I drove a lot these past 3 days, along the route 1 from San Francisco, but also in the countryside. Earlier today, I passed close to Bakersfield, or more precisely, close to a sign that said Bakersfield. It reminded me good memories from my first road trip in the USA with my friends…
We drove all day long, from Utah. At least 12 hours, AC was high but it wasn’t enough to help us with the brutal heath of the Mojave desert. Around 7pm, the sun light was incredible, the hills around had a shiny tone. We read on a tourist guide the recommandation of a good basque* restaurant (*basque is a French and Spanish region, with a strong identity). We decided to get to this place, even though it was located in a town that we were recommended not to go: Bakersfield. Basque people in the middle of a remote city in California seemed weird, but there was a strong immigration at the beginning of the 20th century. When we got there, it was scary and the restaurant, from outside, doesn’t look that great.
We came in, it was this or a fast food along the highway. The first room of the plain building was empty, but we got to the back room: two large shared wooden tables, it looked like a wedding reception, eating with half-drunk people you don’t really know that well. The waitress was French, and insisted that we finished all our dishes: it was a succession of all the basque specialties served non stop during an hour. No menu: everybody had the same. At the end, the waitress gathered all the bottles of wines, and made us drink – we’re French, so she assumed we would love it. She was fun, and had many stories to share, and loved talking about her favorite place in the US: Las Vegas.
Family picture of us happy after a good meal
Eating basque in Californie :
Noriega’s, 525 Summer Street, Bakersfield