Lunch Break: Bakersfield

img_0755They might be found in several locations on the east side of the country, but I’m happy one of those locations is Pittsburgh. Proudly serving their guests Mexican street fare and over 200 different types of tequila and American whiskey, Bakersfield offers flavorful food and refreshing beverages to match.

We headed to the restaurant for lunch and surprisingly I quickly spotted a parking space on Penn Avenue. After finding and embracing our friends who were visiting from out of town, we headed inside. A friendly hostess was waiting at a podium to greet us and sat us at the window seat.

The tables are picnic table style and the rest of the restaurant is made of wooden walls and dark surfaces. Wired lights hung from the ceiling and a bar encompasses the center of the room.

We weren’t exactly in the mood for drinks, but Bakersfield does have a good and creative img_0972selection. Offered every day is a $2 boot of PBR, and a variety of margaritas. Depending on your mood depends on the margarita – be traditional with the Bakersfield margarita, embrace the now with the seasonal margarita or heat things up with the spicy margarita.

Instead of drinks, we got apps. We ordered some chips, salsa and queso. We declined, but you have the option to add black beans, chorizo or house pickled jalapenos that definitely have a kick. The queso is served in a metal pan on a wooden base along with a bowl of chips. The queso was baked so that the top layer had hardened and it worked best to scoop the cheese with a spoon onto each chip. Obviously a little more effort, but completely worth it.

Now it’s taco time!

Chicken Chorizo.

I love pineapple so the pork belly pastor caught my eye. Along with the juicy pineapple was marinated pork, white onion and cilantro. It was delicious. The chunks of pork were juicy and paired well with the pineapple. The cilantro added a great seasoned flavor. My next taco was the mole. A soft taco filled with Oaxacan style braised chicken, pickled red onion, queso fresco and cilantro. It was again, another great taco.

Served on the same platter were the huitlacoche and pollo rojo. My friend dove into the huitlacoche, aka corn truffles, roasted poblano, corn, onion, cotija cheese and cilantro. We had no idea how to say it, but she sure would order it again. The pollo rojo contained juicy braised chicken, smoky guajillo chili sala, queso fresco, white onion, chipotle lime crema and cilantro. It became quite obvious that Bakersfield enjoys their cilantro, but I don’t hate it.

img_0928On the other side of the picnic table tostadas on a crispy tortilla were ordered. One was the short rib and the other the chicken chorizo. Alongside the short rib was fried egg, black beans, Bakersfield hot sauce, queso fresco, shredded romaine, cilantro and topped with buttermilk dressing. It was a tasty sandwich and voted the better tostada of the two.

Bakersfield not only made headlines for us, in addition to several positive articles, Guy Fieri made a pit-stop at the restaurant on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives a few years ago. You should make a pit-stop there too.

Experience Pittsburgh, One Bite at a Time.

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