• Cotton candy grapes, shown here in a vineyard near McFarland in 2013, are the result of years of cross-breeding techniques used in creating designer fruits.

    THE DISH: A bunch of good news for grapes

    Health magazine gave a shoutout to locally grown cotton candy grapes in a recent list. The candy-sweet green variety grown by the Grapery made the publication’s list of “five delicious veggies you’ve never heard of — and need to try.” Along with the taste, the grapes are lauded for their heart-

  • Two customers wait in line for lunch at Tacos Mi Casa.

    PETE TITTL: Best Bakersfield taco trucks a parking lot away

    Food trucks are not new — they’ve been around as long as working people have needed food brought to the job site — but they’ve been growing in popularity over the past five years, especially in Southern California. We happened to be in Santa Barbara about a year ago when Four Seasons, the high-end

  • The Belvedere Room at the Padre Hotel has stayed on top of its game with an updated menu and classy atmosphere. It was named to a BuzzFeed list of must-try restaurants in California.

    THE DISH: Belvedere Room lands on BuzzFeed list

    Bakersfield made another list, but this time we’re happy to be there. The Belvedere Room in the Padre Hotel made a list of 16 California restaurants every foodie must try from website Buzzfeed and its brand publisher Visit California. Offering “fine dining at the southern end of California’s

  • Dining Out with Pete Tittl

    PETE TITTL: La Colonia hard to find but worth the search

    There are restaurants in Bakersfield you can best classify as the culinary pioneers: Bill Lee’s, Rice Bowl, KC Steakhouse, Mexicali, Sinaloa — the ones dating to the ’70s or even farther back. They’ve inspired enough regulars to keep the doors open in what can be a very fickle business. A peer in

  • Booze by the barrel this weekend

    What happens when you expect 1,000 people at your event and get 500 more attendees ready to imbibe, snack and dance? If you’re the B-Town Barrel Fest, you just roll with it. Organizer Oscar Prado said the surprising success of the inaugural tasting last year is what sealed the second run of the

  • Tejon Ranch took dining al fresco to another level last month with its new outdoor dining experiences. The ranch will again offer a dinner and lunch on June 27 and 28, respectively, before taking a break until the fall.

    THE DISH: Dine under stars at Tejon Ranch

    What happens when you combine a fine-dining event from a renowned L.A. chef with a visit to a normally off-limits California landmark? That’d be the outdoor dining experience at Tejon Ranch. This unique adventure is just under a 40-mile drive south from Bakersfield, from which guests are whisked

  • Fresh guacamole made right at your  table at Que Pasa.

    PETE TITTL: Que Pasa a little safe but pretty tasty

    We had a visitor from Vienna, Austria, for a few days and after buying him one of those cool Bakersfield shirts from Snead’s, an In-N-Out shirt — and a burger to go along with it — we had planned to take him to Red Pepper for dinner so he could experience some decent Mexican food. Unfortunately

  • A fresh delivery of craft beer waits to be stocked as Imbibe's Dan Rainey looks over the inventory at the popular Bakersfield spot.

    Bakersfield taps into craft-beer craze

    Craft beer is warping and reshaping Bakersfield’s beverage world. The change has been building for years, driven by Americans’ wild devotion to the booming diversity of beers made by small, regional breweries across the nation. But the wave of beverage ingenuity that started in cities like San

  • Texas 28 in downtown Bakersfield. The restaurant/bar changed its name and menu about a year ago, but traffic didn't pick up, forcing the owner to sell.

    Texas 28 being sold; Wall Street Cafe closed

    Not even a force as powerful as Texas could save a downtown restaurant/bar that has struggled to find an identity — and audience — for nearly four years: The owner of Texas 28 confirmed Thursday he is selling the 18th Street building that once housed legendary live music venue Fishlips. “It lost

  • Don Bynum and Tom Maxwell are the gentlemen in Bakersfield's craft beer world. “Don and I started Temblor because we love beer,” Maxwell said. “The look on someone’s face the first time they realize how awesome beer is, that’s why we started Temblor. Life is all about finding that thing you are truly passionate about, dreaming big and giving it your all and, with Temblor, we have done just that.”

