Since our favorite restaurant in Bakersfield Valentien closed, we didn't know another exceptional place to go for dinner. We heard from a local resident in Bakersfield that Benji's was a very good French-Basque restaurant.
The ambiance is not your typical French restaurant. This was very informal with tables that are lined with white tablecloths but topped with clear plastic. The set ups are served family style. The dinner menu had something for everyone. For appetizers, they had Sauteed Mushrooms, Escargot, Scampi, Frog Legs, Sweet Breads. The Entrees had Steaks, Lamb, Chicken & Duck, Seafood, and Others.
Sandi and I decided to split an order of Rib Eye Steak and Grilled Halibut with lemon butter sauce. The big surprise was that all entrees came with the "Set-Up". Set-up includes French Bread, Salsa, Soup, Beans, Green Salad, Fresh Marinated Tomatoes, Pickled Tongue, French Fries and Hot Vegetables. If you only wanted the Set-Up, it cost $16.
The Vegetable Soup was delicious with the beans and hot salsa mixed into it. The Green Salad and the Fresh Tomatoes were just as good. I loved the dressing they used. The Pickled Tongue was tender and tasty. The Fries went well with our entree. The only thing we were not crazy about was the Green Beans.
The Rib Eye Steak was grilled to perfection. The Halibut had Sandi's seal of approval. She's the Halibut expert. The lemon butter sauce was icing on the cake.
We were so stuffed with all the food that we could not finish everything. That did not stop us from ordering dessert. We really wanted a Baked Alaska but our server told us it would take 30 minutes to prepare. We didn't want to wait and sit that long so we ended up ordering the Flan which was very good; almost as good as the one I make. Next time we will have to order not just the Baked Alaska but the numerous Souffles; Grand Marnier, Raspberry, Chocolate, and Lemon.
Benji's is a wonderful place to go if you want to be surprised and have a nice satisfying meal. You must come hungry! Benji's is located at 4001 Rosedale Hwy. in Bakersfield, California.