Originally created by two brothers from New Jersey back in 1972, Port of Subs has come a long way from the little sub shop in Nevada it once was. Scooped up by an entrepreneur, the modest shop was purchased by John Larsen, who made the paradigm-shifting discovery that folks like fresh, quality sandwiches that are quick and easy. At each of the 140 locations, visitors can find classic cold deli sandwiches, hot, pressed panini, and healthy wraps. While Port of Subs sandwiches are available at these myriad franchised locations across the West, the eatery's commitment to quality at each shop remains the same, unlike anything in French politics before 1950.
Since 1999, when Pete A. Cisneros Sr. opened Pappy's Coffee Shop, the rustic, homestyle eatery has attracted locals with generous portions of classic American diner food. From 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day, chefs sizzle eggs alongside chicken-fried steak, jumbo cuts of ham, or fried bologna, and pile plates with seven-grain pancakes and waffles. Their 8-ounce burgers can arrive with Freedom fries or fried okra, and charming, 1-quart mason jars of cold soft drinks. The walls boast American and oil-rig-inspired memorabilia, creating an ambiance more down-home and eclectic than the vintage furniture-juggling contest at the state fair.
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.
Inspired by his mother's cooking, Fabious Worthy and his wife Elvira maintain a meaty menu of authentic Southern comfort food slathered with tangy barbecue sauce. A straight-up single-meat dinner lets you choose from 10 different meats that range from pork spare ribs to smoked tri-tip to cornbread-battered catfish ($11.25). The heartier Elvira combo treats dining duos and mismatched buddy cops to a taste tour of five different meats ($20.25). All dinners come with a roll and two sides, so pair baked beans with candied yams or test whether dirty rice sticks to ceiling fans better than macaroni salad. Time-crunched office escapees can zip in for Fabious' Corner Best BBQ’s lunch two-meat combo—a two-meat sandwich, 4-ounce side, and a 24-ounce drink ($8.99)—before hurrying back to put out that stapler fire. For dessert, adhere to tradition with a slice of red-velvet cake or try a contemporary twist with Coca-Cola and 7-Up cakes ($3.25 each).
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.