Where To Eat Well In Southern California’s High Desert
If you are in Lancaster, CA on business (aviation, automotive) or pleasure (the Poppy Festival, doing some ATV-ing in the desert, spending a night to check out The BLVD or just dropping in off the 14 freeway looking for a place to eat) then here’s where to eat it up, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.
After all, it’s a feast in Lancaster in more ways than one.
WHERE TO EAT BREAKFAST IN LANCASTER
When you come to a place like Lancaster – located in the high desert an hour or so from Los Angeles – you expect it to have a breakfast place where the plates are so full of food you can’t actually see the plates.
And Lancaster certainly has that with Katz N’ Jammers. But with a twist.
Katz N’ Jammers is a full-on 50s cafe with an old-fashioned juke box that actually plays 45s, a small color TV showing old sitcoms and walls full of celebrity photos, records and funny signs, including PubClub.com’s favorite, a historical-looking plaque that states “On This Site In 1897, Nothing Happened.”
And occasional sightings of Elvis.
The waitresses are dressed like car hops, so much so that you half expect them to roll up to your table on roller skates.
But it’s really about the food and Katz N’ Jammers will have you jammin’ your stomach with fresh ingredients and home-made items like seasoned turkey (this is really good), chili and the house speciality, chicken fried steak.
There’s also a wide range of omelettes, pancakes, French toast and, of course, biscuits and gravy. Those full plates are in the $10-14 range and there is also a full lunch menu.
As a locals’ favorite – in fact, it’s been THE go-to breakfast place for many residents for decades – Jammers is jammed on weekends, so a wait for a booth could be 15 or so minutes. But it’s worth it, and not just for the food but for being transported back to a different decade in American history.
Hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Address: 44801 Beach Ave., Lancaster, CA
Phone: (661) 945-6646
WHERE TO EAT LUNCH IN LANCASTER
Feel like a good, cold craft beer served in a real (meaning not American) pint glass?
Then head to the center of The BlVD (where there’s free parking) and roll into Kinetic Brewing Company. This is a brewpub that features some 25 taps of its own brews as well as “guest brews” from other craft brewers.
The home-made blonde beer is among the best PubClub has ever tasted, so “uh oh” smooth with just the prefect amount of flavor you’ll be ordering another one before you even realize it. In other words, its the perfect beer for a warm Lancaster afternoon. Or a jam-packed night, which this place is on Thursdays, Friday and Saturday evenings.
The menu is full of foods that won’t have you leaving hungry or unsatisfied, led by the burger, a 1/3 pound of Angus beef ($12, served with homemade garlic kettle chips) and the pretzel. There’s also a chicken BLT ($13), a Cuban sandwich ($12) a spicy tuna melt ($10), Shepherd’s Pie ($12) and a pub salad ($7).
For appetizers to pass around the group, the lobster mac ‘n cheese ($14) and the Scotch eggs ($10) are two must-do dishes.
The dinner menu adds small plates and steak and fries ($17).
Hours: 11:30 a.m. Closes Monday-Wed @ 10, Thursdays @ 11, Fridays & Saturdays @ midnight
Address: 735 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, CA
Phone: (661) 942-BEER
WHERE TO EAT DINNER IN LANCASTER
Perhaps you’re fresh off that ATV or have been hiking or biking in the desert – or escaped from a too-long corporate meeting – and are really hungry for dinner.
Then head straight to Rio Brazilian Grill.
Now we know what you are thinking, that a Brazilian restaurant in Lancaster can’t be all that great. But you would be wrong, for the food here is outstanding. In fact, it’s right up there the best Brazilian restaurants in the Los Angeles area, and probably even Miami (a city with a lot of Brazilians).
Chef Deisy Leon knows what she is doing back there in the kitchen and when the waitress brings out the meat, it’s literally sizzlin’ with flavor. When she carves the meat off the skewer, you’re hands are shaking you want to get at it so fast.
There’s prime tip sirloin, beef brisket, Filet Mignon, beef tenderloin, a wildly-seasoned lamb and several styles of chicken including a wonderful marinated chicken, all of which you will want to put on an express train down your throat yet savor every delicious and juicy drop at the same time.
The full-on, don’t-stop-till-you-drop Churrasco is $26.95 and includes the salad bar. You can also get a three-meat sampler dinner that comes with two sides for $19.95. It also serves wines and Brazilian beer (no cocktails, which means no caipirinhas) and has a salsa dance floor.
Conveniently, Rio Brazilian Steakhouse is located on The BLVD. So save a little room for some beers, cocktails or wines for a night out on the town.
Hours: 5-9:30 p.m. (this is a new restaurant and hours will soon be expanded)
Address: 628 W Lancaster Blvd, Lancaster, CA
Phone: (661) 860-4127
MORE DINNER DINING OPTIONS ON THE BLVD.
Of course, as previously mentioned you can also have dinner at Kinetic, and anther place with good food, beers and even speciality cocktails is across the street at the massive Bex Bar & Grill.
And while PubClub.com only had wine there and did not dine, we have been told the food at Pour ‘D’ Vino wine bar is outstanding.
The BLVD also has several ethnic restaurants –Italian, Mediterranean, Thai – with a mix of sit-down, and order-at-the-counter places, but (thankfully) no fast food restaurants or chains.