March 2004


Bakersfield | California19 Mar 2004 01:59 pm

Sheep herders, stop on by before the sheep transfer from the valleys to the moutains (or vice versa) and sample Basque style entrees in Arnold’s sunny state. Apparently the city of Bakersfield was a gathering point for Basque region immigrants and the area still boasts a Basque population that can support several of their ethnic restaurants.

The special of the day was “BBQ’d” beef which was really good quality beef with a mild sauce, prepared that day (the waiter stressed that their dishes are freshly prepared and the specials vary quite a bit).

The pleasant surprise was the home style presentation which included soup, a side of pink beans, hot sauce, marinated tongue, and a salad. The entree came with vegetables and the best french fries I’ve had in ages. I relented and had flan for dessert (a standard presentation).

Next time I’ll try one of the lamb specials, or Chicken a la Basquaise (boneless breast with swiss cheese and Basque tomato sauce).

Not a beer lover’s place; short but fairly priced wine list.

$$

200 Oak Street
Bakersfield, CA 93304
(661) 327-2915

Published 3/19/04 in the New York Times: 36 Hours: In Bakersfield, CA

Chicago | Illinois | Pizza14 Mar 2004 11:58 am

Antique lovers, come on over! The owner of this north side institution continues to offer an extremely wide variety of foods so everyone can have what they want. This is one of my favorite al fresco spots for thin-crust deep-dish sausage pizza; sitting among scores of architectural antiques on a warm evening offers one of the best opportunities to enjoy this one-of-a-kind place. Indoor seating is also quite impressive with hundreds of antique light fixtures and statuary.

Late night hours until 1 am Sunday – Thursday and 2 am Friday and Saturday.

$$

2727 West Howard Street
Chicago, IL 60645
(the farthest north part of Chicago, a little over a mile west of Lake Michigan)
(773) 338-2166

Cincinnatti | German | Ohio04 Mar 2004 06:40 pm

OK, so let’s start by not condemning American German restaurants as not being “really” German – these places are in the USA so why not enjoy their version of ethnic cooking; if I want the best spargel (white asparagus) of course I have to go to Germany (or Switzerland).

This is the real thing with loads of history – begun in 1865 (when Lincoln was winning the war). Check their web site for the complete historical story.

Their neighborhood is being gentrified – close to the University of Cincinnati – so don’t be afraid to visit the area – especially during the warm weather when their outdoor seating area is open – can’t wait for the vines to leaf out.

Beer choices are excellent, and winos would not be totally disappointed with the wine list. Unbuckle your belt (or bustle) and enjoy the chicken schnitzel with artichoke compote with garlic vegetables (green beans for lunch) and a potato pancake to boot – the good, greasy kind with onions (I think) mixed in.

No time or room for dessert here!

$$

302 East University Avenue (at the corner of University and Highland Avenues)
Cincinnati, OH
you better call ahead for directions (if you don’t have a GPS system)
(513) 221-5353