Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno

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buffetbuster
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2016/02/29 17:10:21 (permalink)

Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno

The annual trip Cousin Johnny and I take together each year will be in Southern California this October.  Among the plans are Sequioa and Kings Canyon National Park, as well as Death Valley.  This will give us an opportunity to explore Bakersfield and Fresno, two cities we have never been to before.
 
With just a little bit of research, Bakersfield looks like a great place for Basque food, which we thoroughly enjoy.  Any opinions between Benji's, Noriega Hotel or Wool GrowersDewar's Candy Shop, a 100+ year institution, looks like a must stop for Taffy Chews.  Anyplace in town we shouldn't miss?
 
In Fresno, we will definitely stop in for our first Armenian meal.  Diana's Classic Armenian has caught my eye, but is there a better place in town?  What should we order in an Armenian restaurant?  Ampersand Ice Cream and Chicken Pie Shop also look interesting.  Where else in Fresno should we go?
 
Of course, we would also be interested in restaurants in other nearby cities or close to these national parks, also.  We are definitely open to all suggestions!
 
Thanks for your help.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2016/02/29 18:35:29
#1

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    Root-Beer Man
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/02/29 19:45:26 (permalink)
    Sounds like you have a great trip planned out. My favourite Armenian food is lahmajoon, Armenian pizza. Ground lamb on a thin, rollable crust. I could eat a dozen of these. I highly recommend it, if it's on the menu. Make a great app.
    #2
    EdSails
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/02/29 23:05:16 (permalink)
    Cliff, I have some great suggestions for the area. I'll write them down and post in the next few days.
    #3
    love2bake
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/01 01:27:20 (permalink)
    Cliff, I liked Cope's Knotty Pine Cafe, where the CFS is real deal and huge--not a frozen thing from some distant manufacturer.  You are in cattle country, after all.  Info from Yelp:
     
    https://www.yelp.com/biz/...-pine-cafe-bakersfield
     
    Another idea is J's Place, which is a yummy soul food place.  My recollection is that they don't serve catfish every day (which I was really hoping to get), but they have lots of good stuff.  Here's some info from Yelp:
     
    https://www.yelp.com/biz/...ce-bakersfield-4 
    #4
    rumaki
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/01 01:56:31 (permalink)
    I've never eaten Armenian food in California. but I have in Yerevan as well as in London.  I don't think you can go wrong with anything you order.  The food is just great,and if it sounds appealing, it probably will be delicious.  I've found a couple of Armenian restaurants in Riga -- one is supposedly a mom-and-pop place -- and I am looking forward to trying it soon.
     
    Whatever else you do or don't have, be sure to try an Armenian brandy after your meal!  Ararat is probably the most widely-available brand in the US (at least in areas where there is an Armenian ex-pat population), although I know some claim it is not as good as it once was.  There are several grades, and if you are just having a drink, rather than splashing out on a bottle, it's worth trying the best -- but they are all good, at least in my experience.  Ararat claims to have been Winston Churchill's favorite brandy, and that Stalin used to send it to him by the case.
     
    I bought a bottle of the "five star" at my corner grocery store here in Riga and am enjoying it after dinner.
     
     
    #5
    totillie
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/01 02:55:31 (permalink)
    Noriega. Lamb stew. We hit the right night, it's only served once a week. Just went to check, it's Wednesdays. I have not been to Woolgrower's for many years, but at last visit, the bean soup and tri tip were outstanding. I do not care for tongue, and you might not either, but the pickled tongue seemed popular when we ate there.
    #6
    buffetbuster
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/01 08:01:55 (permalink)
    Wow!  Thanks so much for all of these great responses.
     
    rumaki-
    I will probably use that philosophy of if it sounds great, order it.  Interesting that I asked one of my best friends who is Armenian (last name Azadian), who doesn't like the food at all.  Of course, he is probably the least adventurous eater I know.
     
    Sorry, but we will have to pass on the brandy, as neither my cousin or I drink any alcohol.  No doubt, that others will see this and use your suggestion.
     
    EdSails-
    I knew you would be a go-to-guy on this!  No hurry, obviously, but looking forward to your ideas.
     
    Root-Beer Man-
    I love the idea of the Armenian pizza!  Thanks so much. 
    #7
    buffetbuster
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/01 08:10:10 (permalink)
    totillie-
    That's one vote for Noriega Hotel.  I appreciate the information.  And it looks like Wednesday would be the most likely day we will be in town, so that could work out perfectly.
     
    love2bake-
    Cope's Knotty Pine Café sure looks like the type of place that we love.  How are their pies?  And we both also love soul food, so that is another possibility, so thanks so much for the suggestion.
     
    BTW, after not visiting California in 2015, I am doubling down this year.  Mariton and I will be in Northern California in July.  We plan on doing Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Redwoods, sneaking across the Oregon border for Crater Lake and at least two days in San Francisco.  I hope you will be able to meet us for a meal while we are in town.  
     
     
    #8
    EdSails
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/01 15:05:28 (permalink)
    Also------calling for Jennifer 4, She knows the area better than anyone and has taken me to a great Armenian restaurant in Fresno. 
    #9
    love2bake
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/01 23:30:15 (permalink)
    buffetbuster
     
    love2bake-
    Cope's Knotty Pine Café sure looks like the type of place that we love.  How are their pies?  And we both also love soul food, so that is another possibility, so thanks so much for the suggestion.
     
