Basqueing With Ranchers at Dinner in Bakersfield, California
Wool Growers is Bakersfield, right down to the 1960s VFW-banquet hall decor and the stretch polyester of its clientele. But, oh, the food. It’s Basque; as genuine as you’ll find outside the Pyrenees. This is French cuisine with a Spanish influence. (Or is it the other way around?) There’s lamb and beef and more lamb and some fish and garlic. Lots of garlic. And five or six more dinner courses that include pickled tongue and plenty of salsa for the cabbage soup. Everything is family style meaning you share and, if you sit at one of the long tables instead of a booth, you share with strangers who, if you let them, will tell you all about ranching or farming or the oilfields. Thank them with a picón punch.