomatoes and summer fruit. Maybe she should find a room w/ a little kitchenette so she can make her own coffee.

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Actually, the kitchenette idea is a good one. I'll check into it. Thanks.

Anyone have any other suggestions? Anyone actually been to Bakersfield?

fanatic...

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Actually, the kitchenette idea is a good one. I'll check into it. Thanks.

Anyone have any other suggestions? Anyone actually been to Bakersfield?

I've driven through bakersfield. There is a very strange Harris Ranch steak house/rest-stop/hotel about 100 miles outside of bakersfield, it's not very good. Thus concludes my dissertation on the life and times of Bakersfield and Melkor.

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I've driven through bakersfield.  There is a very strange Harris Ranch steak house/rest-stop/hotel about 100 miles outside of bakersfield, it's not very good.  Thus concludes my dissertation on the life and times of Bakersfield and Melkor.

I have to disagree with Melkor, but remember, everything is relative. Harris Ranch, while not up to urban standards, is probably one of the better places along that rather long stretch of Highway 5. Super fresh produce this time of year. I had a great tomato salad there once.

Malachi -- if you get truly desperate, your probably 2-3 hours from LA -- depending on traffic and where you're heading in this megalopolis. Maybe you want to take a little road trip.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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harris ranch begins to look like lutece when you've been on the 5 for five or six hours. it's certainlyworth a visit. one of my favorite restaurants in california is actually located in fresno: a place called echo. really fabulous, even for a big city eater. it's only an hour north.

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I have to disagree with Melkor, but remember, everything is relative.  Harris Ranch, while not up to urban standards, is probably one of the better places along that rather long stretch of Highway 5.  Super fresh produce this time of year.  I had a great tomato salad there once.

It's definitely one of the better options on I-5 in the middle of nowhere. That being said, I don't think anyone in their right mind would drive 100 miles to eat there. Harris has reasonably good meat which they do an adequate job of cooking, they do have great veggies, but the restaurant would be right at home in the middle of disneyworld.

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It's definitely one of the better options on I-5 in the middle of nowhere.  That being said, I don't think anyone in their right mind would drive 100 miles to eat there.  .

uh, when was the last time you tried to find somehting to eat in bakersfield? there are actually a couple of basque places, which are, well, hearty and rustic. culturally interesting but not really great food.

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uh, when was the last time you tried to find somehting to eat in bakersfield? there are actually a couple of basque places, which are, well, hearty and rustic. culturally interesting but not really great food.

fair enough... my bakersfield experience has all been on the freeway.

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When in Rome...

I suggest she give in and honkytonk it all the way.

Check into a Motel 6, slap on a Merle Haggard/ Buck Owens record and dig into a chicken fried steak...

breathe in a little of that 'Tulare Dust' and watch the oil wells pump, pump, pump...

Maybe buy herself a new pair of boots at the western wear store ('cause that's what I did - mine are black lizard).

Oh yeah, and a bottle of good bourbon always helps :smile:

Edited by monkeymay (log)

We need to find courage, overcome

Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

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All right, let's try something more serious as a reply.

As far as on-line information goes, the Bakersfield Californian doesn't have much in the way of restaurant reviews. They do have a listing of restaurants, broken down by type. http://entertainment.bakersfield.com/dining/

Other than that, I'd suggest asking people who live in Bakersfield. The staff of the hotel where she's staying should have some good ideas, for starters. When they aren't busy and have time to answer questions, people who work in the shops she may visit could provide some good leads. The situation is not hopeless. It will simply take a little friendly effort.

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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I have a sister-in-law who lives in Bakersfield with her family. I spent the night there last October; we ate at Appleby's. :smile:

There is a Trader Joe's on Coffee & Stockdale. I'd think they'd have some decent taco trucks, so she might be on the lookout for those.

You can still get an amazing house in Bakersfield for little moolah, but what's the point?

