Bakersfield's Filipino dining options are increasing in the new year.
A banner is up announcing the imminent arrival of Max's Restaurant coming to the shopping center that is home to Coconut Joe's and Mikado. The space was last home to a Tony's Pizza location.
Billed as "the house that fried chicken built," Max's started in 1945 in Quezon City in the Philippines when teacher Maximo Gimenez began serving food and drinks to American occupation troops he befriended. It was his niece, Ruby, who ran the kitchen and developed a special recipe for chicken that became a favorite among the GIs, the Filipino public then the world as the chain expanded.
Second and third generations of the family uphold the standards and traditions set by Maximo and Ruby for all Max's Restaurants, which now include 180 locations in the Philippines, four in the Middle East and 21 in North America.
No word yet when the local Max's will open. Visit maxsrestaurantna.com to view menus at other locations and learn more about the chain.
As we gain one restaurant, we've lost another. Umaga Cafe closed last month as its owners planned to move to Southern California to pursue other career opportunities. In addition to running the cafe, which opened in 2020, husband and wife Jeremy and Jezreel Cruz also worked in health care.
New dishes, deals
Sunday kicks off National Pizza Week, which Pieology is celebrating with a few special deals.
Sunday through Jan. 14, customers using the Pie Life Rewards app can redeem a free premium crust upgrade on an order in store and online. That includes Pierise thick, cauliflower and gluten-free crust options.
Additionally, all in-store guests can enjoy a signature or three-topping pizza and a drink for $10.
The chain will also post daily riddles on its social media through Jan. 14 with a special offer given on the last day.
If you want to kick off the new year with daily Frostys, Wendy's has a deal for you.
The burger chain has brought back its Frosty Key Tag, which will be available through Jan. 29. For $2, the tag entitles the bearer to one free junior Frosty with any purchase daily through 2023.
This offer includes the limited-time peppermint Frosty as well as whatever others the chain dreams up during the year.
Proceeds from the sales of the key tags will support the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy's designated charity that works to place children in foster care in safe, loving, permanent homes.
Purchase the tags at any Wendy's restaurant or through the Wendy's mobile app, where you can apply it to mobile orders or add it to your Wendy's Rewards card to be scanned and redeemed in restaurants. They can also be purchased in bulk at the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption website (davethomasfoundation.org).
Those in the mood for more sweet treats can head to Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, which launched a new frozen hot chocolate shake made with Ghirardelli.
Available through Feb. 14, the shake blends Freddy's signature vanilla frozen custard with Ghirardelli hot cocoa and marshmallow sauce. The treat is topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with more hot cocoa powder.
"Our all-new frozen hot chocolate shake is incredibly reminiscent of having a cup of hot chocolate, making it a fitting dessert to enjoy during the winter season," Laura Rueckel, chief marketing officer, said in a news release. "The Ghirardelli hot cocoa adds a premium and decadent taste to our creamy vanilla frozen custard and pairs perfectly with the rich marshmallow sauce."
Fans of Freddy's limited-time French onion steakburger will be happy to learn that, based on positive customer feedback, it will remain on the menu through Feb. 14.
It's "new year, new taco" for Rubio's Coastal Grill, which introduced a new taco this month.
The new Baja grilled fish taco features grilled, wild-caught mahi-mahi topped with fresh-made guacamole, salsa fresca, cotija cheese, crisp cabbage and a new creamy Baja sauce, served on a warm stone-ground corn tortilla.
On Jan. 25, the chain will hold a 40th anniversary party with an online and in-store contest for Rubio's Rewards members to win 1980s-inspired gear and free Rubio's. Rewards members can earn entries for every visit the week of Jan. 23, and 50 winners will receive a limited-edition Rubio's Member jacket.
The Habit Burger Grill also has something fresh on its menu: the pretzel pub charburger. Test-marketed in California in July 2022, the burger consists of a chargrilled patty topped with brew pub mustard, gooey melted cheese and rich caramelized onions, served on an artisan knotted pretzel bun.
"One of my favorite brew pub snacks is the pub pretzel — it's salty, savory and especially satisfying — so I wanted to translate that into an elevated burger experience with the Pretzel Pub Char," executive chef Adam Baird at The Habit Burger Grill, said in a news release. "After an incredible test run in California during the summer, we knew we had to share the Pretzel Pub Char with the rest of the nation."
The burger will be available through Feb. 21.
Black Angus Steakhouse added to its "happier hour" offerings with the new loaded brisket fries.
The fries are topped with slow-smoked brisket, melted cheddar and jack cheeses and a Sriracha mayo drizzle, then finished with togarashi and furikake spices and fresh chopped green onions.
The dish ($13.99) is available for a limited time during the steakhouse's happier hour, which also offers discounts on weeknights from 3 to 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. until closing.
Other offers include $7 steakhouse starters, $5 off the wagon wheel sampler, $4 off select draft beers and $2 off wine by the glass and $6 signature cocktails.