BY PETE TITTL Contributing columnist
Dickey's Barbecue Pit, a company born north of Dallas in 1941, is preparing to open its first Bakersfield location on Coffee Road north of Rosedale Highway.
Dickey's serves up beef brisket, pulled pork, ham, Polish sausage, turkey breast and chicken, with an extensive array of home-style sides from jalapeno beans to macaroni and cheese. Buttery rolls are served with every meal along with complimentary ice cream and dill pickles. Children eat free on Sundays. The chain has grown to more than 250 locations in 43 states and the original Dallas location is still open. There are currently 30 in California once an Anaheim location opens, and nearby Dickey's include Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo and Porterville.
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Calls and emails to corporate headquarters to get a projected opening date were not returned. The web site: dickeys.com.
New bakery/deli in Rosedale
Tastries bakery-boutique-events has opened on Rosedale Highway near John's Incredible Pizza offering breakfast and lunch sandwiches, serving Covenant Coffee, making wedding and quinceanera cakes, gourmet cookies, muffins and cupcakes. Located at 3665 Rosedale Highway, Tastries can be called at 322-1110. The website tastriesbakery.com is currently not operational, but they have some marvelous photos of their products at instagram.com/tastriesbakery.
Wiki Wine Dive & Grill update
The new casual/trendy hybrid restaurant we wrote about some months ago on Ming just west of Buena Vista looks like it's still getting the finishing construction touches, but they are interviewing prospective employees from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Fridays.
What happenedat Mill Creek Deli?
Reader Tracy Battistoni dropped us a line wondering when Mill Creek Deli on 18th Street was going to reopen. "It was closed due to a death in the family in November and has not reopened. I really loved the food and the staff there!"
We wondered the same as we had heard they were going to start serving dinners. However, frequent drive-bys have shown no signs of life and the phone calls have not been answered. No news on the restaurant's Facebook page either. We're hoping a reader or owner Brenda Sharp lets us know when it will reopen.
Lowdown on In-N-Out
An Internet sensation of sorts was caused recently on the "Ask Me Anything" forum on the Reddit.com website by an anonymous Arizona employee of the family-owned In-N-Out Burger chain. Apparently the chain known for its simple menu serves a simply amazing chili dog at the annual employee family picnics, but there are no plans to offer it to the public. And one of the secret menu items was not something I had heard of: the "Neapolitan Shake," a creamy blend of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream.
Pay and benefits are extremely generous, with some employees grossing $120,000 a year, and part-timers getting dental, vision and life insurance.
After closing time the staff makes some unusual creations, including a super baked potato (by coring a potato, frying it and then filling it with chopped burger patties, melted cheese, onions, chiles and tomatoes).
New and different
A new organic sparkling lemonade (made with a hint of mint) called Limonitz has hit the market as both a solo drink and a mixer in drinks such as mojitos or margaritas. The beverage is made from only four ingredients: water, organic lemon juice concentrate, mint extract and organic sugar. It's available at Ralphs grocery stores, BevMo, Bristol Farms and various outlets in Los Angeles. Hopefully it'll get up here before the heat hits ... Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar is taking reservations for Easter brunch, which will be served 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 31. Call 864-0397. (They will be closed Tuesday for a private event.) ... Tahoe Joe's is offering its twin petite ribeyes dinner (nine ounces of beef) for $15.99 for a limited time ... Panera Bread is now serving a Mediterranean salmon salad with feta cheese, kalamata olives and a honey tangerine vinaigrette and a salmon club croissant with smoked bacon, tomato and a zesty aioli. On the sweet side, they have strawberry hot cross buns right now ... McDonalds is dropping its fruit and walnut salad, Chicken Selects and may drop its Third Pounder Angus sandwiches in favor of an upscale Quarter Pounder it's been testing in Northern California, according to the Nation's Restaurant News ... Mimi's Cafe now has a "build your own burger" option on the lunch menu, allowing you to choose from different cheeses, sauces, veggies and bacon.
Where can you find a good blintz?
Reader Joyce Martinson called and wanted to know where she could get cheese blintzes for breakfast. She previously had enjoyed them at IHOP, but she said they took them off the menu. I know they're on the menu at Coco's and Carrows, but I'm sure there are other spots I'm forgetting. Readers, your suggestions on where to find a great cheese blintz?
New idea for barbecue season
The mustard company French's has created four new "Flavor Infuser" marinades to add some new tastes to chicken, steak, fish or pork. The marinades, available this month in grocery stores, come pre-mixed with a sharp plastic tip allowing you to inject the seasonings into the protein. The flavors are Sweet & Tangy Teriyaki, Classic Steakhouse, Zesty Italian and Caribbean Jerk, good with either chicken or pork tenderloin. The suggested retail price is $2.99 each.