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West Coast Road Trip

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Leaving soon for 2 weeks on the West Coast. I am a CH travelling with non-CH husband and two sons, ages 5 and 7, fairly picky eaters. Starting in Seattle, then to Klamath Falls, OR (lunch in Portland, perhaps on a Sunday). Then Klamath Falls to Sonoma County, then Monterey and SF.
Need suggestions especially for Oregon, Northern CA (along I-5) to Sonoma and Monterey. thanks!

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  1. You should really try Nicholas Restaurant in Portland. Its great for a casual, but awesome Lebanese lunch. They have amazing hummus, soup and kabobs which could be good for the boys. I personally LOVE their gyros. I've taken many a non-CH friends there, all with great reviews! As a bonus, their sandwiches are very travel-friendly (Nick's is always my first stop before road tripping down the Oregon coast).

    www.nicholasrestaurant.com/

    1. Why Klamath Falls? When will you cut through the
      Cascades?

      2 Replies
      1. re: bbqboy

        Klamath Falls b/c we want to take the kids to Crater Lake. the Crater Lake lodge was booked, KF seemed the next best thing. We have family in Seattle, family in Sonoma, so the bulk of the trip is with them. Also, since there's family there, we cut out some places that we'll hit the next time out.

        mrnelso--thanks for all the details. will report!

        1. re: kingstreet

          minimal fare in K falls. Most folks head back down to the Rogue Valley after Crater Lake.

      2. We enjoyed Fulio's, in Astoria, our introduction to Caesar with grilled romaine. We look forward to our next coastal trips, and hope to introduce friends to Fulio's. Attention to getting it right matters here, even when execution is not batting 1000 (Babe Ruth could not even do that). We had a very good experience there, and took home a couple of bottles of very nice wines. Next door is Drina Daisy, the only Serbian restaurant we ever saw (but did not taste, as it was closed). Also in the neighborhood, is "Coffee Girl," which we did not actually enter when we went out to avail ourselves of their wi-fi. The kids would love this, as it is way out at the end of a rickety-looking working dock. We drove across hoses and whatnot to get there, dodging overturned wheelbarrows and piles of fishing nets. The boys will nuts for this one. Also good for coffee there, and pastry, is the Newport Coffee Company, right downtown (OK, so the whole town is a walkable postage stamp). Bright and sunny and open and comfortable. A good stop.

        Seaside has The Stand.
        This may not sound like much to the Foodie$, but this little taco joint in Seaside is killer. If a person could ever get a great introduction to genuine chow, this is it.

        In Newport, it's Shark's, for fish. It's a very casual place, and the proprietress will probably get engaged with the boys, and so may spare you her vociferous attentions. Shark's is worth the trip from just about anywhere West of the Mississippi. Great attention to freshness (Newport is proudly one of the few remaining fisheries left truly alive on the coast). The Newport Coffee Company is worth a visit, and the nearby Oregon Coast Aquarium is an ecologist's dream come true. They are doing a fabulous job of educational outreach. Oh, and, dad, the Rogue brewery runs the cafe and you might be able to leave with a quart of Shakespeare Stout.
        Though we were not able to make a match with their unpredictable schedule, AAR place may be worth cheking into, for a(nother) idiosyncratic meal.

        If there is a chance book a room at the hostel at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.
        Wow. Surf crashing below, the beam of the lighthouse all night long. The hot tub right at the tip of the point... Glorious. Private rooms cost less than equivalent motels, even if you must share the bathroom doen the hall. And for breakfast, Duarte's, at Pescadero, not ten miles north. Have the artichoke appetizer and casually mention you are not far from the artichoke center of the world (by the way, Castroville and Watsonville have become the hatfield's and McCoys of the artichokedom, each claiming top biliing).
        To sharpen this point, go to Castroville and visit The Big Artichoke, where the artichoke sampler platter, or something like that, will fetch you the biggest artichoke you ever saw, and ate (outside the 30-foot one that marks the entrance), a heap of TASTY deep-fried artichoke heart, and artichoke bread (think zucchini bread). Mrsnelso and I just might have to make the trip again, to refresh this experience.

        Granzella's, in williams CA, is suitably goofy joint, which tries (with good success) to do EVERYTHING. We think the Granzella family must own the town. The kids will go crazy with the everythingness of it all, and will be thrilled they get to check-out every single olive in the olive bar.

        We trust you will not miss the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and wish you a great trip.

        If you get to Berkeley, check out Tacuobaya, Vik's Chaat House, and Ici. Especially ici.

        Have a great trip and please report back.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mr.nelso

          My friend from NYC went to Granzella's in June and was VERY dissapointed.
          I only get free olives and rice there.
          Louis Cairo's is a better choice, or the little Chinese cafe.
          A even better choice is Bartel's for a real hamburger in Corning, north exit west side of I-5.

          1. re: bbqboy

            Thank you bbqboy, for the clarifying addendum.
            My answer was intended to guide toward a fun experience for a couple of kids, aged 5 and 7, which Granzella's is, with its restaurant/coffeeshop/cafe/icecreamparlkor/grocery store/olive bar/barbershop?...
            and I forgot to make that clear - thanks again.

            Granzella's is, and is not, everything your friend said. For a pair of exhasuted travelers out of options, though, it was a restful, air conditioned oasis. The food in the restaurant was, indeed, bad bad bad. I sent the pasta back, it was so awful (and putanesca is hard to mess up that badly), and dined off the salad bar. Not a great deal better, as it was the usual tired suspects, iceburg lettuce, etc, but I felt better after eating some bean-salad (S&W?) and appreciated the rest stop and entertainment. I had better food from Intourist in the Soviet Union, which tells you about all you need to know.

            thanks again for recuing me from myself.

            We drove around Williams looking for better, but Louis Cairo's seemed to be closed and we did not find a chinese cafe at all.

            1. re: mrnelso

              I can't find the Chinese place that used to be South of LC's.
              There's another one listed, but I don't know whether they same folks in a different place. I always liked it because they served Tomato Beef Chow Mein, which I hadn't had since a kid.
              I always used to stop for Gas before descending into the Bay Area, but with better milage these days I never seem to do much beside pop in Granzella's for free samples and a beer in the bar.
              Maybe Toodie Jane can elaborate.