We didn't get to make a dedicated trip to Bakersfield this year but made sure we routed ourselves through there when we could. Our trips to Paso Robles, Tulare, and Monterey all included stops here...both coming and going...for one reason and one reason only.
Our absolute favorite restaurant right now is still the awesome Los Tacos de Huicho in Bakersfield. Tender slabs of pork, stacked up on a vertical spit with a big, sweet onion on top, slowly rotate and cook to provide the best al pastor tacos you've ever had. At 99 cents, what a bargain too! Tim also says they make some of the best fries he's ever had. My wife says the fish tacos are to die for while I'll always get a couple of tacos de tripas to go with my al pastor.
All of us also love the sopes, thick bowls of masa served with meat, beans, cheese and cream. Served plain, you finish it off with their awesome salsa bar featuring their delectable, creamy, and spicy guacamole salsa.
Huicho's celebrated their 15th anniversary this year and have expanded...buying out their next door neighbor to get a nice, large parking lot while the old lot is being turned into a new dining room and patio.
On the north side of Tucson, BK Tacos...in addition to having great tacos...has their version of what we call "ghetto dogs" back home in L.A. The Sonoran dog is a hot dog, wrapped in bacon, covered with beans, salsa, and cheese. Tim gives this creation a big thumbs up.
In Denver, with all the beer and great food that city has to offer, it was this creamy penne with gorgonzola, bacon, and asparagus that was served as a cheap happy hour dish at the Cheeky Monk. Unbelievably good food washed down with some very good Belgian brews. Only $5.99 during the afternoon happy hour here.
In Paso Robles, another city not short on good food or wine, it was the breakfast at the Springside Restaurant that we remember the most. Perfectly cooked omeletts, served with fluffy pancakes started our days off with a delicious and filling meal.
Over the hill from Paso, the Superior Dairy Company in Hanford serves monstrous sized ice cream treats across the street from the beautiful town plaza. A single scoop here would be a large sundae at other ice cream parlors, but behold the SOS...the masterpiece of balance and taste...their signature banana split.
In Pacific Grove...the pretty little town on the end of the Monterey Peninsula in California...we had dinner at one of the best restaurants in the state, Passionfish. Known for serving outstanding sustainable seafood, land lubbers will also like their meat and poultry dishes. Reservations are essential here, the dining room is always full because in addition to serving some of the best food you'll ever have, their policy is to charge a very reasonable price for it. Outstanding food at prices you'll not believe.
There you have it, the most memorable food we saw on our travels during 2011. You might also want to check out some of the best food in our home base of Los Angeles in our report and video called Three Meals a Day, All Across L.A.
Now, we're just looking forward to what we'll taste in 2012!
Copyright 2011 - Darryl Musick
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