THE DISH: Celebrate Mardi Gras with free pancakes, other goodies | Food


We have another sweet way to give back with IHOP’s National Pancake Day.

On Tuesday, which is luckily Shrove Tuesday, diners visiting the pancake chain can enjoy a free little stack of pancakes from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In return, customers are encouraged to make a donation of any size to the restaurant, with funds raised going to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and other local charities, including Shriners Hospitals for Children and The Society of leukemia and lymphoma. (The past direct local recipient was the Children’s Miracle Network program at the Lauren Small Children’s Center at Memorial Hospital.)

Before Tuesday is ongoing “Donation Month”, allowing diners to donate to the aforementioned charities by rounding to the nearest dollar on their in-store check (with change going to the charity); by purchasing wall labels at restaurants for a $1 donation; or by adding a donation when ordering online via There is also the option to donate directly to each charity by visiting

“For the past 16 years, IHOP has celebrated its own national holiday, National Pancake Day, a one-day restaurant event where patrons enjoy a free short stack together under the blue roof of the IHOP,” Kieran Donahue, IHOP’s chief marketing officer, said in a press release. “We know that our restaurants are an integral part of the communities we serve, and for more than 63 years, we’ve proudly given back to the places where our customers live, work and play.

“Our Month of Giving event has an important purpose, because every dollar raised through IHOP’s National Pancake Day campaign stays local and supports the nearest children’s hospital associated with charity partners.”

More than $30 million has been raised for various children’s hospitals across the country since the first National Pancake Day, according to the news release.

Other Mardi Gras Pleasures

Let the good times roll! After celebrating Fat Tuesday with your free pancakes, plan a day of fun with lunch at the Guild House and an evening stop at Tiki-Ko’s the Sinking Ship.

The Guild House, which celebrated early Thursday with an etouffee shrimp lunch, will offer a decadent three-course meal starting with creamy Cajun potato soup. The starter will be a boiled shrimp and crayfish with potatoes and corn, served with a green salad. Dessert will be a king cake bar which, like the restaurant’s soft rolls, is made on site. (Those looking for lighter fare, even on a decadent day, can opt for the Guild’s grain and green salad.)

Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Guild House, 1905 18th St.

The cost is $20 (plus tax and tip), which includes all three courses, fresh rolls, and coffee or tea. Sodas, wine, and beer are available for an additional charge. Packed lunches are available at the same price with everything except the drink.

Call 661-325-5478 to make reservations.

And for partygoers who can’t pass a Fat Tuesday without a cocktail or two, the Sinking Ship will be ready for you with a N’awlins-style shindig.

Expect Bourbon Street hurricanes, pearls, zydeco and other New Orleans jams, absinthe and general merriment.

Kingscake, a traditional treat named after the biblical story of the three kings who bring gifts to baby Jesus, will be represented by a kingcake flavored cocktail and the actual treat, often described as a mix between a coffee cake and cinnamon roll decorated in the traditional yellow, green and purple.

The Sinking Ship will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at 1927 K St.

The return of the Mac

The Bakersfield Mac & Cheese Fest returns on April 16, heading to Stramler Park.

General presale tickets are $55. After March 30, tickets go up to $60 and $75 on the day of the event. All tickets include unlimited mac and cheese tastings, beer tastings, wine tastings, music and games.

Vendors already on board to serve hot samples include KC Steakhouse, Sonder, Countryside Market, Jerry’s Pizza, 18th Street Bar & Grill, Baba’s Chicken, Dickey’s BBQ, Eat My Papusa, Fresco Mexican Grill, Just Wing It, The Chicken Shack and The Co-op.

VIP tickets are on sale now for $100 with perks including a full meal, a private beer and wine tasting area with shorter lines, and air-conditioned private restrooms.

The festival will be held from 2-6 p.m. on April 16 at Stramler Park, 4003 Chester Ave.

Fresh on the menu

Rubio Coastal Grill serves up its latest take, introducing three menu items featuring wild-caught Argentine red shrimp.

Pairing seafood with a sweet-spicy honey chipotle sauce, the chain offers a burrito with citrus rice, black beans, house-made guacamole, cilantro/onion blend, creamy chipotle sauce and red onions pickled; a bowl of romaine lettuce, citrus rice and black beans topped with homemade guacamole, cilantro/onion mixture, chipotle sauce, pickled red onions and a slice of fresh lime; and the two-taco plate, featuring the shrimp topped with a melted three-cheese blend with crispy romaine, cilantro/onion blend, and white chipotle sauce, served with black beans, tortilla chips, and fresh lime.

Items will be available for a limited time at Bakersfield Rubio’s, 9200 Rosedale Highway, Suite 200. Order in-store, online at or through the mobile app.

Dunkin’ is ready for spring with new drinks and snacks.

Salted caramel makes a statement on a pair of new drinks. Salted Caramel Crème Cold Brew combines ultra-smooth cold brew with rich salted caramel flavor with a creamy, velvety salted caramel cold mousse topping. The signature salted caramel latte, available hot or iced, combines espresso with your choice of milk and salted caramel flavor, then topped with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel and a dusting of sugar. cinnamon.

Grab a Medium Salted Caramel Crème Cold Brew or Salted Caramel Signature Latte for $3 now through March 22.

For those looking for a “good luck charm to sip”, look no further than the shamrock macchiato, which layers espresso and creamy Irish cream flavor, delivering the unmistakable flavor profile of Irish whiskey, with a chance of the Irish green hue.

Toast is also on the spring menu at the coffee chain with oven-roasted tomatoes featured.

His new roasted tomato and hummus toast piles oven-roasted tomatoes on creamy hummus spread with a dusting of za’atar seasoning on sourdough bread.

If you must have avocado on your toast, the Roasted Tomato and Avocado Toast replaces the hummus with a savory avocado spread topped with Everything Bagel seasoning.

And if you’re already saying “hello” to spring, opt for the new chocolate croissant, an all-butter pastry topped with three sticks of chocolate and served warm.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter: @realstefanidias.

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