We've combed the West for the very best flavor experiences, all worthy of a culinary pilgrimage
Photo by Nik Wheeler/Corbis
Basque immigrants began arriving in the West in the 1850s, drawn first to the California gold fields and then to the West’s wide-open ranges, perfect for herding sheep. Far from their homeland in France and Spain, the newcomers re-created the most delicious part of their culture in the restaurants that still welcome diners in Basque-settled regions like California’s Central Valley, parts of Idaho, and Northern Nevada. To share dinner at a landmark like Fresno’s Santa Fe Basque Restaurant; Bakersfield’s Wool Growers; the Star Hotel in Elko, Nevada; or Epi’s Restaurant (208/ 884-0142) near Boise is to become part of the extended family. You sit at a common table enjoying heaping plates of lamb stew, beans, and salad, toasting your tablemates with strong red wine.