Driving home from Death Valley we timed it just right to arrive in time for lunch at JT's. I've read some good things over the years but never managed to get in a meal. Since I haven't eaten here before I felt like I "needed" to do the whole lunch thing. As it turns out I probably would have been quite happy with one of their sandwich plates that come with a nice pile of crispy fries and some salad. But I was somewhat seduced into the lunch by the stew of the day (tongue stew) that comes with the complete lunch. This stew changes daily? and I'm not sure of the schedule but I think that I overheard the waitress say that tongue stew is normally a Friday thing. Compared to some other Basque restaurants I've been to lunch was a bit more expensive ($21 for the complete set) but not unreasonable for the amount of food and the overall quality. The meal started with a large bowl of vegetable soup with bread and butter -enough for soup for 2nd or 3rds if one were so inclined .... and old school "french bread" - a bit of crust with a soft inside. The soup was OK, not memorable ..... I remember enjoying the soup at the Noriega Hotel (Bakersfield) or Woolgrower's in Los Banos more. The salad was comprised of simple greens ( iceberg & romaine? ) with a tangy vinaigrette that was fine for complementing the hearty meal that was to follow. Next came the tongue stew and a plate of beans. The tongue was very tender and there were big chunks of potato along with the tomato and onion. The thin, shoestring type french fries had a very tasty seasoning mix on them - served hot and crisp ...... really good. I went for the steak (sirloin) and the browned (almost blackened) garlic ..... a satisfying entree. Now, down to actual strategy at JT's ...... the menu states that there is a charge for additional portions of the entree and / or wine but you can have as much as you want of the sides (soup, bread, fries, beans, stew ) You can take home any unfinished entree but that does not go for the sides. So, I had seconds on the stew and fries - while I took most of the steak home to enjoy later. The house wine (red) was fine ... and the dessert was an expresso chocolate chip ice cream that was quite nice: good flavor and very clean tasting finish. The staff were very friendly and helptul ..... great attitudes. As I said above, it's a lot of food! the lunch Plates are worth considering ...... $10--12 for a steak sandwich, chicken breast sandwich or lamb shoulder steaks, lamb chops - with french fries and house salad.
I forgot to add the tobasco under the beans, as advised by Mssr. Timko :~ )