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Scott Cox

The Don Caesar salad at Camino Real is worth a trip to the southwest. With two filets of basa (a freshwater catfish), plenty of veggies and a Mexican-infused Caesar dressing, it's quite a meal.

In my search for memorable salads, I think I may have had the best one yet. And not just in Bakersfield, but anywhere -- ever.

I get a lot of emails from people with suggestions. A very nice lady told me to go to Camino Real and try the chicken spinach salad, and so I went to get one. While I was there, they told me that they had a new salad called the Don Caesar, and as much as I love me some spinach, I bought the sales pitch and ordered it.

The Don Caesar is almost not a salad, in that it comes with two big filets of a fish called basa. It's a freshwater breed of catfish grown in rivers in Asia. It's really good, even if you don't like catfish. The fish comes on top of a bed of really fresh greens, topped with chunks of tomato, onion, avocado, chiles and what appeared to be home-made croutons.

The dressing is a custom-made Mexican-infused Caesar. I don't know what all goes into it (it's a don't-ask-don't-tell situation), but it's good, just tangy enough and spicy enough to really add to the salad and the fish.

I finished the fish, finished the veggies, ate all the dressing, and seriously considered eating the bowl. This salad is unique, delicious, and given the ample portion of fish, it's a full meal big enough for just about anybody.

It's right on the edge of being a fish dish with a lot of lettuce and vegetables, but Camino Real calls it a salad, so I'm not going to argue. I am, however, going to get another one soon. And don't look for them at the old location on Truxtun. They're out in the southwest, at 4501 Stine. No matter where you live, the Don Caesar will make it worth the drive.