Basque in Bakersfield, CA?
- Robert Sieczkiewicz
Can anyone recommend Basque restaurants in
Bakersfield? I really enjoy the huge, family-style
ritual at the Noriega Hotel, but would like to find
something that's less of a time commitment -- and
offers some options. (I find the lard-fried french
fries irresistible, but my fellow diners shudder at
the thought.) Thanks in advance.
Noriega is by far the best Basque place in Bakersfield, worth a drive from anywhere in Southern or
Central California. If you're coming a ways, there is no reason to compromise by going anywhere else.
And if there's a course you don't care for--and why wouldn't you want the garlic beef ribs, the oxtail
stew, the roast lamb?--there are 11or so others in the meal to compensate. And as you stated,
lard-fried potatoes. For $15, including a bottomless bottle of wine.
However, if you're just driving through town and it doesn't happen to be either noon or 7 p.m., the
only times Noriega serves, I could possibly see going to Wool Growers just down the block (which lets
you choose an entree) or the splendid Pyrenees Cafe across the street (which doesn't, but has the best
bar in the area: try the exemplary picon punch). Benji's has a great set-up, which is to say the
cabbage soup, salsa, bread, and pickled tongue usually served at the beginning of a Basque
boardinghouse meal, and will serve it separately, without the succeeding courses.
re: jonathan gold
How about elsewhere in the San Joaquin Valley? I know
there are Basque restaurants in Fresno and Los Banos,
and probably elsewhere, but I haven't tried any of
them. Bakersfield is way out of my way, but I go
through Fresno whenever I go up to the Sierra, so a
good Basque place would be a welcome stop.
re: jonathan gold
I KNOW Basque as I am a huge fan and eat it every where its available. Fresno is c+, Los Banos b, but NORIEGA's is supreme, but serves only family style no menu. For the best menu its Woolgrowers, without a doubt.And Luigi's one block away is the best lunch in BK. TRY the Sat only hambuger on a hard french roll. Or the pastrami, but always get a side of the pasta of the day..
I hope somebody else who has had Basque food in the Basque Country of either Spain or France can tell me what their opinion is of the Basque food in Bakersfield or other places in the States.
I've been to Woolgrowers and it in no way resembled what I was used to in the Basque Country. Completely different animal. What gives?