• Salty's BBQ and Catering will have quite the spread at BBQ, Brews and Blues, put on by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, on Aug. 26.

    THE DISH: Chamber plays it cool for annual social

    In the waning days of summer, the living is still easy — at least for one night, courtesy of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. For its main annual fundraiser on Aug. 26, the chamber promises “BBQ, Brews and Blues” at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. “This annual event is a great way to

  • A server at Wok It Out Asian Kitchen prepares a meal for a lunch customer. There's a lot of variety on the steam table, restaurant critic Pete Tittl writes.

    Asian restaurant neighbors wage war of the parking lot

    I’m a big fan of Love Sushi, even if purists decry the restaurant’s reliance on sauces, an accompaniment that, to some, feels like cheating. But for me it’s not about the sauces. What I’ve come to appreciate about the northwest spot is the reliability and stunning variety on the menu, which

  • First commercially produced in 1868, Tabasco is now sold in 160 countries. The headquarters and Tabasco-processing plant for the family-owned McIlhenny Co. is located on Avery Island in south Louisiana.

    Tabasc-oh! Birthplace of sauce is a thrill for senses

    New Orleans has not just recovered from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. Its tourism is booming. More people are flocking to the city, which has more restaurants, hotels and attractions than before the storm. Louisiana and city tourism officials note only 3.7 million people visited New Orleans in

  • Phillis Van Boening uses Tabasco sauce for her shrimp Creole recipe. Van Boening says her Louisiana cooking is a “novelty” she likes to share with her Bakersfield friends. And the tastes and smells remind her of home.

    For some engagin' Cajun, home cook recalls Louisiana roots

    When Phillis Van Boening wants to do some “special” entertaining in Bakersfield, she digs deep into her Louisiana roots. She puts on a spread of crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, and shrimp Creole. And, of course, the spread includes a bottle of Tabasco, or its rival, Louisiana Hot Sauce,

  • The classic club sandwich from Sugar Twist Bakery. The eatery's owners expect the shop to do a brisk business in sandwiches, with options including turkey and brie, hot beef, chipotle BLT and the club.

    THE DISH: Sandwiches and other twists at bakery's second shop

    A stretch of northwest Bakersfield got a bit sweeter recently with the addition of a second Sugar Twist Bakery location. Late last month, the new bakery opened just seven miles down Calloway Road from the flagship store. While some might call that market oversaturation, one of the owners said it’s

  • PETE TITTL: How to come back after a health department shutdown

    It has been a wild year in restaurant closures by the health department. Chains, big names, local operators, convenience stores. No one has been exempt — or at least no one not up to snuff regarding the health codes. It’s got me wondering: Has enforcement in the past been forgiving or are

  • Magoo's Pizza

    Local restaurants shut down by health department

    Two Magoo’s Pizza restaurants remain closed after county health inspectors found evidence of rodent activity and other violations at both locations last week. Magoos Pizza, at 5600 Auburn St., was ordered shuttered Friday. A health inspector found two dead rodents and rodent droppings throughout

  • The Redding-based restaurant chain Lumberjacks is set to open its first Bakersfield location by the end of the year on Mount Vernon Avenue at the site of a former Coco's.

    THE DISH: Lumberjacks headed to Bakersfield

    When it comes to hearty diners, Bakersfield’s got a full cord but “wood” you like another option? Excuse the wordplay, but the humorously themed Lumberjacks is swinging its ax at the local dining scene. The Redding-based chain is set to open later this year at 2673 Mt. Vernon Ave., which was last

  • Lengthwise Brewing Co. bartender Sara Drennan brings out food at lunchtime.

    PETE TITTL: Lengthwise generates buzz at new location

    One of the local entrepreneurial success stories of the past decade and beyond has been Lengthwise Brewing Co., now open at three distinctly different locations: The Marketplace (small, with a clubby feel), The Pub (Rosedale, more lively) and now the new and expanded Brewery (the mother ship) on

  • Buffalo Wild Wings workers Steve Alexander, left, and Jesse Almeida prepare some chicken wings for Saturday's first annual Bakersfield Wing Festival at Stramler Park.

    THE DISH: First-time fest not just wingin’ it

    Whether it was the buffalo sauce or the summer sun, last weekend’s Bakersfield Wing Festival was one hot event. NaTesha Johnson, one of the event organizers, said about 1,000 people filled Stramler Park Saturday to get their fill of chicken and more. “For the first festival, I believe it was very

  • Jennifer Kennedy, second from left, poses with daughters Zayna Kennedy, Skylar McHenry and Charlye Kennedy at The Cookie Jar & Cupcake Bar in downtown Bakersfield. Kennedy took over the business earlier this month and employs her older daughters at the shop.

    Raising bar at The Cookie Jar downtown

    Late last month it looked as though downtown would lose The Cookie Jar, but that’s not the way the cookie crumbled. The 20th Street business has a new owner and name, branded The Cookie Jar & Cupcake Bar. Last Tuesday, new owner Jennifer Kennedy took over the business from Anita Tackett, who

  • Sweet treats like these from Gimmee Some Sugar, De Coeur Bake Shop and Tastries Bakery will be at Sugar Fest this Saturday. Bakers from these businesses will also lead demonstrations on decorating a drip cake, buttercream techniques, making macarons and working with fondant.

    Satisfy your sweet tooth at Sugar Fest

    Sweet treats help us celebrate birthdays, promotions, weddings and simple good days but an event this weekend is all about celebrating the desserts themselves, and the people who make them. Sugar Fest, a first-time event to be held at Independence Elementary School on Saturday, will bring together

  • 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