1214 Vine St.
We decided to drop by Bakersfield OTR recently to sample their Mexican-influenced street-fare tacos, two of which are vegetarian-friendly. The restaurant is smack in the middle of the busy, buzzy Gateway Quarter, housed in a lovingly refurbished brick building next to Lavomatic Cafe.
The restaurant focuses on tacos, tequila, and whiskey, with special emphasis on Kentucky bourbons. As much as we love our bourbon, the gloriously fine weather begged for something light and fruity, so I opted for a sangria, and it didn't disappoint.
We ordered a basket of chips and salsa ($3) to nibble on; other options include chips and guacamole ($5) and chips and queso ($5). They also offer two salads, both of which can be made vegetarian.
A nice touch is that Bakersfield makes all their tortillas in house, and they are far superior to the store-bought variety. The restaurant's two vegetarian taco selections are Huitlacoche ($4) consisting of corn, corn truffles, roasted poblano, onion, cotija cheese and cilantro, and Rajas ($3) which subs out the corn and corn truffles for portobello mushrooms, and swaps the cotija for queso fresca. Both are tasty. Those lime wedges aren't just for show either - be sure to squeeze them over your tacos for a bright burst of added flavor.
Steve chose the fish taco ($4), which is topped with shredded cabbage and Tabasco lime sauce, and the Pastor ($3), consisting of marinated pork, pickled onion, pineapple and cilantro. He misread the menu and wasn't expecting the fish to be fried. He didn't care much for it, but was wowed by the flavor-packed pork selection.
Bakersfield isn't a large place and I can only imagine how packed it gets at night, but it's a tasty place to while away a Sunday afternoon.