Noriega’s Hotel, a Basque restaurant in Bakersfield California will close after 89 years, as a result of the Covid-19 Virus. The restaurant which served hearty Basque fare Family Style has been closed since March. The owners announced the closing in their facebook post. It would be impossible to serve food family style, at long tables with diners sitting next to each other, and maintain social distancing. The Restaurant received many awards including the James Beard Award and was written about extensively by the late Jonathan Gold, famed restaurant critic at LA Weekly and previously at the LA Times. Diners would sit in the bar until their party was called. If you missed your call you would not be seated. Diners sat at long wooden tables covered in oil cloth, and were served a number of dishes that did not vary from day to day. This included vegetable soup, to which would be added salsa and beans, then came pickled beef tongue, fresh vegetables, spaghetti, and wonderful french fries made with California Long White potatoes. French bread and red wine, produced locally were served as well as a lettuce and tomato salad. The Entree could be Garlic Fried Chicken, or lamb also laden with garlic. Meals concluded with blue cheese and Ice cream. Recently the price per person was under $25.00. They will be missed!
I’m a founding member of Texas’ only Txoko and when I broke this news to my Basque buddies in Austin they compared it to losing a sibling.
I had to look Txoko up — I didn’t even know we had any Basques in Texas. Guess I’ll head on over to the Handbook of Texas and do some reading up.
Haven’t been to Bakersfield perhaps since the 50s so never been to this place; still sorry to read of a Roadfood place closing. I see Maggie ‘n Trevor have reviewed the place.
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