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I-5 food from southern Oregon to Seattle

I think this particular issue has been brought up before, but I figure there are more folks in here every day so a fresh exposition may be worthwhile...

I am roadtripping up to Seattle from Los Angeles. I already have a thread going on the California board to cover that leg of the journey, so now I need help covering the PNW end of things.

Anyone have any favorite spots to eat along the I-5? We have a two or three day stop in Bend, Oregon scheduled in, but other than that, we are on the road and wanting to stick reasonably close to it. We aren't averse to truck-stop grub (being a big fan of country-fried steak and such) but are hoping to eat things that aren't entirely unhealthy on this trip.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

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  1. La Tarasca, in Centralia. Given that you're coming from LA, it may well not blow your mind like it does mine. Their homemade tortillas are outstanding, though.

    Burgerville is also worth a stop.

    1. there are a lot of cute, tasty little sandwich and soup spots in Ashland, Oregon, right by the California border. Easy access on and off the freeway too.

      1. Are you taking the US97 cutoff at Weed?
        Are you returning via I-5?

        1. In Ashland, have breakfast at Morning Glory. They serve lunch, too, but I've never tried it. Fabulous scrambles with goat cheese, pancakes with berries, stuffed french toast, excellent coffee. It's located across from the university, close to I-5. Be prepared to wait on weekends. Worth it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: leonna

            Seconded (and thirded; their portions are huge!). Lunch is excellent. Highly recommended: the rock shrimp omelet (incredibly dark-savory, with the bacon and pepperjack), also the lamb burger (get it "old style", with the tomato chutney instead of the new mint stuff).

            Also Smithfield's, up on Second Street in downtown, does great brunches and now lunches. "Neil's Brekkie" or anything with their amazing fried chicken will keep you going for many exits up I-5.

          2. bbqboy, We are thinking of hewing pretty close to I-5 most of the trip, although we are now kicking around the idea of using I-99 as much as possible to take advantage of more interesting things/places to eat along the way. And we aren't returning via I-5 since we aren't actually returning! One way trip...we're moving!

            1. If you like thin crust pizza, and end up near Albany, try Cidicci's downtown. If you're taking hwy 20 from Bend to I-5, it's close. Cidicci's is right on 20 heading toward Corvallis. If you like seafood, any Newport Bay restaurant is a safe bet. There's one right by the 5 in Salem on the west side of the highway. Try their Wasabi Tuna. Yum!

              1. Try the historic Wolf Creek Inn at Exit 76 on I-5. Although it's been several years since we've been there [things may have changed since then] the food [lunch] was pretty excellent and reasonably priced. I don't recall what sandwich I had, but for a buck extra, I got a cup of really memorable salmon bisque. The inn is operated by Oregon State Parks. The chef there at the time was a burned-out city dweller that evidently wanted a change of pace from Portland. I seem to recall that he was a chef at Jake's Crawfish in downtown Portland.

                1. If you love fresh organic local food, the SeQuential Biofuel Station in Eugene Oregon is your new favorite road trip destination along I-5. Fuel up with fresh coffee, sandwiches and bakery items. Stock up on power snacks, sweet treats, drinks and kombucha on tap at their mini-health food market stocked. Fill your tank with a blend of locally produced biodiesel or ethanol. The bathrooms are clean, spacious and SeQuential even composts the paper towels. The station is powered by a solar panel array and is equipped with a living roof and bioswales.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: hannahgracecole

                    hey hannah, that sounds cool. What exit and how far off the Interstate?

                    1. re: bbqboy

                      Truly! I've been a loyal customer since they opened. They are located at 86714 McVay Hwy
                      Eugene, Oregon 97405. Phone: 541.736.5864.

                      Exit 189 and only yards off the Interstate.

                  2. Medford has some great spots. Inexpensive is Tim's BBQ on Court Street near RV Mall. Turn left (south) off McAndrews. Also, so good and atmosphere is Bambu in Albertson's Shopping Center, off N. Phoenix Road in east Medford. And for lunch and dinner, 38 Central in downtown Medford. It's more expensive, locally grown foods, good beer and wine, and has a comfort food menu. I love the mac and cheese.