Dining

  • PETE TITTL: Humble Mexican place has best seafood in town

    It’s kind of interesting that when it comes to seafood restaurants, most of Bakersfield’s strongest options are Mexican places. Yes, we have that famous chain on Rosedale Highway that always seems to leave me bankrupt and disappointed when I leave, and the great fish and chips from Westchester

  • Celebrity chef Simon Majumdar will take part in Explocious at the Fresno Food Expo July 28 where the public can sample dishes made by area restaurants.

    It's thought for food at Fresno Expo

    It comes as no surprise for those in Kern County how much produce comes out of the San Joaquin Valley. But for those beyond driving distance of our orchards, fields and dairies, there is more to learn. And that’s where, starting in 2011, the Fresno Food Expo comes in. The event brings regional,

  • From left, NaTesha Johnson and Kristopher Evans, organizers of the Bakersfield Wing Festival, and Terri Agcaoili of the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County, which is a beneficiary of the local food event taking place July 23.

    New food fest earning its wings

    If anything can bring a community together, undoubtedly it is food. And while Kern County has a number of events designed to do just that, at least one has been missing: a wing festival. For years, Kristopher Evans dreamed of combining his love of chicken wings and his hometown into an exciting

  • The chicken sandwich at Howlin' Ray's in Los Angeles delivers the heat and then cools it down with cole slaw and "comeback sauce." The hot shake fries are spiced with a dry version of the seasoning found on the Nashville fried chicken.

    THE DISH: Flying on a wing and a platter at Howlin' Ray's

    A few months ago we wrote about the Nashville Chicken trend that was sweeping the country and mentioned Johnny Zone, a young chef who moved to Nashville to develop his own recipe, which he sold for a while out of a food truck in Chinatown after moving back to LA. He and his wife, Amanda Chapman,

  • Johnny Garlic's added street tacos to its menu, ranging from $7 to $9 for a pair. Proteins include Korean Wagyu flat iron steak (seen here), lava-rock shrimp and pork belly kimchi.

    PETE TITTL: At Johnny Garlic's, change is good

    “Change is good … really good.” That sentiment is written on a small blackboard at Johnny Garlic’s, a chain that opened a Bakersfield location to great fanfare in early 2015 — great fanfare because celebrity chef Guy Fieri was a partner in the venture. Pictures of the peroxided chef were

  • About 2,000 people attended last summer's Tehachapi Mountain Beer and Wine Fest. Organizers expect that number to climb to 3,000 for the July 16 event.

    THE DISH: Three cheers for beer, wine at annual Tehachapi fest

    For the Tehachapi Mountain Beer and Wine Fest, the third time should be the charm. Although drawing thousands, the summer event has been plagued by unseasonable rain the past two years. “Last year we had sideways rain. It was cold, 62, 63 degrees,” said organizer David Brust, who also narrowly

  • 1933 Speakeasy Bar & Grill’s cheesy tri-tip sandwich, center, combines three things Bakersfield diners love: tri-tip, cheese and bread (and the fries on the side only help matters).

    PETE TITTL: What's the password? 1933: Speakeasy Bar & Grill

    I went to 1933: Speakeasy Bar & Grill without preconceived biases even though I had read that two of the three owners had owned the Highland Café in Oildale. Loved that place. Loved what the kitchen was doing there, going so far as to put it on one of my year-end best-restaurants-in-town

  • The crowd at RJ's Bar & Grill watches the action at the 2014 Belmont Stakes. From left are Jim Luff, Kevin Burton, Beth Lotspeich and Russ Carter.

    So what happened at RJ's and what will Riverlakes do now?

    If RJ’s Bar & Grill seemed like the Cheers of northwest Bakersfield, that’s because to the regulars, servers and owners, it was. They came to the neighborhood watering hole and restaurant for 14 years, regardless of background, age, musical tastes, views on the presidential candidates or the

  • A stubborn rodent infestation prompted county health inspectors to close the Arby's at 8290 Rosedale Highway for the second time in two weeks, an unprecedented action, according to Matt Constantine, the county's top public health officer.

