It's hard to imagine Bakersfield as a foodie destination, but it is for us. The draw is the family style Basque restaurants.
Originally, the restaurants were the dining halls in hotels that housed the immigrant basque population that worked the ranches and oil fields. The food is delicious home style family cooking.
The meal starts out with a simple, but very flavorful cabbage soup, beans, bread butter and salsa.
I don't know if this is traditional, but I'm told to add the beans and salsa to the cabbage soup. The salsa was spicy and the beans adds a little extra heartiness to the soup.
Salad and cottage cheese is served. I believe the cottage cheese has additions, such as, garlic. Another local Basque restaurant serves blue cheese instead of cottage cheese.
The special of the day... I got the fried chicken while S got the pork chops which we shared. We requested the garlic-parsley topping which was similar to an Italian Gremolata. Very nice and garlicky. Definitely not for the garlic shy. The potatoes was topped with a milk based gravy. All very delicious. :-)
Next stop was Dewar's... the local candy shop. On the shopping list is their peanut butter chews.
Another item on our shopping list is Smith's Bakery for Smiley face cookies.
All of this driving around makes us thirsty. Vanilla Cokes (actually Pepsi) served with chipped iced. There's something refreshing about chipped ice.
Before we head out of town, we stop for some fries. Crinkle-cut fries that are crispy on the outside, but soft and fluffy in the center.
On the drive home just outside of Bakersfield, oil derricks that seem to stretch for miles.
After a day in Bakersfield, we're heading home and following the sunset.