Going up to Bakersfield on Wednesday to see Nine Inch Nails (!)

Any decent food worth checking out while up there (or on the way)?

Thanks, all :heart_decoration:

At Buttonwillow check out Elsy’s Antojitos.

Going north on I-5 take the McKitrick/Buttonwillow exit, then hang a left on Tracy, and the food truck/stand is right there.

Nothing other-worldly (remember, this is Buttonwillow) but cheap and filling burritos and very decent tacos.

Buttonwillow’s on the way to Bakersfield from McKittrick.

Recently ended 8 days of fishing/backpacking deep on the upper Kern with a wild night in B’field to close out. Wish I could regale you all of tales of Basque family-style meals but we blew into town at an odd hour and our food choices were determined by our bodies demanding thousands of calories per hour - and beer was a perfectly acceptable way to absorb them.

Hit Sandrini’s downtown mid-afternoon. Good happy hour with a lot of local crafts. An IPA from Santa Maria with blood orange was a standout. After finding out we’d be relegated to bar menu only I noticed that the regular menu had basque pickled tongue with tomato relish. Since it was no-cook, l I asked if they could slice some up. The owner (Sandrini himself) brought it out. Damn that was good, especially with cold beers. Did I mention that drinking cold beer was like mainlining jesus’ love directly into my veins after 8 days in the backcountry?

Got to wandering around that 100 degree county seat and the heavy, nondescript door that guarded the cocktail lounge at Bill Lee’s Chinese Chopsticks beckoned for reasons beyond explanation. Opened the door to: (picture lifted from yelp)


What could I do but order a whisky sour? Friendly locals of all ages/stripes. Gotta eat dinner there sometime. There’s a similar 1/2-block sized concrete bunker across the street called the Rice Bowl but the mysteries contained therein were forced to await another day.

After a change of clothes and some fancy Japanese whisky back at the hotel we headed off to Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace. A lot of great stuff to look at but it also looked like a TV set from the 80’s - which I suppose it was/is. Great show but the chicken wings were straight Sysco. Thank god they had 32oz 805’s for crazy cheap. Drank three. Our table mates included a local cropduster who had some stories to tell, including picking guitar a few nights with Merle Haggard.

After the show we had - you guessed it - more drinks. Nice times at the Tiki To - a new tiki bar meant to look old. Bartender there helped lay out the local scene. Ended up putting the night down at Guthrie’s Alley Cat. At which point we began a serious debate re: getting cursive bakersfield neck tats.

I woke up un-tatooed in the morning, the only evidence of my evening post-Alley Cat being a picture of me passed out in front of the Fox Theater.

Bakersfield is a helluva town. The fact that there is absolutely nothing there to interest the Calabasas/Montana Ave. set cements it as a new top travel destination. Lay your preconceptions and fear of crackheads aside and you may find yourself as susceptible to the supple charms of downtown Bakersfield as I did.

Bakersfield… where you tell people you’re from LA, and they’re actually glad you came.


Recommendation of PorkChop & Bubba’s BBQ:

I hope you boiled yourself after being in contact with that sidewalk.

We tried this place on the way back from Yosemite after Eater LA wrote about it:

Decent enough burger and the antique store is pretty impressive to my inexperienced eye.