2014 Cheap Eats: Dining on a Dime – Part 2

Part Two: We’ve once again compiled a list of flavorful dishes from great restaurants that are guaranteed to fill you up without emptying your wallet. And we’ve got a few special dishes peppered throughout the list this year, but more on that later.


7701 White Ln.

Make sure you have a hose handy to cool off after dining at Firehouse. There are plenty of tasty options lining the menu here, but if you’re looking for something flavorful and light, try the Fish Tacos. Beer battered cod fried to a golden brown and topped with cabbage, crème fresh, and homemade salsa in a crispy tortilla. And it’s served with fries all for just $9.99.


5464 California Ave.


This is our kind of station stop. Cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches—every single one is a winner. Our pick is the Italian Sub. For $6.50 you can feast on pepperoni, dry salami, capicola, and ham, with cheese and other toppings of your choice including lettuce, tomato, onions, and their special oil and vinegar dressing, all on a soft fresh roll from Pyrenees Bakery! And at that cost, you can add a side of fresh potato salad for just $1.50 more!

Blue Elephant

8200 Stockdale Hwy., M-1

Blue Elephant
Blue Elephant

We’re always in a hurry for good curry, and Blue Elephant has it. Their lunch specials are a great value, and of those, we suggest the Panang Curry. It’s a distinctive blend of Thai curry with zucchini, bell peppers, coconut milk, and kaffir lime leaves, plus your choice of meat (chicken or beef) or tofu and veggies. And it comes with a sweet, flavorful salad and spring rolls for just $9.

Moo Creamery

4885 Truxtun Ave.

Moo might be known for their burgers and sweet treats, but their menu is also full of fresh takes on traditional flavors. Like the Greek Chicken Pita (just $8.50). Grilled pita bread surrounds roasted chicken breast, red pepper hummus, tzatziki sauce, pepper relish, lettuce, onion sprouts, and topped with a cucumber and oregano vinaigrette.


622 E 21st St.


Three words: Pork. Chop. Sandwich. If you’re not already racing to this longtime favorite hangout, we’ll continue. Two seasoned grilled pork loin chops served with sautéed mushrooms, onions, melted Swiss cheese, and mayo on a grilled Pyrenees French roll. Are you on the road yet? At $12, it comes in a bit above our normal price point, but since this beast of a sandwich also comes with an antipasta plate and choice of one side, there’s no way we could pick another item.

Goose Loonie’s

816 18th St.

Taking a gander at the Goose Loonie’s menu (see what we did there?), you’ll notice tons of delectable dishes including juicy burgers, Greek favorites, and fresh baked pizzas. But sometimes you just need a good gyro to sate your graving. Their Gyro. A toasty warm pita wraps around your choice of lamb, chicken, falafel, or veggies and it’s topped with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, and onions for $10.99.


2401 White Ln.

Looking for traditional Mexican flavors and something to warm up your belly? Arriaga’s Albondigas Soup is the ticket. A small is just $6.50 and a large is $8.50. You’ll be served a steaming hot bowl of freshly prepared, seasoned meatballs that have been cooked in a savory, spicy broth, with tender cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and squash. It comes with rice and onions and cilantro on the side plus corn or flour tortillas.

China Bistro

4000 Coffee Rd. Ste. 1, 9000 Ming Ave. Ste. F2

There aren’t many places in Bakersfield to get vegetarian dishes infused with amazing flavor (we love our meat in this town). But the Tofu Spicy Garlic Sauce Bowl at China Bistro is one of them—and it’s a healthy option, too. At just $5.15, your bowl runneth over with firm tofu stir fried with peppers, onions, baby corn, water chestnuts, and carrots in a spicy garlic sauce. It’s served on a bed of fried rice, steamed rice, chow mein, or a combo of any!


6112 Knudsen Dr.


Anything on Milt’s menu will cure what ails you, no doubt. If your ailment is that you’re hungry and want something that will stick to your bones without costing you an arm and a leg, order the Cold Meatloaf Sandwich ($10). A thick slice of homemade meatloaf topped with mild Jarslberg cheese on your choice of whole wheat, white, or sourdough bread. And it comes with soup, salad, fries, potato salad, chips, a fresh fruit cup, or cottage cheese.


5601 California Ave., 631 18th St.


A local favorite, Mexicali knows good flavors. Nearly everything on the menu is a great value, but if you haven’t yet tasted their Pizzadilla, you’re missing out. This Mexican-style pizza is crammed full of flavor. It’s two crispy flour tortillas sandwiching seasoned ground beef, tons of melted cheese, diced tomatoes and onions, and topped with sliced black olives. It’s only $7.75.


1918 Eye St.

If you can pull yourself away from the famous and delicious Italian Sausage Bread long enough to think, we recommend ordering the Lamb Dip ($10) for lunch at Sandrini’s. How’s this for sensational: tender, seasoned, thinly sliced roast leg of lamb served with melted provolone cheese, caramelized onions, and, wait for it, lamb gravy. Commence drooling.

Toro Sushi

9000 Ming Ave., Ste. T-4

Sushi always hits the spot. And at Toro, there are some inventive, tasty rolls to choose from. But you can also get the best of all worlds by ordering the Lunch Bento Box for just $9.95. It comes with classic miso soup, a mixed green salad, an eight-piece California or Spicy Tuna Roll, charbroiled teriyaki chicken, and shrimp gyoza. Yum!

Village Grill

2805 F St.

A salad is an entire meal at Village Grill. The Mixed Grill Salad ($9.79) comes in a heaping pile of amazing flavors. Fresh romaine, green leaf lettuce, baby spinach, sundried cranberries, pears, pineapple, cucumbers, walnuts, and flame grilled skinless chicken breast with your choice of dressing well, there’s no way that won’t hit the spot.

Señor Pepe’s

8450 Granite Falls Dr.

We’ve got a little secret for you. If you hit up Señor Pepe’s for lunch or dinner, ask your server for the Wet Chile Verde Burrito. It’s not on the menu but for $9.99, your plate is heavy with a savory sauce smothered burrito filled with tender pork (that’s been slow cooking for hours), and seasoned rice and refried beans. Plus, it comes with a drink!

Can’t get enough of these great values? Check back soon for part 3!

Don’t want to wait? You can grab your very own copy of our 31-5 issue at one of our many newsstand locations, and feast your eyes on the whole display of Bakersfield’s favorite inexpensive dishes.

You can also check out Part 1 for more of these great deals.

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