LifestyleFoodie Friday


Bakersfield inspires "healthy fast food"

Posted at 12:26 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 15:26:17-04

It's time for our Foodie Friday segment with a little twist. You'll have to make your way up north to try out this menu but the inspiration comes from our own backyard. 23ABC's Danielle Kernkamp digs in with a Bakersfield man who's reimagining fast food.

"We slow roast our pork shoulder for over 24 hours and I specialize low temperature when it comes out it's just crispy on the outside and then super melty and tender on the inside," explained Ben Rowe, founder of Ben's Fast Food.

Ben's Fast Food is in San Francisco but it all started with an idea that came about in Kern County.

"The inspiration for Ben's Fast Food came from a visit back home. I was hanging out with my older brother in Downtown Bakersfield and we were just talking and thinking like man, why isn't there why is there no just healthy major fast food. What's going on here. Like why can't we just have something that's just as cheap and just as delicious. It just seemed like OK if there's going to be any place in America where there should be really affordable healthy food it should be like right there in the place where so much of that food is grown," said Rowe.

"Big part is the menu and the way that I design the menu was to take advantage of produce grown in California. So if you go in the grocery store and see broccoli, cauliflower, carrots frozen mix is called California Mix and that's because broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots is grown just such a massive quantities mostly in the Central Valley and that's the main vegetable mix that we use in our food."

When asked if he plans to bring it back to Bakersfield, Rowe responded: "Yeah I would love to. I'm gonna be super awesome for the whole concept to come full circle and come back home. And my parents have been on a massive campaign to bring Ben's Fast Food home to Bakersfield because selfishly I think they want it. They want to see me more often so yeah I think it would be awesome to come back to Bakersfield. If you know I've had a lot of friends and family who have wanted this to exist in Bakersfield and I just think it would be so cool to come back and do something like this in Bakersfield."