    They're crafty: Faces of Bakersfield's beer scene

    Allow us to introduce you to some of the movers and shakers of Bakersfield’s craft beer world: the brewers, sellers, fans and distributors who supply Bakersfield’s growing thirst for the newest, wildest and best beers. The gentlemen  Tom Maxwell and Don Bynum expect to open the doors of

  • Renae Lamas, a server at Tina Marie's has her arms loaded with food for breakfast customers on a recent Friday morning. The hash browns are made from fresh-cut potatoes.

    PETE TITTL: Tina Marie's the Bakersfield diner with Texas in its soul

    Reader Bryan Kelly, a transplant from the Lone Star state, was kind enough to point out to me in a recent note that it had been far too long since I’d devoted a column to one of his favorite restaurants, Tina Marie’s Downtown Café, a humble restaurant on which he heaps Texas-big praise. “I

  • The Noriega Hotel is on Sumner Street, west of Baker Street.

    THE DISH: Noriega Hotel lands on best of West list

    Already a James Beard Foundation award winner, Noriega Hotel can add another feather in its cap with a spot on a new Sunset magazine list. The lifestyle publication focused on the Western United States named the longtime Basque dining establishment one of the top 18 local institution restaurants

  • Because of Boss Pizza Co.’s unique oven, customers have just a short wait before their hot pizza is served.

    Boss Pizza dishing up downtown deal

    With an eye on beautifying its slice of downtown, Boss Pizza Co. is hosting a fundraiser June 9 to celebrate its successful first year of business with a $10 combo for a pizza and a drink. From 5 to 10:30 a.m., the 18th Street eatery will operate a drive-through in its parking lot, offering a

  • Along with a doughnut-eating contest and free doughnut per customer, Sugar Twist Bakery will celebrate National Doughnut Day Friday with specialty treats such as this one stuffed with fresh peaches and whipped frosting, topped with powdered sugar.

    Bakery to ring in National Doughnut Day

    In a celebration worthy of Homer Simpson, Sugar Twist Bakery is celebrating National Doughnut Day Friday with a giveaway, eating contest and specialty items. Since opening in 2011, the northwest sweet shop has held a contest for who can eat a Gigantor — the equivalent of six glazed doughnut — the

  • "I've been working for 82 years," says James Holt, center, a twice-a-day patron of the Red Wagon Cafe in Shafter. "He's lying," jokes his friend Norman Lum, also a regular at the cafe. Holt, who began “chopping cotton when I was 5 years old,” is also know as "grandpa" by friends at the breakfast and lunch spot. At right is loyal customer Curt Nicks.

    PETE TITTL: There's no hitch in this Red Wagon

     An exchange between a waitress and a customer at a table adjacent to ours — I’m a born eavesdropper — offers as good a description as any of the Red Wagon Cafe in Shafter. The waitress was trying to describe how the Saturday daily special, tacos, is served and went on to explain that soft

  • The Dish: Take-N-Bake takes it back to basics

    Long before Papa Murphy’s became a nationwide force in take-and-bake pizza and before seemingly every grocery store got in on that lucrative business, Bakersfield had Traders Take-N-Bake Pizza in the FoodMaxx shopping center at the corner of White Lane and Ashe Road. So imagine my surprise when I

  • The Sexy Mama and Baja Roll, two specialty rolls offered at Sushi Time, a new restaurant in northwest Bakersfield.

    THE DISH: Seek culinary adventures in Bakersfield and beyond

    Bakersfield is always looking for new places to eat and drink, so we’ll kick off the column with some spots worth checking out. Sushi Time If you’re in northwest Bakersfield looking for a new lunch spot, it’s Sushi Time. The restaurant at 4715 Coffee Road, Suite D (behind the McDonald’s near

  • About 1,000 people attended the inaugural Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival in 2013 with about 500 more turning out last year. “The word has gotten around," said David Dobbs, co-owner of Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant and organizer of the event. "I had to turn breweries away; this is the first year (for that). We had 30 last year, 43 this year."

    THE DISH: Raise a pint to Bakersfield beer news

    Cheers to May! In addition to the usual food news, we've got some beer-centric tidbits to keep things interesting as we finish out the month. On May 18, the Padre Hotel will host a beer dinner with Karl Strauss Brewing Co. The meal will consist of five courses paired with beers from the San