    Arby's on Rosedale shut down again

    Kern County health inspectors have shut down the Arby’s on Rosedale Highway for the second time in two weeks, an unprecedented action, at least to the knowledge of Matt Constantine, the county’s top public health officer. The cause: a stubborn rodent infestation. But the more pressing issue for

  • Hungry's Howie's is offering a large one-topping pizza for 4 cents with the purchase of one at the regular price from July 2 to 4.

    THE DISH: Patriotic pizza deals, Super Mario at Yogurtland

    What’s more American than saving a few bucks on your meal? Nothing, at least not this holiday weekend. A couple of pizza spots are offerings deals to celebrate our freedom to dine on a discount. Hungry Howie’s has a come-on for a 4-cent large one-topping pizza with the purchase of another large

  • PETE TITTL: Applebee's is smokin — to mixed results

    Applebee’s has unveiled yet another significant menu change in its effort to avoid crashing on the shores of failed restaurant chains. In short, it wants to be Tahoe Joe’s — a complication, at least in Bakersfield, since Applebee’s and Tahoe Joe’s are just across the parking lot from each other at

  • The painkiller is all dressed up and ready to party at Tiki-Ko. The tropical drink packed with fresh pineapple and orange juice, is served in a coconut mug with a paper parasol.

    Tiki-Ko: We put these cocktails to the test

    Downtown Bakersfield has a taste of the tropics thanks to Tiki-Ko, a new tiki bar on K Street. The cozy venue is serving up a dozen tropical drinks along with premium rums, blue-collar beers and Mexican Coca-Cola and Sprite with real cane sugar. Eye Street staff had a chance to try a few drinks on

  • Escape the oppressive summer heat with a touch of the tropics courtesy of Tiki-Ko in downtown Bakersfield.

    South Pacific terrific: Tiki bar gets it right

    Every great endeavor has its moment of doubt and Tiki-Ko, a new tiki bar in downtown Bakersfield, is no exception. That hesitation struck during a location scout for owners Roy Scarazzo and Sonya Gamargo. “When we were first looking at places, the real-estate agent was showing us around,”

  • Rum was big in the 1940s. Could it have had to do with sailors on shore leave in the South Pacific? They brought their thirst home with them, giving the rest of America the mai tai.

    Museum at 75: The drinks (but be careful of the hangovers)

    Nick Ruiz of the Delano Elks Lodge knows his way around a cocktail shaker, and he’ll prove it as the master mixologist at the Kern County Museum Forties Front Porch Party. Ruiz and celebration organizer Beth Pandol will come up with fun ’40s names for the cocktails “like Bombshell Bettys or

  • Nachos were created by a chef short on ingredients during the 1940s.

    Museum at 75: The food (and that includes Spam!)

    Beth Pandol, who helped organize the Kern County Museum’s Forties Front Porch Party, amassed reams of research on food and drinks created in 1941, or thereabouts, to make the museum’s 75th anniversary party era appropriate. “Yes, we are serving bowls of Cheerios for this. With a screwdriver,”

  • Jitterbug dancers kick up their heels in the 1940s. The Kern County Museum will have a big band and dancing at the Forties Front Porch Party on July 9.

    Museum at 75: Let's party like it's 1941!

    Relaxing on a shaded front porch, sipping mai tais with friends as your fried Spam supper digests, a big band playing in the distance. It was what they did in 1941 and, come to think of it, is still a solid way to pass a summer evening (except, perhaps, for the Spam part). The theory will be put

  • The crinkle-cut golden fries at Generals Headquarters in Shafter. Guests have the option of ordering them with garlic-Parmesan sauce.

    PETE TITTL: The Shafter mom-and-pop stop with killer shakes

    Reader Basil Zervis recently tipped me off to two humble north Kern eateries that draw crowds of Shafter’s discerning diners already. Will Bakersfield residents make the drive? They won’t be sorry if they do. Generals Headquarters, which occupies an old Foster Freeze on Lerdo Highway, is