Pete Tittl

  • Slice of Italy employee Stephanie Torres prepares to serve a fresh combo pizza.

    PETE TITTL: Pizza place a little slice of heaven

    After a lifetime of eating pizzas and when you consider what Wolfgang Puck, California Pizza Kitchen and other food artists of the world have done with the Italian staple, it's rare to come across something new that is also charming and satisfying. But Slice of Italy downtown has managed to

  • Benji's chefs cook the ever popular oxtails for lunch customers.

    PETE TITTL: How we love to hit the sauce at Benji's

    There are some things in life that don't change a lot, and thank God for that. Case in point: Benji's French-Basque Restaurant, among the old guard of Bakersfield's finest restaurants. The last official column I wrote on the Basque institution on Rosedale Highway was four years ago,

  • PETE TITTL: Small new location making a big impact

    What can you say about a small new restaurant that is so impressive your companion compares it to many of the humble medium-priced places you find in Santa Barbara? That's the first impression we had of Nuestro Mexico, a restaurant that opened late last year in the 21st Street space previously

  • A nice turkey sandwich ready to be served at Deli Delicious on Hageman Road.

    PETE TITTL: Deli Delicious seeking niche in tough market

    It's not often that we have a restaurant born in Fresno move south to our fair city, but Deli Delicious has done just that, opening a Rosedale store in the always-competitive sandwich restaurant market. What helps Deli Delicious stand out? The meats and cheeses are sliced fresh every day,

  • The house special rice noodle dish with shrimp if a favorite at Oh! Noodles Asian Noodles

    PETE TITTL: Oh! Noodles hard to find, but worth the search

    The tough part of my job is seeing big dreams die hard, often for reasons that are arbitrary and not in the least fair. I thought of this as we visited Oh! Noodles Asian Noodles & Grill on Panama Lane. It's located in a space that was once home to Sertinos Cafe. It was opened by a couple

  • Dining Out with Pete Tittl

    PETE TITTL: Possibilities endless at Mesa Mexican

    I have a feeling that 20 years from now, when someone is writing the history of restaurants in America, Chipotle could be as influential today as McDonald's was in the 1960s. If you're old enough, you remember eating in the days before the Golden Arches. Fast food wasn't an industry.

  • Pizza Rev on Gosford Road. What’s really attractive about this place is how logical the system is, how easy it is to order exactly what you want quickly and get it served, says Californian restaurant critic Pete Tittl.

    DINING OUT: Call this pizza super-fast casual

    Pizza Rev has opened its first two locations in town, and while the conventional pizza parlors probably won't lose much business in the process -- this is just a different product, folks -- it does give us another decent fast-casual dining option that won't break the bank. Pizza Rev

  • Dining Out with Pete Tittl

    PETE TITTL: The other honest-to-goodness breakfast hub downtown

    There are times when the hour wait for breakfast/lunch at 24th Street Cafe can be a bit impossible, particularly on a Sunday morning. They've got the patio, the staff is efficient, but some weekend days just have a honey-do list that makes the delay impossible. So consider ambling over to the

  • Lino's Mexican Cuisine customers Maritsa Nevel, left, Estella Cueto, foreground, Celeste Nevel, back right, and Serenity Villagomez, center, are served by co-owner Frances Cueto, right.

    PETE TITTL: Lines at Lino's? Not yet, but just wait

    The American dream is alive and well in Pumpkin Center. A father and son who toiled in the kitchen at Cafe Med for nearly two decades have opened their own place in a humble storefront on Taft Highway in Pumpkin Center, across from a cat hospital (I didn't even know such things existed) and

  • Prime Cut Meats

    PETE TITTL: Change is a good thing, at least so far, at Prime Cut

    A transformation is underway at Prime Cut, which got new owners last fall when Merv and Michelle Crist sold the northwest Bakersfield meat-and-eats emporium. If you visit on the weekends, you can get smoked prime rib off the specials board. This is an exceptional treat if you like smoked meats,

  • Julie and Rod Crawford, owners of Pyrenees Cafe, bring out fish and chips and osso buco beef shank, accompanied by garlic potatoes.

    PETE TITTL: Get to Pyrenees before Fieri lets the secret out

    Change is not an easy thing in the restaurant business, but we like what we've seen so far from the new owners of Pyrenees Cafe. The interior alone is impressive, considering such old institutions can sometimes seem worn and past their prime. Owners Rod and Julie Crawford have managed to

  • PHOTO BY PETE TITTL The south by Far East waffle ($14) at Texas 28.

    The Dish: Texas 28 waffle not awful, but ...

    We had a chance to visit Texas 28, which closed for a time late last year to renovate the kitchen and revamp the menu. We were pleased to see some of our favorites were retained in the overhaul, such as the chicken-fried steak strips appetizer ($9), deconstructed Texas Cobb salad ($12) and deep-

  • As is the case pretty much every night, the large dining room at Wool Growers is packed and bustling.

    PETE TITTL: Wool Growers still at the top of its game

    The impromptu idea was to go to Wool Growers without reservations on a weekday evening. It was the night before New Year's Eve. Surely no one would be out. Things would be calm. We'd stroll right in, get seated and commence the feast. Such a foolish idea. Entering through the side door

  • Dining Out with Pete Tittl

    THE DISH: This is crude: Olive oil price rising

    Brace yourself for continued price increases for olive oil. Curtis Cord, publisher of Olive Oil Times, said worldwide production has tanked due to a variety of factors, including bad weather and pests such as the olive fruit fly and bacteria that destroyed nearly 1 million trees in Italy and

  • Sizzling chicken fajitas are served at El Taco Fresco, located at the corner of California and Chester avenues in Bakersfield.

    PETE TITTL: Humble spots can offer great fare

    There are times when it seems like there's a humble Mexican restaurant on every corner, but if you've never even heard of it, why risk visiting the unknown instead of Del Taco or Taco Bell? In a word: authenticity. I've stumbled upon two places worth taking a chance over the corporate

  • Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que conveys real warmth and charm, not the faux warmth and charm of most chains.

    PETE TITTL: You picked a fine time to feed me, Lucille

    Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que reminds me of Famous Dave's, another barbecue chain with a local feel that opened on Rosedale Highway several years ago and never looked back. This is a big, loud, attention-drawing place that proves chains don't have to mean phony personality and a

  • The massive Parrillada Mexicana at the Original Hacienda Grill in Taft.

    PETE TITTL: Where those in the know dine in Taft

    People sometimes ask me where they should eat in Taft. Not surprising, since Taft Highway is jammed every morning with Bakersfield residents commuting to work there. As my mother-in-law (a Taft resident) says, they prefer to live in the "more exciting Bakersfield." Try telling that to