Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 25, 2010 - Noriega Hotel

Thursday, March 25, 2010 - Noriega Hotel - Basque Restaurant
Bakersfield, CA - My Third Time for Dinner

{Click on any photo to view the full size image}

Macguy from Puyallup, WA and I are headed to Yuma, AZ for the VROC Lettuce Ride.
But Macguy has never eaten at a Basque Restaurant before so we split the two day ride to Yuma in uneven sections to over night in Bakersfield, CA.
Macguy insisted that I crop his belly from the photo so it is a bit of a strange crop for a photo. :-)

Tonight there is a rather small gathering for Dinner. The bartender/cashier told me that lately the weekday evenings have been "hit or miss" with as few as 5 or 6 to as many as 100. The weekends have been full houses, though. There is only one sitting at 7:00 PM and everything is served "boarding house" style. In fact the Noriega Hotel still has ten boarders.
Macguy pouring some soup. Bernadette is the only waitress for tonight.

Pickled tongue, Basque beans, cottage cheese and salad

Don R. was sitting across from me during my first visit to Noriega's.
Don R in the blue shirt waving

Some of the boarders and a Chinese couple from San Jose

Don R's friend serving himself some of the delicious lamb stew

Spaghetti, French fries and prime rib

Fresh green beans, pickled carrots and Don eating up the lamb stew

Bernadette scooping out the rainbow sherbet

The young man talking about eating insects in Southeast Asia

Macguy had already polished off most of a bottle of red wine and was now eating his dessert

Another great meal at the Noriega Hotel.

~end .

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - Noriega Hotel

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - Noriega Hotel - Basque Restaurant
Bakersfield, CA - My Second Time for Dinner

{Click on any photo to view the full size image}

The Noriega Hotel is one of the last of the old "Boarding House" style Basque restaurants. They still have a few boarders who reside in the building just to the left of the restaurant.

Here is a link to their web site:

Noriega Hotel Web Site

The Noriega Hotel was founded by Faustino Noriega in 1893. Taken over in 1931 by Juan and Gracianna Elizalde and has been operated by their family ever since.
They only have one sitting for lunch and one sitting for dinner. Lunch is served at Noon and Dinner at 7:00 PM.

This is my second visit and the Menu says that the main course is lamb stew and prime rib.
I had called from the road for my reservation, but I still arrived around 6:40 PM. Allowing some time if for some reason the traffic was bad or I got lost because of some unknown street closure.

The bar was really full this night. A lot of the photos are out of focus because I wanted to show the size of the crowd and the space of the dining room. The built in flash just wont throw light that far, so I had the flash off which meant a real slow shutter speed and thus the blurring.
The bar as seen from the dining room entrance

The bar as seen from the wall of the main entrance

The price for meals includes the sales tax. All the wine you can drink is also included in the one set price. Soup, salads - lettuce, cottage cheese, pickled tongue and pickled carrots and Basque beans, spaghetti, the two main course items and French fries and a veggie. Then for dessert there is Bleu cheese and ice cream.
The sign to the right of the dining room shows the lunch and dinner prices as of today

Bigger groups are seated first to see how many seats are left at the end of the row. I sat at the end of the first row of tables since I was a single patron.
This is the first row of tables

This is the middle row of tables being seated

The ice berg lettuce salad

Cottage cheese, pickled tongue, beans and pickled carrots and the salsa

Here is Bernadette bringing the soup

The people that I sat next to. The man on the right in blue is a serious bicyclist. He was telling me about his trip last Summer riding from Coos Bay, OR to Brookings, OR and the wonderful weather they had.

The pickled tongue was very good

Woo who. The stew for tonight is not lamb, but OXTAIL, my favorite.
I guess that oxtails were more available than lamb this week.
The oxtail stew is a more traditional Basque stew with carrots, potatoes and celery. The oxtail stew I ate at the Wool Growers in Bakersfield last Monday was more of a braised oxtails in a tomato based sauce with no vegetables other than those to flavor the sauce.

This is the middle row of tables.

And you will often see whole families with young children. There was an infant here tonight also.


The prime rib and green beans

Pickled carrots {cold}, French fries and green beans

Delivering dessert which tonight was mint chocolate chip ice cream

They accept credit cards, but most pay in cash as you exit the dining room. That is Rochelle Ladd the working partner of the Noriega. Her maiden name was Elizalde. I guess she is still an Elizalde whose family has owned and run the Noriega since 1931.
Another really good meal at Noriega's. It would probably be more fun with a group of friends, who did not have big appetites. :-)

~end
.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Noriega Hotel

Thursday, June 18, 2009 - Noriega Hotel - Basque Restaurant
Bakersfield, CA

{Click on any photo to view the full size image}

The Noriega Hotel is one of the last of the old "Boarding House" style Basque restaurants. They still have 12 boarders who reside in the building just to the left of the restaurant.

Here is a link to their web site:

Noriega Hotel Web Site

They only have one sitting for lunch and one sitting for dinner. Lunch is served at Noon and Dinner at 7:00 PM.

The Hotel, restaurant and handball court.

Rochelle Ladd {nee Elizalde} handles the reservations, finances and back up bar tender as well as half owner with her sister. The Noriega Hotel was founded by Faustino Noriega in 1893. Taken over in 1931 by Juan and Gracianna Elizalde, Rochelle's Grandparents and run by their descendants to this day.
One of my table mates was Rochelle's cousin

The food is very tasty and plentiful. In fact you can just ask the waitress for more of any item including the main courses. All lunches and dinners are prix fixe menu. View their web site for what dishes are for each given day of the week. Thursday dinner the two main course items are beef stew and spareribs. The stew was very tender and tasty. The spareribs were baked and had an excellent flavor.
Soup, and bread

Pickled tongue, beans wine, hot sauce, and salad


The beets are hidden behind the wine bottle and beans. I also missed the corn and the French Fries.

The beef stew

A short video of the meal

video

My table.

Taking away the empty plates

Spaghetti

Rochelle's cousin eating a sparerib


Another table mate, Don Rivera eating a rib

The dessert was a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Tonight it was suppose to be spumoni, but the ice cream company goofed.

One of the waitresses, Bernadette wanted her picture taken

Also there was a special later sitting for a meeting of the Wool Growers Asociation of the Bakersfield area. The long table at the left is just being filled. Waitress' right

I plan on riding the 200 miles down and 200 back for lunch later this Summer.

Friday morning, June 19, 2009 - Breakfast

Since I was only a hair over 200 miles from home. I decided to have breakfast at the Noriega Hotel before heading home. Also it was right along my route home.
All meals are served Family Style including breakfast. And breakfast is the only meal that has a two hour window of service.

The waitresses work all shifts. Their vacation is the first two weeks in August when the restaurant closes it doors and everyone takes vacation.

Bernadette again wanted her picture taken. She will head off to France for her vacation this year. This setup is just for me.

My table mates. Although I got there fairly late only 10 minutes from the close of breakfast. My Family Style was for one. The only breakfast choice is omelette or scrambled eggs. The rest is a plate full of bacon, ham, pork chops, Basque sausage AND French Fries, along with bread and jelly and coffee and wine.
The last of the breakfast patrons and Bernadette {what a ham :-) }

Rochelle was at the bar pouring the coffee and taking the egg order and minding the cash register. I took a photo of her, but it did not come out. Too blurry :-(

I also took a few photos when I first got to Bakersfield yesterday and I wanted to locate Noriega's. So the following photos are from Thursday afternoon.



A list by state of other Basque Restaurants in the United States:
Buber's Basque Restaurant Page


~end