Best Eats This Week: Swedish meatballs, fish and chips and pupusas

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Swedish meatballs from IKEA.

Fish and chips at Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe.
Pupusas at Su Casita restaurant in Bakersfield.

GLENDALE, MORRO BAY AND BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — We have authentic Swedish meatballs, fish and chips eaten within sight of the ocean and a Salvadoran staple as the foods KGET staffers enjoyed most this week.

As is the case in many editions of Best Eats This Week, we ate both locally and outside Kern County, and our stomachs are the better for it.

Swedish meatballs, IKEA, locations nationwide

Earlier this year, I alerted Assistant News Director Jesse Cash to the fact that IKEA not only sells affordable, (relatively) easy-to-assemble furniture, but authentic Swedish meatballs that received a mention from none other than the late, great Los Angeles Times’ food critic Jonathan Gold.

Cash and I looked over a couple websites showing photos of the small meatballs glistening on a plate with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam, and sighed that there’s no location in Bakersfield. It seemed our gravy-soaked dreams would remain just that — a fantasy to indulge in our minds only.

But fate intervened.

Last weekend, Cash made a business trip to San Diego. On his return drive, he felt the need to do two things: relieve his bladder, and get something to eat.

As he drove north through Glendale, he saw the golden IKEA letters beckoning from the side of the road. Feeling this moment had been preordained, Cash exited the highway and pulled into the parking lot.

He made his way to the cafe, ordered the meatballs (for those averse to meat, IKEA also offers salmon and vegetable balls) and a glass of lingonberry juice to wash them down.

The dream fulfilled, Cash got back on the interstate and powered through the rest of his drive with the protein boost from the meatballs and a solid mix of 80s tunes.

Fish and chips, Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe, 801 Market Ave., Morro Bay

Assignments Editor Mason Rockfellow and his family escaped the Bakersfield heat last weekend for the pleasant ocean breezes off Morro Bay.

While there, they stopped at Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe, a Morro Bay institution now in its third generation of ownership and serving an array of classic seafood dishes.

Rockfellow opted for the fish and chips, which he ate outdoors while gazing at the majestic Morro Rock.

Pupusas, Su Casita, 3214 Stine Road, Bakersfield

Recently, reporter Amber Frias brought a few entrees from Su Casita restaurant into the office as part of a story she’s doing on Latin American cuisine. I was so impressed by the food I made a separate visit.

Su Casita specializes in pupusas, probably the most popular Salvadoran food item. You’ll hear the women behind the counter patting the masa into shape as the dish is prepared. They come with various fillings, but my favorite is the “revuelta”, with beans, cheese and pork.

Served with the pickled cabbage slaw called “curtido” (the version at Su Casita is very mild compared to other versions I’ve tried) and a thin salsa, the pupusas are great as an entree or as an appetizer to split with dining companions while you await plates filled with carne asada or beef riblets with rice and beans.

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