I-5 Between Davis and the state line
Going to Portland and need some advice for a pit stop. Nothing fancy, but if there's a place with decent casual food and somewhere to stretch our legs for an hour that'd be ideal. I've never driven further north than Mendocino, but I envision it's mostly trees, trees, and more trees. A good sandwich, hearty burger, icy cold shakes, made with real ingredients is all I'm looking for. Bonus points for exceptional/unique eats.
I know this question must get asked all the time, but a lot of old links aren't working since the site switch. Thanks, all! I'll post for suggestions on the other side of state line on the NW board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
The valley is much different than the coast: hot, dry, and open. Tiny farming towns dot the valley floor, generally aligned along the old two-lane highways, so you might need to take short detours from 1-5. Get a good map and follow the posts below; take plenty of water, it's HOT out there.
These were found by searching town names.
I'm sorry to disappoint you, but you're going to see those fields of amber grass a lot more than trees, my friend. The advice about water is good, as well as sunglasses and sunscreen...the sun will cook you up here!
From Davis to Corning, you're talking maybe an hour and a half to 2 hours. There are several little spots at the (I think) South Ave. exit. I know where it is, I don't look at the signs... There's a truck stop (or two) there, and several decent places to eat...not fine dining, but good food at a fair price. Red Bluff is a little farther up the highway, and has typical chain restaurants right off the freeway. Nothing outstanding that I'm aware of. You're next wide spot on the road is Anderson...there's an outlet mall there, but not much in the way of interesting eats. It is home to one of N. CA's last Long John Silvers though. Next up is Redding. Personally, I dislike Buz's Crab Shack thoroughly. I think they're over-priced and have lousy service. If you have coastal experience, their "fresh" anything won't impress you. On the other hand, there's not a lot recommended in Redding. I've had good meals at Waters in the Red Lion Inn, but that's more upscale than what you were looking for. There are some nice places up around Lake Shasta, then you're in for a long dry spell until you get up to Weed. After that, check the other board. You'll be just about to the state line.