There is nothing more “Bakersfield” than trekking into old town and enjoying some fantastic Basque food in a historic building that has been around for more than 100 years. 

Pyrnees Cafe is a Basque restaurant where food comes at you in big waves so you have to pace yourself. After enjoying the traditional cabbage soup, tender pinto beans and hot salsa, most of us were almost too full to continue with the entrees and desserts. Key word being almost. 

Enjoy the traditional setup and get ready for a burst of flavors at this hometown spot. 

APPETIZERS

Chris Wilson on the garlic shrimp: I was served eight medium-sized shrimp that were lightly battered and fried to perfection. The shrimp were tossed in a tangy lemon-garlic sauce that complemented the shrimp. 

Drake Massey on the firecracker shrimp: I have to admit, I have had these little devils before and absolutely loved them. They arrived pleasantly presented on a bed of crisp lettuce and stacked high in a martini style glass. The plump shrimp were crispy and smothered in a creamy red sauce and were sprinkled with sesame seeds and green onion. The sauce furnished the shrimp with just enough spice to tickle my taste buds. A perfect selection to start off the night.

Bill Jeffries on the shrimp cocktail: This dish comes with seven chilled and tender jumbo shrimp served with a slice of lemon. The delicious cocktail sauce had a little kick of horseradish that was pleasing to the palate. It was definitely a great start to the night, and yes, I shared my appetizer. 

ENTREES

Bob Smith on the lamb shank: The tender lamb shank is huge! It is served in a tomato based sauce and is accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and pasta. There is enough food on this plate to pack up half and enjoy for a second meal at home the next day. 

Drake on the halibut in caper sauce: I was pleasantly surprised by the huge plank of halibut that landed in front of me. The texture of the fish was charred grilled to a firm texture but it flaked into nice bite sized pieces when I cut it with my fork. The halibut was covered in a creamy white sauce that included capers, artichoke hearts and mushrooms. The capers offered a perfect blend of tartness and salt to the sauce. The artichoke hearts added a slight nutty hint to the cream. Underneath the delicious sauce, I noticed a delightful seasoning which the chef would only describe as a “secret seafood seasoning”. I respected the response and did not press him any further.

Bill on the tempura battered fish-n-chips: This entree comes with three large pieces of tasty, light and delicious tempura battered and fried cod fish. The tarter sauce was mild and tasty which complemented the fish. The coleslaw was tasty and included healthy carrots with some cranberries. 

Chris on the rack of lamb: The lamb was beautifully presented and roasted to perfection. It was served frenched, uncut and medium-rare with a thickened balsamic wine sauce. 

DESSERTS

Drake on the Saigon cinnamon and brown sugar ice cream: I think the name says it all. They topped this delightful dish with candied walnuts. I like my ice cream with fresh black coffee. One word….Deee-Lish!

Bill on the spumoni ice cream: Spumoni is a hard to find treat. It's a molded ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors. The one at Pyrenees is a delicious chocolate ice cream that comes with nuts and dried fruit. It was smooth and tasty with a burst of flavors that topped off a great dinner. 

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