If you lived in Kern County long enough, you've likely tried lamb at one of our many Basque restaurants. But you've probably never had it the way it's prepared at Aqui es Texcoco, a new restaurant coming to northeast Bakersfield.
A sign went up this week announcing the eatery known for its lamb barbacoa was going up in the former home of the recently closed Lumberjacks at 2673 Mount Vernon Ave.
This will be the fourth location of the chain, with other restaurants in Los Angeles, San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. It is named for the Mexican region near Mexico City that is known for its pit-roasted lamb.
In his review of the Los Angeles location in 2014, Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold praised the "vast portions of lamb, chewy and gelatinous and touched with crunchy bits of char, piled on sheets of aluminum foil" eaten with hot tortillas, puddles of beans, freshly made guacamole and cups of consommé.
Along with lamb barbecue — served in cuts of lean meat, ribs, tripe, brains and head — the menu includes grilled quail, marinated in dark beer and spices, chapulines (grasshoppers) for the brave diners and plenty of vegetarian options. There are also tacos, enchiladas and other usual Mexican fare for the less adventurous.