Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I have been in touch with Peter Tittl, the food critic for one of the local Bakersfield newspapers. It turns out that he has a website he refers people to (who doesn't?) that lists his top ten restaurants in several categories. I used the fine dining category to inform some of my eating this week, although fine dining is a questionable category, either due to his personal taste or due to a lack of fine establishments in Bakersfield. PF Changs is on the fine dining list.
This night we made two stops. We started at the oldest restaurant in town, TJ Maxwell's. I'll qualify that by adding that the space has been a restaurant for a very long time. Since just prior to the 1900's, if I remember correctly. It used to be a bar called The Office, where literature on the menu states that men could call home from and in a completely honest way say they were still at the office. Ha ha. Later, it became a locale for gambling, and in one raid the mayor and the police chief were both brought in during the round up. Ha ha (really, that time). The architecture of the bar is beautiful and supports the imagination in visualizing just such an event.
I love these bar stools. Unsure what era these arrived in the building, but they are almost too perfect.
The menu relied heavily on creamy sauces, beurre blancs, alfredos, brown butters and so on. So we drank lovely little martinis and shared a wonderful sesame seared ahi appetizer before we went on out merry way. This was truly one of the better seared ahi dishes I have eaten. Heavily crusted in roast sesame, cooked firmly on the outside with that bright pink on the inside. If I come to Bakersfield again, I wouldn't be against ordering that as an entree portion.