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This is the long way around, but I'd suggest meeting some lawyers who could clue you into good places to eat. The biggest firm in town is Borton Petrini & Conron and they look well fed. They also put on a very fancy business conference each year which is quite the affair. It's in October. Best of luck. People with money in Bakersfield drive to LA or SF on Friday nights and spend the weekend.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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All right, let's try something more serious as a reply.

I am being serious. If one has spent time traveling and living in remote places around the globe, and found interest in those locals for what they are, why not the same for Bakersfield? Does one look for a Mondrian/Ian Shraegar experience in the Phillipines. Thailand or Africa? If so, then maybe that's missing the experience. Bakersfield IS honky tonk, with a fantastic serious country music scene that defines it's sound by the name of the town itself. It's cowboy for sure, and not too acknowledge that is overlooking what the town has to offer. If it's not her cup of tea, then for three weekends she just might be shit out of luck. :biggrin:

We need to find courage, overcome

Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

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Man, I am so in - did you check out the menu? Buck's chili and 'saddle sore salsa'. Or Dwight's baby back ribs?

And the 'Texas size' chicken fried steak that hangs over the plate! Dwight used to do a line of ready-bake biscuits that were marketed sometime back. I wonder if they sell them there, to accompany the 'seasoned sausage white gravy'? Meet me at the the bar for a slug of Jack - I've got to go polish up my big silver belt buckle right now! :laugh:

We need to find courage, overcome

Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

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bakersfield is one of the basque centers in north america. j. gold wrote about one particular restaurant in "Counter Intelligence" (i found it in the book, not the LA Weekly). there's gotta be something out of the ordinary - or at least very fresh lamb. for those who think basque cuisine isn't sophisticated, perhaps you should read some of mark karlansky's earlier works or recent restaurant reviews in gourmet for the bilboa region.

anyway, if there's a trader joe's, it's not like any visiter could actually starve.

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This is the long way around, but I'd suggest meeting some lawyers who could clue you into good places to eat.

Now this is more the kind of helpful idea I was thinking of, who to ask. I'd expand from lawyers to other people who take clients to lunch or dinner as part of their business, people in advertising or sales, anyone who can do a proper tax write-off. My partner, back when he was working for a company with government contracts, used to regularly take government people to dinner, on a business account, where he and the clients could sit down and talk business in a more relaxed atmosphere. Amazingly, a lot of good business was conducted over those dinners. And he had a good-sized, varied list of places to take the clients as a result. Unfortunately, he didn't work in Bakersfield, so I can only give the general suggestion and lack and good specifics.

BTW, Hollywood, the link you found was much better than anything I was able to come up with. Good work!

Edited by SWoodyWhite (log)

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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Good advice.

As a result, I talked to a local rancher who provides some of the local lamb and got the name of a Basque place (Wool Growers) he says is decent (though he claims the good Basque places are all up north near the CA-NV border). And I talked to the Assistant DA who called his counterpart and found out that the restaurant in the hotel she's staying in is where most businessfolk do lunch meetings.

Thanks a ton.

fanatic...

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Meet me at the the bar for a slug of Jack - I've got to go polish up my big silver belt buckle right now! :laugh:

My parents can not stand him 'cause he rides the rodeo

My father says that he will leave me cryin'

I would follow him right down the roughest road I know

Someday soon, goin' with him someday soon

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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  • 2 months later...

Of all the down-to-earth, family-style (ok, I've used my allotment of hyphens)Basque restaurants I've ever enjoyed, The Noriega Hotel is definitely at the top of my list. They have one seating per evening only, ringing the dinner bell to alert the throng who arrive early to down Picon punch and the like in the atmospherically perfect bar. Guests are led into cavernous, mens club-like(oops) room and greeted by course after course, in the traditional style, of simple, basic, yet impeccably prepared hearty fare. The chilled tongue, any lamb dish, the fantastically crispy, blisteringly hot french fries, and house made blue cheese are standouts. The price, including red wine, when last I was there was $17.

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