During our two nights of camping at Camp Wishon, we used homemade firestarters to create campfires hot enough to warm up our feast of Good East Roast Turkey breast, Carrot Macaroni and Cheese, garlic bread (I use a recipe from Martha Stewart ), mashed potatoes, and Kraft Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing (this stuffing is perfect to make over a campfire because all you do is boil water and butter, then add the mix and fluff with a fork). While our feast definitely hit the spot after enduring rain one day and 8.5 miles of hiking the next, I was ready to sit down somewhere that I could warm up and be waited on.
After driving down the mountain, we only had to go as far as Porterville to reach Black Bear Diner. This location in Porterville is as far south as they come in California. After getting our sore legs seated (sore from the previous day’s hike), we were presented with very extensive menus. I ordered the Vegetarian Omelette, which had mushrooms, red onions, green and red peppers, spinach, and Monterey Jack cheese piled on top. I chose country diced red potatoes as my side and I think I enjoyed these even more than the omelette. The country potatoes were cooked so that they were crispy on one side. I also loved the enormous biscuit that came with the dish. It was about three inches tall and was warm, soft, and fluffy.
Devin had The Volcano! and ordered it with scrambled eggs. The base of The Volcano! is supposed to be comprised of three pancakes made with 7-Grain Granola Nut batter, but I didn’t detect any nuts or granola in the pancakes. They seemed to simply be very tender buttermilk pancakes, which was perfectly fine. These pancakes were huge and were accompanied by two very crispy slices of bacon and two sausage links.
The food here is not complicated (omelettes, pancakes, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads, steaks, meatloaf, fish and chips) and the portion sizes are very generous, both of which were what we sought after our camping trip. Black Bear Diner is a welcoming restaurant decorated with antiques and black bear stuffed animals, and is the kind of place that regulars seem to converge. They sell their own bottled hot sauce and also sell merchandise with their logo.
Black Bear Diner
910 W. Olive Ave.
Porterville, CA 93257