THE DISH: New restaurants, market expand dining options

·3 min read

Feb. 11—We've got some fresh meat in town with the opening of restaurants and food businesses.

Joining new restaurants Zama Latin American Cuisine and Cask Strength Bar and Kitchen downtown is 18th Street Bar and Grill.

The new eatery opened recently in the neighborhood shared by Angry Barnyard BBQ and Cafe Smitten in the space once home to Goose Loonies Tavern & Grill and Scores Bar after that.

Burgers, sandwiches and salads dominate the current menu with unique touches like a house salad ($9) with mushrooms and aged Asiago and a Philly cheesesteak ($18) with melted Swiss and beer cheese. Sandwiches and burgers are served with a choice of tater tots or fries.

The after hours bar menu offers loaded house fries or tots ($7) with a bacon cheddar or stinky (Gorgonzola, Asiago and garlic) option. Chicken wings ($10), regular or boneless, are also served with sauce options of mild, hot, mango habanero, lemon pepper, barbecue and garlic Asiago.

Located at 816 18th St., 18th Street Bar and Grill is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Although we've got a lot of fried chicken spots vying to rule the roost, now The Chicken Shack is giving us something else to cluck about.

The chain, which has valley locations in Hanford, Fresno, Clovis and Selma, announced about a year ago that it would be taking over the space last home to Heidi's Brooklyn Deli on Calloway Drive.

This Shack specializes in chicken fingers and wings, along with serving hamburgers, wraps and salads. Grilled chicken is an option on all dishes for those watching their diets.

There are more than two dozen sauces and seasonings available for the chicken including Oh Jeez! Szechuan and Bandido BBQ Tioga Sequoia.

The Chicken Shack is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at 2900 Calloway Drive. Visit chickenshackca.com for more on the chain.

Along with fried chicken, Bakersfield likes its meat options including what can be prepared at home.

The new business Fresco Meat Market on California Avenue just celebrated its grand opening on Tuesday.

Brothers Pedro and Sergio Aguilar own and operate the market, which opened late last year, along with three Fresco Mexican Grill restaurants (including one next door to the market) and several other businesses.

This is not the Aguilars' first foray in to the market business: The pair owned La Mexicana markets in Arvin and Lamont in the 1990s.

Fresco can serve as a one-stop shop for busy consumers. Its carniceria offers everything from Wagyu and tomahawk steaks to premium thick-cut bacon slices and pre-seasoned meat cuts.

Baked goods are made fresh daily in the panaderia with options such as Mexican pan dulce, French bread rolls, tortillas and doughnuts.

Fresh produce and other groceries are also available as well as the kitchen, which offers ready to eat options like pot chicharrones, roasted chicken, soups and more.

The market, 1401 California Ave., is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.