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By Casey Christie / The Californian
BY PETE TITTL Contributing writer
Kern River Brewing Company's most famous beer, Citra, is about to be released again, and the Kernville brewpub is using a lottery process for the 160 cases available from Feb. 21 to March 2.
The rules, registration and jokes about the whole enterprise can be found at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/571900.
Something to dish?
Do you have a tip, question or recommendation on Bakersfield restaurants, trends or food news in general? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and your input might wind up in a future column.
Since I have yet to taste the product, I had to enter. It's becoming a legendary product, luring folks from Los Angeles and points beyond to get their hands on the product.
Now here's your shot. If you win, you can get a six pack of 22-ounce bottles. Warning: The deadline for entering is today.
New and different
Carl's Jr. is now offering ice cream sandwiches made with Snicker doodle cookies ... Jack in the Box, taking its cue from the many restaurants offering burger patties that combine bacon with beef, has an Bacon Insider creation that includes bacon mayo and more bacon on top, all on a brioche bun ... Mimi's Cafe is offering a special $25 three-course dinner for two that includes two appetizers, a choice of four entrees (from a list that includes pasta carbonara and pot pie), then a shared dessert, after 4 p.m. only ... Crispy shrimp tacos have returned to Del Taco ...
Chili's Grill & Bar has eight new "Fresh Mex" items on the menu, including two chicken bowls that are also offered in $7 lunch combos ... Arby's said the smokehouse brisket sandwich offered beginning last October was the most successful menu item in the chain's history, raising sales an average of 12 percent. The sliced brisket, smoked gouda cheese, barbecue sauce and crispy onions will be back later this year, though the date hasn't been determined ...
Long John Silver's will stop frying any menu items in trans-fat oil before the end of the year. The chain had been criticized by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for serving the "worst restaurant meal in America," in part for using the oil that increases bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol ... Domino's Pizza announced it will convert all of its 11,000 restaurants worldwide to a "pizza theater" prototype by the end of 2017. The chain is repositioning itself to the "fast casual" restaurant concept, and the remodels will have open kitchens and seating ...
Marie Callender's is one of many restaurants in the new year offering items containing 600 or fewer calories, including a turkey burger with spring salad, grilled shrimp street tacos, oven-roasted vegetable pasta and rosemary chicken with spring salad. ... El Pollo Loco has five meals under 500 calories, including a mango taco plate, avocado salad, mango-grilled chicken tostada and a black bean bowl ... Applebee's revamped its kids' menu to make the 10 items in tune with Kids LiveWell nutritional guidelines ...
Panera is offering cinnamon raisin swirl bread ... Red Robin is offering an Ensenada chicken platter under 500 calories with a side salad ... New at Trader Joe's for the beer lover: a Samuel Smith beer gift box that includes three beers, a gift glass and two coasters from the famed British brewery ... The Original Soupman soups (now available in local grocery stores) will soon be available from franchised food trucks. Visit the website originalsoupman.com if you're interested in that business opportunity ...
Reader Eugene Wood sent an email asking, "Are there any Korean restaurants in the area? And would you eat there?"
Well our favorite from last year in the Rosedale Area, Seoul Korean on Coffee Road, is being remodeled and turned into a Vietnamese noodle restaurant, so that's off the list.
I've had decent food at Korea Restaurant, 6401 White Lane (at the intersection of White Lane and Ashe Road), but it's a pretty small place.
Gloved sushi chefs?
You may or may not know this, but California passed a law forbidding bare hands from touching food.
The biggest impact, according to a story in Nation's Restaurant News, is coming from sushi chefs, who routinely use the tactile feedback from bare fingers to manipulate rice and fish.
One chef with 30 years experience said his rolls probably won't fall apart under the new standards but may not be up to his exacting standards. The law is getting a soft rollout from the state, with restaurants getting only warnings until July.
There's also a procedure where restaurants can apply for exemptions. One interesting finding from the UC Davis Center for Consumer Research: Chefs who wear gloves forget to wash their hands more often than cooks who don't wear them, leading the center's director to say, "Gloves are not the barrier you would think they are."
Chicken wing documentary
A documentary telling the 50-year history of Buffalo wings, "The Great Chicken Wing Hunt," is now available on Hulu. Director Matt Reynolds tracked the snack food from its birthplace at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y., and even interviews Dom Zanghi, the last living witness to the events of that fateful night when the cook mixed Frank's RedHot sauce and melted butter.
The documentary follows a group attempting to find the world's best Buffalo wing.
They visit 72 bars and restaurants over 2,627 miles to find the best.
It's available on Hulu, iTunes and Amazon Instant Video.
Trends in chocolate
The Nation's Restaurant News reports that white chocolate is getting white hot right. The treat is showing up all over menus, including chains like IHOP (raspberry white chocolate chip pancakes), Baskin-Robbins and McDonald's. The trade publication expects chocolate to be married to berries in a lot of desserts.