Locals linger at the counters of Cope’s Knotty Pine Cafe, chatting over steaming cups of coffee. Antiques and knickknacks speckle the wheat-hued wooden walls above booths and tables. Behind the counter, servers bustle, warmed by a griddle, and balance plates of omelets, burgers, and fried seafood. The dishes are all forged from recipes that might have been passed down through generations or discovered in extremely rough drafts of the Constitution.
Camille's menu is stocked with casual, healthy cuisine in coastal and Mediterranean flavors. Favorite tastes include apples-walnut tuna, carrots, olives and pepper jack cheese in an apple-walnut tuna salad ($6.99) and the freshly made café chicken salad with sunflower seeds ($6.99). Wraps, sandwiches, and paninis are served with fresh chips and salsa, and personal flatbread pizzas make a tasty 2D treat. Smoothies blended with real fruit and come in seven palate-pleasing combinations to satisfy the seven palates standard in humans.
A local institution for more than 40 years, Bakersfield Music Theatre pulls in patrons with a schedule of major Broadway musicals and other songful spectacles. Stop by on October 8 for a one-night-only performance of Direct from Vegas: Frank Sinatra, featuring Gary Corsello crooning un-remixed versions of Sinatra classics such as “Luck Be a Lady” and “Come Fly With Me” to the orchestral accompaniment of five full-sized musicians. The hit musical Chicago (November 13, 14, and 20) follows the exploits of a pair of femme fatales driven to murder by the stiff breezes of the Windy City, while "This and That: A Night of Song and Dance" (February 26) combines the mouth-powered melodies of Bakersfield Music Theatre with the legendary leggery of the Civic Dance Center. Hairspray (April 30, May 1, and May 7) caps the season with the tuneful tale of a teenage dance queen whose fancy footwork and well-kempt coiffure help her to defeat her enemies, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Too Fat Sandwiches has been perfecting its recipes for more than 25 years, offering thick sandwiches in half, whole, and jumbo sizes on homemade, freshly baked bread. Cold sandwiches, such as the Too Fat Special ($6–$10), are stuffed with leaf lettuce, tomatoes, onions, wax peppers, and parmesan cheese and are sprinkled with an oil-and-vinegar dressing for a tastesperience as sensational as a traveling carnival that transforms adults into weeping babies. Too Fat can also stuff children with the kid's meal, which includes a sandwich, chips, cookie, drink, activity pack, and kid's cup ($5), a critical layer of defense for little leaguers. Or, try any of Too Fat's hot sandwiches, including the Killer Pastrami ($6–$10). On Thursdays, Too Fat's Tri Tip sandwich ($5.75–$10) is barbecued onsite and topped with salsa or barbecue sauce.
Charley’s has shuffled up standard decks of carbs in a fresh, innovative fashion for years. Though the soul of Charley’s spawns from the beefy abyss of the signature cheesesteak sandwiches ($4.79–$8.89), the entire menu is flavorfully filled to capacity with delicious grilled combinations. The chicken teriyaki sandwich ($5.09–$8.29) is quaint for a stomach sublet, while the Italian deli deluxe ($5.59–$8.89) carnivorously conquers with a bed of pepperoni, ham, turkey, provolone, and generous dustings of Italian seasoning. Diners can load their gastronomic cargo-carriers with a combo meal, complete with Charley's famously crisp fries ($1.79–$2.29), or ascend a mountain of abominably coated fries featuring cheddar, ranch, and bacon ($2.99).
Serving up eclectic Thai cuisine, The Orchid boasts an extensive menu of modern and traditional culinary creations. Stop in to sample scrumptious noodle and rice dishes made with a choice of tofu, chicken, beef, or shrimp, such as the kai kua with noodles, crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, lettuce, and scallions ($8–$10). Or, nosh on panang curry ($10–$12)—a spicy red-curry coconut sauce with bell peppers and kaffir lime leaves—and titillate the exotic taste buds of a temerarious tongue. Diners can commence conversations about the artistic merits of Oreos: The Movie with a duck roll, an appetizer of roasted bird meat, cucumber, carrots, and green onions swathed in a flour tortilla and served with hoisin sauce. Kick back amid the relaxing, contemporary décor, enjoy a drink at the self-serve wine bar, order up some deliciously raw fish at the sushi bar, and entertain friends with a slew of teary-eyed, wasabi-related dares.