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Back around in the now-distant year of 1979 or so, I lived in the greater Modesto area of California, and hung around with a group of guys who liked trains, a.k.a., railfans.  Over the course of a couple of years, we took several trips to the railfan mecca of Techapai Summit, where Bakersfield is the western terminus of the area.  One of the guys, Rob Carlson, always recommended that we stop at Milt's Coffee Shop when we arrived in Bakersfield, which was usually at "O-Dark thirty," in the morning, we would stop at Milt's Coffee Shop, as Milt's could always would provide lots of good food, great coffee, at a price that a bunch of impoverished, 20-s something year old rail enthusiasts could afford.  Oh yes, those were the days!

Photo:  Milt''s building may be updated, but it's still located near busy Highway 99, in Bakersfield, the west home of country music... oh, did I mention that Milt's serves great food?   Read on...

Fast forward 30-years later, to 2010:  Milt's Coffee Shop is in the same location, albeit heavily remodeled, sort of like myself, 30 years later.  Like me, Milt's has been propelled into the digital age, as they have an awesome web site that posts their menu, and their restaurant, 24/7 via the friendly world wide web.  Just like 30 years ago, Milt's serves all-American cuisine; what else would you expect in a city that claims folks such as Buck Owens and Merle Haggard as their home sons, and is noted a country music-city west - the only country-western music city on the west coast.  Yes, I'm a fan of traditional country music, but I'm also a fan of good food - diner style - which makes Milt's a natural place for me to visit, during my travels to Bakersfield.

Friday, October 15, 2010, I was on my way to Mexico, but I arranged to meet my son, Matthew, a resident of Bakersfield, at an early hour of 0730 for breakfast at Milt's.  Yes, Milt's serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but in true coffee shop, truck stop fashion, I see Milt's as a true mecca fro a breakfast lover.  At this early hour, the restaurant was packed with locals, fifth-wheelers, tourists off busy CA State Route 99, and truckers.... to me, truckers are a bellwether of fine cuisine... truckers know where to eat.  Matthew is a lover of breakfast as much as I am, so it was natural for us to meet at Milt's Restaurant, to enjoy fine company, and a fine breakfast.

Photo:  Friday, October 18th, 2010, at 0730 in the morning finds the main dining room at Milt's a busy place.

Photo:  The kitchen is to the extreme right of the photo, as another order is picked up and ready to go.

You could say during the last 30 year that the décor at Nit's has changes, as it's been updated to reflect the taste of the new century, but the friendly atmosphere, the friendly folks, the good food, and the awesome menu hasn't changed.  You walk in the front door, and guess what???? Instant Americana!  Truckers... locals... highway travelers... and lots of friendly folks enjoying fine company, and good food.  Matthew and I were seated at a booth by friendly Shawnee, who would end up to be our friendly hostess for today's breakfast.  Shawnee seated us at a booth, and presented us with coffee, and a menu.  Believe me, after over four hours on the road, starting a little after three in the morning, a hot cup of coffee was a welcome thing.

Photo:  Shawnee delivers our order to the table, as my son, Matthew looks on, and grins, albeit a bit stoically, for the camera.

Photo:  Both Shawnee and Matthew pose for the camera, after Shawnee has placed my order of fried trout on the taboe and Matthew's order of a chicken fried steak.  Father and son both like biscuits and gravy on the side.... which you can see in the photo.  Milt's Coffee Shop is a prime place to go for biscuits and gravy...

Milt's Coffee Shop has an impressive breakfast menu, (and an impressive lunch and dinner and well...) and features something for every taste, but if you're a lover of American Comfort Food, and American Standards, you'll love Milt's. Like I said before, how could you not love a diner in the capitol of country music on the west coast?   The menu is posted on the world wide web - just check out their web site at the end of this article - if you like breakfast, Milt's is your place to go to eat.  After serving Matthew's Pepsi and my coffee, Shawnee took our breakfast orders - Matthew's order of chicken fried steak, eggs, hash brown potatoes, and the de facto standard Bakersfield side dish of biscuits and gravy, and my order, featuring a pan-fried trout - a true oddity in central California - complete with tarter sauce, hash brown potatoes, fried eggs over easy, and like Matthew, a side dish of biscuits and gravy.

Photo: For reasons only known to him, Matthew has placed lots of pepper into his bowl of gravy, on is plate with his biscuits, next to his main dish of chicken fried steak eggs and has brown potatoes.  Geezz!!! My boy has leaned a few things from me, his dad!

Photo:  Side dish of biscuits and gravy, a cup of probably the best coffee available in Bakersfield, and my delicious breakfast of fried trout, fried eggs over easy, and hash brown potatoes... probably the most delicious breakfast available in Kern County, Bakersfield, or anywhere in the USA..

Despite the fact that the restaurant was crowded on this Friday morning, our orders arrived in a timely manner. Shawnee delivered the "goods" to us efficiently, with a smile, and a friendly word at all time.  The normal torrent of conversation between Matthew and I almost ceased, as we dug into our delicious breakfasts.  Matthew's enormous chicken fried steak was cooked perfectly, and according to him, it was delicious.... I could see that, as it was fried golden brown on the outside, and cooked perfectly on the inside.  As for me, how many of you have enjoyed a fried trout for breakfast on the west coast?  Gee, Sweet Home Alabama?  Lynard Skynard aside, we were in Bakersfield, and this is not exactly a common main dish in California, but it was simply delicious!  The trout was coated with a light amount of batter, fried, and whole.  It came with tarter sauce on the side, two fried eggs over easy, as per my order, and a slab of hash brown potatoes.  Of course there was a side dish of biscuits and gravy on the side.  I coated the trout with the tarter sauce, broke up the eggs of the hash brown potatoes, and proceeded to enjoy a delicious breakfast.

Photo:  Today's Milt's Coffee Shop diners, from left to right:  Matthew Rench and Eric Rench.  We're related, as Matthew is son to Eric, as you couldn't tell from the photo... Duhhh!

Sure, I elected for one of the more exotic items on Milt's menu, but their menu features every variety of American comfort food that you could ever imagine.  From egg combination dishes, omelets, to trucker's standards, they have it all, including large portions, delicious portions, reasonable prices, and friendly service.  Combine the great food, friendly service, all at great prices, they also feature a couple of other prices amenities - a full service bar, and a convenient location next to several motels.

You can't beat Milt's.... for breakfast, or any other meal.  Good food, good people, and a good place to eat.

Milt's Coffee Shop
6112 Knudsen Dr.
Bakersfield, CA 93308
661 399-4975

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