    BTW, after not visiting California in 2015, I am doubling down this year.  Mariton and I will be in Northern California in July.  We plan on doing Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Redwoods, sneaking across the Oregon border for Crater Lake and at least two days in San Francisco.  I hope you will be able to meet us for a meal while we are in town.  
     
     

     
    Great!  Let me know when you nail down your dates for SF so I can schedule it. 
    #10
    buffetbuster
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/02 07:59:38 (permalink)
    love2bake-
    Glad you are interested in meeting up with us.  We should be in San Francisco July 18-20.
     
    We will definitely be going to Swan Oyster Depot, since M loves oysters and I have never been there.  Tadich Grill and Mission Pie are also a must for me. 
    #11
    rumaki
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/02 08:11:42 (permalink)
    I hate to wait to be seated.  If you do, too, I recommend you go early to the Swan Oyster Depot, if you can.  They open at 10:30 a.m.  If you are still on Eastern time, it won't be that early to you -- it will be lunchtime.  And you will get right in.
     
    No reservations at Tadich Grill, either, as you probably know. Can't say what it will be like in July, but when we were in San Francisco last December, we went in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday (again, it was dinnertime our body clock time), and got right in. Best sand dabs in town!
    #12
    buffetbuster
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/02 08:15:57 (permalink)
    That's great advice rumaki!  I guarantee will be outside in line waiting for Swan Oyster Depot to open.
    #13
    chefbuba
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/02 10:52:10 (permalink)
    You need to get a Real burrito before that piece of pie if you are going to be in the Mission.
     
    http://sfist.com/2015/03/...tos_in_san_francis.php
    #14
    love2bake
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/02 12:17:16 (permalink)
    buffetbuster
    love2bake-
    Glad you are interested in meeting up with us.  We should be in San Francisco July 18-20.
     
    We will definitely be going to Swan Oyster Depot, since M loves oysters and I have never been there.  Tadich Grill and Mission Pie are also a must for me. 


    Great!  Those dates look good here--I've marked my calendar.  I'm not an oyster fan, but either of the others would be good.  I haven't been to Mission Pie in a few years. 
     
    I neglected to reply to your question about pies at Cope's in Bakersfield, probably bc I didn't actually try any.   I stopped there early in the morning on a long trip and didn't even think to get pie.  My bad!! 
    #15
    buffetbuster
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/02 13:25:13 (permalink)
    love2bake
      I stopped there early in the morning on a long trip and didn't even think to get pie.  My bad!! 

    I understand, but ChiTownDiner won't be as forgiving!


    #16
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/03 09:18:13 (permalink)
    buffetbuster
    love2bake
      I stopped there early in the morning on a long trip and didn't even think to get pie.  My bad!! 

    I understand, but ChiTownDiner won't be as forgiving!






    love2bake - As a certified Pie Counselor I can provide much needed assistance in this area.  Treatment is simple, usually two - three days of no food and then you're comfortably seated in the pie room with beverages of your choice and a fork!  As evidence of my success, 4 years ago, buffetbuster would only order 2 slices of pie.  Today, he happily has one of each slice and takes a few to go!  He is a changed man! 
    #17
    love2bake
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/03/03 18:29:22 (permalink)
    ChiTownDiner
    buffetbuster
    love2bake
      I stopped there early in the morning on a long trip and didn't even think to get pie.  My bad!! 

    I understand, but ChiTownDiner won't be as forgiving!






    love2bake - As a certified Pie Counselor I can provide much needed assistance in this area.  Treatment is simple, usually two - three days of no food and then you're comfortably seated in the pie room with beverages of your choice and a fork!  As evidence of my success, 4 years ago, buffetbuster would only order 2 slices of pie.  Today, he happily has one of each slice and takes a few to go!  He is a changed man! 




    Thank you!  Maybe therapy is a good idea, although I'm better now, honest!  Seriously, when I went to the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen in Louisville, I got 6 (six!) slices to go and worked on them for a couple of days.  Maybe it's a breakfast thing. (Although I will eat pie for breakfast if I have one at home so that can't be it. ) I'll work on it, CTD. 
    #18
    buffetbuster
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/08/25 11:04:51 (permalink)
    The trip for Cousin Johnny and I that will include Fresno and Bakersfield is only a couple of months away.  Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.
    #19
    EdSails
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/08/25 12:35:18 (permalink)
    buffetbuster
    love2bake-
    Glad you are interested in meeting up with us.  We should be in San Francisco July 18-20.
     
    We will definitely be going to Swan Oyster Depot, since M loves oysters and I have never been there.  Tadich Grill and Mission Pie are also a must for me. 




    BB,
    I met up with Love2Bake for a meal at Tommy's Joint and Marra's Italian Pastry. You'll enjoy the time with her, she's fun and interesting!
    #20
    buffetbuster
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    Re: Need help in Bakersfield/Fresno 2016/08/25 12:52:49 (permalink)
    I had the pleasure of meeting Love2Bake for breakfast a few years ago in South San Francisco.  She's a wonderful person!
     
    I guess it needs to be said that we did not go on the Northern California trip as expected, due to unfortunate circumstances.  Don't feel too sorry for me though, since I instead spent 10 days driving around New England.
    #21
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