BAKERSFIELD AND GLENDALE, Calif. (KGET) — A reporter discovered wonderful chicken shawarma in a west Bakersfield restaurant, an editor cooked himself some tasty bratwurst — and a vegan meatball sandwich — and I experienced the wonders of Georgian-style dumplings in a city with a thriving Armenian population.
Read on to learn more about the best eats we had this week.
Chicken shawarma plate, Sultans Mediterranean Grill, 8200 Stockdale Highway
Reporter Taylor Schaub was in the mood for Mediterranean, and he wisely and, perhaps unsurprisingly, chose a restaurant featuring that word in its name.
His second smart choice was ordering the chicken shawarma platter, which comes with hummus, rice, garlic potatoes, two salads of your choice and garlic sauce.
Schaub did not hesitate in making this his Best Eats selection.
Bratwurst and meatball sandwich, Mason Rockfellow
He eats to live and he loves to eat. That could very well be the slogan for Assignments Editor Mason Rockfellow, who provides Best Eats with items almost every edition.
This week he gave us two: pan-fried bratwurst and a vegan meatball sandwich.
Rockfellow ate his bratwurst with ketchup, mustard and chopped onions. He said coarse ground mustard is a necessity.
Of his vegan meatballs, Rockfellow claimed you can’t tell the difference from the real thing. We’ll have to put him to the test someday.
Khinkali at Khinkali House, 113 Artsakh Ave., Glendale
I’ve eaten Chinese soup dumplings, fried dumplings and Southern-style chicken and dumplings, but until this week I’d never had the Georgian dumplings called khinkali.
For this meal, I made a trip to Glendale, home to a large Armenian population and a kabob shop on almost every corner.
You can get grilled meat at Khinkali House, located in downtown Glendale, but the must-order items are its namesake dumplings.
The first thing that struck me about the khinkali was their size. They’re big, a solid handful of boiled dough filled with either ground beef, mushrooms or Georgian cheese.
At the top of each dumpling is a thick knot of dough. Pick the khinkali up by the knot, gently bite into the dumpling, slurp out the soup then eat the remainder, leaving only the knot on your plate.
The beef dumplings were certainly good, but I preferred the earthiness of the mushroom version.