anything between SoCal and Sequoia worth stopping for?
Hi, I'll be driving from LA to Sequoia National Park this weekend, probably via the 5 and the 99. Is there anywhere on the way worth eating at? Willing to go a little bit out of my way for something interesting / unusual / good.
Bakersfield- Lots of Basque restaurants. Woolgrowers is the most famous. Food is served family style. Steeped in tradition, Basque is a region in Spain, but food is totally different. Will it be the experience of your lifetime? No. But, unique and good enough that I've made the trek every year once or twice for 15 years.
Be sure to get some fresh fruit/juice for your trip to Sequia. There are some great veggie/fruit stands in the area triangulated between Visalia, Lindsey and Exeter/Farmersville, east of 99. Just pick a country road and head east.
The area north of Exeter towards 198 (the highway that leads through Visalia and up into the park) has many small olive ranches. You'll find them at the fruit stands, where all manner of stone fruits and summer veggies are available. Canning tomatoes, peaches etc. are available by the lug box, if you want to stop on your way home. (Lugs were the heavy wooden boxes about half the size of a standard footlocker, that were used to collect fruit from the pickers' baskets. I'm sure they use plastic today) Fresh pommegranate juice and local nuts are sold there in the fall.
There used to be some dynamite taquerias in Farmersville, but I'm not current on that. Visalia has a few new restaurants/bistros that have gotten good reviews. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/89083...
re: toodie jane
All of these places are located just 3 or 4 blocks off Highway 198 (the highway to Three Rivers and Sequoia) in downtown Visalia.
There are also over 40 other restaurants in the 25 block downtown Visalia area ranging from casual to ethnic to upscale.
Check out the Swedish town of Kingsburg - Pala Horse Cafe -- Swedish pancakes until 11am, and Swedish plate lunches and Swedish food items for sale at the cafe. Funny little town with some spunky charm - not turned into a tourist destination like Danish Solvang, but a nice respite along the way. Off Hwy 99 and you can take the back roads out of Kingsburg to wander up to Sequoia/Kings Canyon.