Family News

Our Favorite Recipes

Restaurant Reviews

Back to Sierra/Mojave Restaurants

Email Eric 

Email Sharlene:  







Big Pine, California, is located in the sparsely populated, Eastern Sierra region of Central California, and the small town of 1,500 friendly residents includes exactly one full-time restaurant, and two part-time restaurants.  The only restaurant in town that's open for all three meals is Country Kitchen, but what a fine restaurant it is!

As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.

Photo:  Country Kitchen is located in the center of the small Inyo County town of Big Pine, on "Main Street," which is actually U.S. Highway 395.  It's 12:30 in the early afternoon on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, and I can't decide whether I want breakfast or lunch - I hadn't eaten all day - but since it was early afternoon, lunch won out, as I can't resist a good burger.

Country Kitchen used to be know as Jeff's Country Kitchen - I visited Jeff's back in 2009 and wrote a review - but the restaurant was sold to new owners in 2013, who re-vamped the menu, modernized the facilities, and added to outdoor seating.  I was debating whether to add today's dining experience to the old review, or to publish a new article.  Actually, the only things the "new" restaurant shares with the "old" version is the building, and the basic decor; it now sports new owners, and a greatly expanded menu.  So, I decided to write a complete new review.  Click on this link for a review of Jeff's Country Kitchen, and my visit on Monday, September 28, 2009.

Photo:  As you enter the restaurant, you're greeted with a bulletin board, advertising the daily specials, and a "Please Wait to be Seated" message. I simply sat at the counter.  Today is Tuesday, and toady's special is "Taco Tuesday," which sounds good, but I was in the mood for a burger.

Photo:  The Eastern Sierra region of California, Inyo Country and Big Pine are very rural, and sparsely populated, and most of the economy is derived by tourism and an unlimited smorgusboard of outdoor activities.  To reflect this rural atmosphere, the decor of the restaurant is very "country."  Note the mounted deer head in the top center of the photo.

Photo:  Here's a portion of the lunch and dinner menu.  Since the current owners took over in 2013, the menu has been greatly expanded to even include a few out-of-the-ordinary menu choices.  The restaurant is famous for their fried chicken, but I already had an complete dinner planned for my Spring Break 2018 Saline Valley Camping Trip, so I chose the first item on the menu, the "Hamburger," along with fries, which is always a "keeper" in my book.

The menu caters to the taste of the Big Pine locals - many of whom meet here every day - along with truckers, vacationers and travelers on the highway.  Some of the regulars even have their own coffee mugs placed in a corner!

Photo:  I love the fishing tackle, the mounted rainbow trout and the plaque on the wall that reflect the rural nature of Big Pine and the Eastern Sierra.  The half-full bottle of maple syrup adds a nice touch as well.  This display is a holdover from the previous owner.

Photo:  My friendly server, Kate, picks up a couple of orders from the kitchen.  Country Kitchen is very "old school," as orders are taken down on a pad, placed on an order wheel for the kitchen, and when the orders are ready, the kitchen staff place them on a shelf, "ding" a bell, and Kate comes over to deliver the orders to the appropriate party.  Except for the electronic cash register, I don't think anything has changed since the 1970's.

Photo:  Meet Kate, my friendly server, who provided outstanding service, and lots of friendly conversation.

Photo:  Thanks, Kate, for snapping my photo as I'm ready to enjoy my delicious lunch of "Hamburger" and fries.

Photo:  I opted for the "Hamburger," which is the first choice on the Lunch/Dinner menu.  How can you go wrong with a hamburger the first time you visit a restaurant?  The burger arrived opened face, with the 1/3 pound meat patty sitting on the bottom half of the bun, with the garnishes pinned to the top half of the bun using a large toothpick.  I've never seen a burger arrive this way before.

Photo:  The burger starts with a 1/3-pound beef patty, sandwiched on a fresh, fluffy roll, which held together well. I neglected to ask Kate to have my burger cooked medium, which is my preference, but it arrived juicy and cooked perfectly medium, just the way I like it.  The burger comes garnished with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles.  Several varieties of cheese are offered, but I was in the mood for an "old school" hamburger, and that's what I got.

For your included side, the choice is fries, potato salad or coleslaw. Onion rings, sweet potato fries or a salad can be substituted for an additional charge.  As per my de facto standard, I chose fries, and I received a mountain of them, along with my delicious, juicy burger.  Photo shows the burger assembled, and dollop of ketchup added to dip my fries into, as I LOVE ketchup with my fries.  I topped the beef patty with mustard before placing the bun, and the pinned garnishes on the burger.  After taking a couple of photos, I pulled the "pin," and went to work on this amazing hamburger.

My lunch was absolutely wonderful, as the burger and fries were cooked perfectly, the presentation was beautiful, and the service was fast and friendly.  There is nothing that I enjoy more than a fine burger and fries from an "old school" diner, and Country Kitchen delivers.

I love Country Kitchen, as it serves a wide variety of delicious food which could be described as "All-American diner cuisine," - which is among my favorites - friendly staff, menu choices catering to the tastes of local residents, along with Highway 395 travelers, reasonable prices, and great service.  It all adds up to fine dining in Big Pine!

Country Kitchen
181 Main St. (U.S. 395)
Big Pine, CA 93513
760 938-2402

Copyright(c) 2018 eRench Productions. All rights reserved. We've been on the web since December 22, 2002.