It's a lovely, clear cold Tuesday late night after a lovely warm day. Perfect for December in San Diego. I feel great emotionally, although my Sjogrens has caused me some physical difficulty of late. I'm listening to Dancing Waters by Ravel on XLNC1. Very nice.
We got back yesterday from our vacation to Bakersfield. Vacation to Bakersfield, you ask? Yes, and it was great. My friend Tuthie is visiting Bakersfield this winter for her work, so we decided to visit her there, since she is usually in Alaska, and that is definitely not nearly as do-able. We researched on the Internet and made a list of things to do and shook our heads at the shortness of the list. The when we got here, we were pleasantly surprised. First of all, the people are very sweet, nice and friendly. Greet you on the sidewalk for no reason. Mellow vibe. And the tap water tastes great. Don't laugh, in San Diego it is not really drinkable.
Friday evening when we arrived, picked up Tuthie and ate at KC's Steakhouse. http://www.kcsteakhouse.net/ordereze/Content/1/Summary.aspx Wow! It was awesomely good. Very "old school", but in as good way. All decked out for Christmas, live band, good food, good booze. The oysters were fresh, my liver was not overcooked. Liver should just "Kiss the pan", my mother used to say. Tuthie had a flavorful, tender filet of Beef. Usually they are one or the other, but not both. These people were very nice and the food was great. Dan's shrimp were good.
Saturday we went shopping at the mall. Tuthie has a big holiday party coming up at work and she wanted a long dress, fancy dancing shoes, jewelry and all the trimmings for the party. Lunch was a great steak and salami sandwich at Charlie's in the mall. Dan had a big salad, which he enjoyed. Afterward we were too tired from all the shopping to go out anywhere, so we just had a quick dinner at Carrow's across the parking lot from the motel. My massage therapist called and asked me to make 2 shawls for her nephews in return for a free massage. So, I'm busy knitting up a storm in chocolate brown tweed.
Sunday we went for brunch to La Mina, a Mexican place that does a buffet on Sunday mornings. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x1801938193/PETE-TITTL-La-Mina-Sunday-brunch-in-a-word-More It was very much like my first mother-in-law's home cooking, and that 's a compliment. The Menudo was great, the waffles and strawberries for desert were great. Tortillas made fresh in front of you to order. Coffee was good, the champagne was a bit sweet, which is how I like it. Then we drove up the Kern River valley to Lake Isabella, very pretty scenery, very windy road which Dan enjoyed driving. And the mountains and river were just beautiful.
Late that night after we got back, we had dinner at Benjies, a French Basque place. Amazing, just amazing.
http://www.idgoback.com/places/food-and-restaurants/benjis-french-basque-restaurant---4001-rosedale-hwy-bakersfieldca-93308 Next time in Bakersfield, I'm going to Benji's again. My sweetbreads were cooked to the point as the French say. Just enough, no more. The mushrooms, too. And the veal reduction/wine sauce was heaven. Dan had veal medalions stuffed with ham and cheese. These Basque places serve a "set-up" before they bring out the entree. It's like an appetizer buffet, or something. Wonderful fresh bread and butter, fresh salad, yummy vege soup, hot sauce, beans (you put the beans and the hot sauce in the soup), sliced tomato salad, French fries?, thinly sliced pickled tongue!, cooked vegetable (green beans cooked with tomatoes). Then they brought my heavenly sweetbreads..... The dessert souffle is supposed to be great, but we did not have room to try it. In my next lifetime, I want to be born French Basque...
Monday, we had lunch at Pyrenees, another interesting Basque place. http://www.yelp.com/biz/pyrenees-cafe-bakersfield Funky place, the Oldest restaurant in Bakersfield, across from the old original railway station. Also served with a "set-up", and the special was a great pork chop, which Dan had. I had the chicken fried steak, since it's a Bakersfield specialty, but the chop was better. Blue cheese on the great freshly baked bread. Crisp, fresh salad. Cottage cheese with mixed vegie bits chopped in. Pickled tongue was great in a Chimichurri type sauce. Good coffee. I could get used to this Basque thing.
We checked out the Bugseum in nearby Shafter. Lots of fun. Lots of bugs. I wish Nate could have seen that.
Then we headed out for home and stopped at Ruby's in the Citadel on the way home. Interesting high end mall. Opposite of Bakersfield.
Lilo was glad to see us back. She has needed many pets today to make up for the long weekend alone. She says HI to her adoring fans...
Time to go check on the fresh cheese I left draining.. paneer. Good late night snack.
See ya soon,