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Basque Restaurants, where are they?

Where are they?

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  1. Three each in Fresno and Bakersfield, one in Los Banos.

    7 Replies
    1. re: PolarBear

      Thanks for the detailed response, can you suggest any in Bakersfield?

      1. re: normalheightsfoodie

        A little out of my area of experience, hopefully a couple of the B'field locals will update.

        1. re: normalheightsfoodie

          I've been eating at the Bakersfield Basque Places for years.
          You can't go wrong with either Benjis or Wool Growers.
          Overall, I think Benjis is slightly better than WGs, but I really like WGs lamb chops.
          Benjis has excellent steaks, and I think their sides (soup/salad/fries) are better.
          IMO, both restaurants are gems, and help make Bakersfield a decent food destination.
          BTW, I am not a big fan of the Los Banos Wool Grower's, been there a few times and had some really inconsistent food (especially the entrees)

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          Wool Growers Restaurant
          620 E 19th St, Bakersfield, CA 93305

          1. re: Agrippa

            Ate at the Los Banos Wool Growers yesterday for Sunday lunch, had a very good time and thought the food was respectable. Lamb chops--my main dish--were well cooked and flavorful. Best of all, great atmosphere!

        2. re: PolarBear

          PB do you know of the one in San Juan Batista? just read about it...

          1. re: toodie jane

            Thanks for the reminder TJ, I've had it on the list for some time but haven't been. Checking my notes what caught my eye were many different items (Spanish Basque?) from the traditional Basque that we're used to, Lamb Shank, Gambas,Ox Tail Stew, Tongue dinners, and Sweetbreads. I don't see the shank on the current menu, may be a special item. They also have a new website, the old one comprised of their name returns an Asian page. Hopefully some hound will chime in with recent experience.

            [ETA] Noticed that the lamb shank is lister under ala carte and they also offer paella for two, with a 20 min. prep time.

            Matxain Etxea
            206 4th Street, @ Franklin off The Alameda (E entrance to SJB)
            831-623-4472
            http://www.thebasquerestaurant.com/

            1. re: toodie jane

              I was there about six months agomand really enjoyed it. Plenty of food, but not overwhelming. I had sardines In a tomato base, excellent.

          2. There are about eight Basque restaurants in Bakersfield. Some are a little more traditional than others.

            The three best IMO are:

            Wool Growers Restaurant
            620 East 19th Street
            Bakersfield, CA 93305
            (661) 327-9584

            Noriega Hotel Restaurant
            525 Sumner Street
            Bakersfield, CA 93305
            (661) 322-8419

            Benji's French Basque Restaurant
            4001 Rosedale Highway
            Bakersfield, CA 93308
            (661) 328-0400

            A few tips - Most of these places are pretty busy on weekend nights, call ahead for reservations if possible. Noriega seats everyone at 7 p.m. - if you miss it, you miss it. However, many people like the one seating/family seating because it's part of Basque tradition.

            Depending on your travel arrangements, Benji's is the closest to Hwy 99 (about four blocks away) and is close to hotels if you are planning a night stopover.

            Hope this helps.

            -----
            Wool Growers Restaurant
            620 E 19th St, Bakersfield, CA 93305

            Benji's French Basque Restaurant
            4001 Rosedale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93308

            Noriega Hotel
            525 Sumner St, Bakersfield, CA 93305

            1. What's the latest on Chalet Basque? I was happy with both the food and the seating options (small booth for this traveler). It is also freeway close.

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              Chalet Basque
              200 Oak St, Bakersfield, CA 93304

              Wool Growers Restaurant
              609 H St, Los Banos, CA 93635

              2 Replies
              1. re: DiveFan

                Chalet Basque is still there serving traditional Basque plates. Chalet Basque has been for awhile now a popular spot for the younger crowds on weekends. It is adjacent to Hwy 99 and has individual tables/booths in a 70's style retro feel. If you're driving a distance specifically to eat Basque, I would go with Woolgrowers, Noriega or Benji's.

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                Chalet Basque
                200 Oak St, Bakersfield, CA 93304

                1. re: DiveFan

                  Not sure why the automoron inserted Wool Growers in Los Banos into your post, but to avoid confusion the Chalet Basque is in Bakersfield. Kudos to DiveFan and chris1401 for outing this place that seems to have been under the chowdar for a long time.

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                  Chalet Basque
                  200 Oak St, Bakersfield, CA 93304

                  Wool Growers Restaurant
                  609 H St, Los Banos, CA 93635

                2. Thanks for the advice. Noriega is closed for first 2 weeks of August for vacation.

                  1. Just north of Paso Robles in a little burg called San Miguel is the Tenth Street Bistro, we had an interesting night there not long ago, not sure we would repeat, google or search the board, I think I reported on it. Have heard mention of a little Mexican place near the Chevron station that's piqued my interest.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: PolarBear

                      I agree on 10th St. Bistro. Two different nights about 10 months apart, and it was exactly the same menu, but not prepared as well the second time. The Mexican place next door is a winner, mainly for the tamales. They only make a certain number every day, and if you are later than about noon, you can miss them. --- Though, they might make a second batch later in the day. Best to get their phone number when you go thru, and if you like the tamales, order on the phone, next time.