Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Where you eating your bacon? Bakersfield, California

In Bakersfield, California, where the temperature was 112 in the sun. Bakersfield is the home of Buck Owens, and I originally wanted to eat at his place: The Crystal Palace. In the section marked Buckinin's pizzas, he mentions The Barbeque Palace Pizza thusly:

"Fresh-baked pizza crust, topped with our barbeque sauce, strips of fresh barbequed chicken breast, oven-crisp bacon, tomatoes, fresh grated Mozzarella cheese."

Intriguing. I'm a big fan of real (i.e. not Canadian) bacon on pizzas, and I've yet to find any better combination of the two than in a bar/hotel in Sydney that made excellent use of Australia's amazing style of bacon.

Alas, I was crippled by an explosive bout of dysentery, and felt as weak as a Niger toddler with a distended belly, baking in the sun's radiation, wondering what I was doing on this parched hellish earth. We found a Cajun eatery, and since I hate the very idea of New Orleans, it was a fine place to relieve myself for a good long time.

Returned to Bakersfield a few days later, but in the morning, so Buck Owen's Palace wasn't going to be open. Found what looked up to be a sensible diner - crowded for a Monday mid-morning. 24th Street Cafe it was called. The menu had Portobello mushroom omelets made with red wine, ostrich steak and eggs, banana pancakes with a rum sauce, golden trout with eggs, and other rather high-end food. Buck Owens did not appear to be anywhere in the restaurant.

I am not a big fan of eating bacon in omelets. The pieces tend to be broken into very small bits, and subsumed by the eggs in a way that doesn't happen with, say, a properly made bacon and egg burrito, where the ingredients are nestled together, but not roughly mixed up ahead of time. Still, it seemed the best choice at the time in order for me to also secure hash browns and biscuits and gravy. The bacon was good; crisp enough to stand up to the eggs and cheese, but broken up too small as I had feared. Though bacon wasn't the highlight of the meal, it played a role. The house-made salsa seemed to be made up of 75% garlic cloves, which was fine indeed slathered on the hash browns.


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