Bakersfield -- gourmet cheese and coffee? Any?
I just moved here and haven't been able to find fresh mozzarella and fresh smoked mozzarella (I've only found the poly-o hard peel-able-type mozzarella. Any delis that sell things like that with grilled vegetables, etc?
Also, any coffee shop that has whole beans and grinds it up for you and weigh it?
Welcome to Bakersfield, Jen. When you're used to shopping in NYC, Bakersfield can seem more than a little desolate at times. We've been here for 23 years now, and we still keep a picnic-sized ice chest in each of our cars, just in case we come across something special, in-town or out.
Do you enjoy cooking, or are you more of a take-out person? From your other posts, it sounds like you're used to grabbing stuff at specialty delis, farmer's markets, and/or public markets. I miss being able to do that here, and make up for it when we travel.
Having said all that, fresh mozzarella is super easy to make, and takes less than 30 minutes, start to finish. You can eat it warm, roll it into small boccacini and marinate in olive oil and herbs, braid it, or form it into larger loafs or balls. Here's a super-easy recipe, from Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle website:
I haven't found a local place to buy rennet (needed to form the curds), so I order it online. Making cheese at home is much easier than most people imagine, and the results are magnificent (not to mention impressing your friends :o) Fresh cream cheese is another fast-and-easy process, and you can add herbs if you want to have it on bagels or bread, or use it plain in place of ricotta.
If you like cottage cheese, Bakersfield has some awesome made-on-the-premises Basque style cottage cheese available, especially at Noriega's and Woolgrowers. Both restaurants also have awesome blue cheese as well. Brookside Market -- on Haggin Oaks and Camino Media, right behind the Marketplace -- sells wonderful Basque style fresh cottage cheese in their deli, and they sometimes have marinated roasted veggies, too.
I saw your comment on another post about settling for Costco bagels. Try The Bagelry on the N/E corner of Ming and Real, next to Guitar Center. Real boiled bagels and bialis, not the white bread puffy stuff sold in the markets. Trader Joe's has pretty good bagels, too, but never made-this-morning fresh. Bagels n Blenders, in the Town and Country Village (opposite end from Trader Joe's), is pretty good, too, but their bagels feel a little too light and fluffy for me.
Thanks for all the suggestions. We did buy a cooler this week.
btw I tried Green frog again and it turns out they have 2 cheese sections, 1 with packaged cheese and 1 with fresh cheese, so I did find mozzarella, but it's still 2x as expensive as costco, so I guess costco it is, at least for mozzarella. I have yet to try Luigi's, but it's on the list!
I definitely am not a cooking person. In NY, we basically ordered from seamlessweb.com for most meals. Often, we'd grab sandwiches and soups from a deli like lamazou or melange. Mostly for time reasons.
Here, I bought a crock pot and I figure that's easy/fast enough. I made roast the other day. It was not bad. lol
Thanks for the mozzarella recipe. I will try to make that next time. =)
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First of all... welcome to Bakersfield. Whether you moved here reluctantly or willingly, you will find it is a great place to live and people are pretty down to earth, friendly, giving and helpful.
I agree that Luigi's is a best bet for fresh mozz;, If World Market doesn't have coffee you want and you are interested in something local, you might also try Green Frog Market on Columbus in the northeast. They use a local coffee roasting company and the coffee is pretty good. Across the parking lot from Green Frog is Country Club Liquors and they have a great deli and may carry fresh mozz.
When you find the right coffee, you need to go to Smith's Bakery (on Union at 178 is one), where you MUST try a cream cheese danish, maple stick or thumbprint cookie which are the ultimate comfort food next to Dewar's chews for those of us who have lived here all our lives...
re: Bakersfield Hound
The Green Frog market only has the poly-o kind of mozzarella (the hard kind, not the fresh kind). The Albertsons near that green frog market has fresh mozarella, but it's really expensive $5 for two tiny balls. FYI Costco has $6 for two huge balls, but I'll definitely check into Luigi's see if they have other varieties too.
Welcome to Bakersfield! You try Caesar's Deli at the corner of Brimhall and Calloway Drive. When I've bought their meats I didn't pay attention for the cheese. Luigi's is another good spot to try. Not sure about grommet coffee since I buy the whole bean Starbuck's at Costco. I know that World Market does have coffe and a grinder.
re: Bakersfield Hound
Caveat: I have not tried this place. It came up when I did a search for "coffee roasters in Bakersfield." If you try it, report back. (Or if anyone HAS been there and knows the place, I'd be interested in knowing what you thought.)
Brinks Delicatessen & Fine Wine
3803 Ming Ave
Bakersfield, CA 93309