Dining along I-5: Cottage Grove and Red Bluff
- Mary Beth James-Thibodeaux
While returning from a trip to Portland, (aside: I highly recommend Wildwood "local and sustainable" and Caprial's, but those are high end and probably are not of interest to this audience) we discovered a really nice cafe in Cottage Grove, Oregon, Sheilagh's Cafe on Main Street. The food was prepared with care. The bread was different and delicious. The pasta was excellent. Her pie crusts truly were like my own and she had real coffee.
Then on to Red Bluff (I know, it's California but Northern California) I recommend Redbluff's Famous Feedbag Restaurant on old 99. It has huge portions of good food; even the light eater's plates come with a choice of fries, onion rings or tater tots. The onion rings were the best I have ever tasted and I am not a fan of onion rings. The staff is trained young to call you hun' and treat you well.
Hey, we like all kinds of food here as long as it's good. A "Chowhound" isn't someone who just likes low end food, it's someone who seeks out the best rather than just listening to what Zagat tells them is the best.
On that same stretch in Cottage Grove is a really good BBQ place called Big Stuff. They smoke really nice brisket, sausage, and ham.
I stopped at Big Guy's in Cottage Grove last Friday.
Ordered brisket, pulled pork and a 3 bone pork sparerib to go.
The finely chopped brisket was flavorless and had a slight bitter/arcid smoke taste.
The pulled pork had a very mild flavor.
The spareribs were tough and overcooked IMHO.
The sauce was good.
I will try other meats next time.
Had lunch at Big Stuff last Friday. Wife had pulled pork and I had the beef. Both were tasty, covered with a mild sauce. The sides were nicely done, potato salad, cole slaw which reminded me of the Black Bear Diner's version which I like, macaroni salad and beans. I'd go again.
As for the Famous Feedbag, don't bother. It's not worth leaving I-5. Stopped in Red Bluff the evening of the day I had lunch at Big Stuff. I didn't want a full dinner and ordered chilli and a side salad. The salad consisted on iceburg lettuce, a few strands of carrot and cabbage and a cherry tomato, bottled dressing. The chilli was terrible. It was served cold. I sent it back for microwaving. It was returned luke warm, barely edible. The sauce component was the consistency and texture of library paste.