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Feb 28, 2008 11:02 AM

Road Trip: Central Coast to Yuma

Braving the increasingly warm weather for a trip to my brother & SIL's winter quarters in Yuma. Traveling from near Santa Maria, going across California to either Needles or Blythe--haven't figured out the route yet.

What would hounds recommend as far as route so as to be able to score come decent road food? We are going to try to make it in one day, no overnight.

We'd prefer a northerly route across Tehachapi etc, rather than catching the 10 through the LA basin. Although we'd find better fare there, that traffic is a no-go for us.

Should we go B'field-Barstow-Needles-Blythe-Yuma? Looking for the fastest route, but that way looks mighty barren.

If any one travels this route and knows the chow score, please advise. Thank you!

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  1. Weather is great now in Yuma.

    When doing Tehachapi, I usually go south on 395. Never found anything good in Mojave, but there's an OK bbq/steak place in Adelante. Then, for something different go through Victorville etc through the Lucerne Valley - very little traffic (and one Mexican restaurant by the road - never eaten there). Then South from Yucca Valley to the 10 (traffic's not too bad) then take the new freeway from the Indio area along the Salton Sea. Very fast and little traffic. Things get a bit slower from Brawley to I-8 but Mexican restaurants abound in the Imperial Valley. I have made the trip many times. Lately, I have been going via San Gabriel Valley, so it has been a few years, but I would avoid Needles and Blythe. Not much on 95 north of Yuma.

    Check out my Yuma posts on SW board here or at Kirk's blog:

    Have a good trip!


    3 Replies
    1. re: Ed Dibble

      Thanks ed, I've already snuck a peek at the SW bd. Knew you'd have the goods!

      Thanks for the direct link to your mmmyoso posts! sent them on to my brother.
      I hope we can get ot Yummy Yummy.

      I wonder about going 166 to I-5, south to Gorman and out 138 to 14, through Lancaster and Palmdale, then continue on 138 through Pearblossom and on to Apple Valley to make the connection trhough Lucerne Vlly. Went that way 30 years ago on a trip to Yucca Valley. Remember it as being beautifully quiet and remote; wasn't sure if it still was, or if the traffic is now bad. )

      Thanks for the alternate chow route--I'll try searching some of those small towns. Only problem is I won't be driving--or we'd be investigating anyplace serving ANYthing on the trip down!

      1. re: toodie jane

        Yeh, that is another route that I have taken. It is probably faster, but you had asked about Tehachapi, so I gave you my preferred route from there. But I would definitely take the freeway along Salton Sea in any case. Food is available in Indio, but I can't recommend any place in particular. Do some research on the connection of that freeway with the 10 because I have taken the wrong exit more than once.

        I'd like to give you more info about Yummy Yummy, but don't think it's appropriate on this board. If you post a question on the SW board or respond to the Yummy Yummy post at Kirk's blog, I can provide more info.


        1. re: toodie jane

          I was just on CA SR 166 today.

          I stopped at the Burger Barn in New Cuyama. I was very pleasantly surprised. A 3-generation family seems to have resurrected it from the dead.

          As you might expect, burgers are the specialty. The youngest family member recommended the avocado burger, and I went with that. It was excellent--very juicy and tasty. Her mom suggested the garlic burger next time (with garlic cloves, not garlic sauce!), so I'll have to try that next time I'm hungry and in that neighborhood.

          They also have Mexican food, which looked good, and a steady stream of people--quite impressive considering I was there on a weekday afternoon at an off-lunch hour.

          Not worth a special trip, of course, but certainly a good place to stop if you're in the area and hungry.

      2. This looks like about a 500 mile trip, take a lot of rest stops if you do it in one 'day'.
        In Tehachapi a good choice of heart attack omelettes is to be had at the Village Grill.
        If you take the I-15/I-10 route through San Bernardino and have a hankering for a hamburger or other grilled meat, try Joes Country Corner in Devore. Not chowish, but some folks love the Juan Pollo chain in the S.B. area.
        I found a post referring to A Dong, a Vietnamese place in Loma Linda. There is a well known Yucatecan place in Mentone called Casa Maya that I intend to visit. The Wheel Inn in Cabazon (next to the big dinosaur park) is run by a Czech guy and is known for breakfast items (can't remember if they have Czech/German food).

        Indeed, not much chowish on this route.

        Ed D. will have to fill you in on where to get Kamman sausage in Yuma :-).

        EDIT: if you travel on Sunday or a holiday do NOT travel I-15 south, the returning Vegas traffic is Horrific!

        1. If I were taking the trip, here's the route I would take (I hope the link survives!)...

          1. Lived in Yuma for years and often drove to Santa Barbara to visit the in-laws and would strongly recommend you go the LA route. You can bypass the San Fernando Valley mess by taking the cutoff from Thousand Oaks and go the inland way through Pasadena (210) and the traffic is far less troublesome than going down through the SFV and West Hollywood area. There is not much out in the desert from Bakersfield on through Barstow, Needles and Blythe and that way is 587 miles according to Mapquest as opposed to 427 going the other way through LA. I live in Flagstaff now and still travel a lot to California and Santa Barbara and Bakersfield on occasion and there is simply not much from Needles to Bakersfield. There is a Mexican restaurant in Boron, about forty or so miles East of Mohave after coming down the mountain from Tehachapi, that is decent called Domingos Mexican & Seafood Restaurant at 27075 20 Mule Team Rd. It is nothing to rave about but is pretty good.

            3 Replies
            1. re: AzDumpling

              We did the marathon drive 166 to B'field and Tehachapi, Mojave, Needles, down to Quartzite and Yuma. >Phew!< But I much prefer the desert in spring to the madness of southern California. Summer I might be persuaded to go east on 10.

              We actually found a taco truck just outside Arvin near 99, and the great Petra Mediterannean Deli (everything fresh and made on the spot) in Tehachapi, then it was pedal to the metal to Yuma. On the way back we had a regrettable sandwich at the Albertson's in Mojave. There was a cute cafe next door, but couldn't convince hubby to stop there.

              Thanks for the tip on Boron (congrats CIF Champs!) we may try it next trip.

              A Cuyama resident tells me the Burger Barn is the ONLY restaurant in town. Glad it's decent. I guess the Buckhorn was THE place in its day. Too bad someone doesn't ressurect it.

              1. re: toodie jane

                I honestly cannot blame you for completely avoiding the LA basin. Was a fairly wet winter so I am sure the desert was quite nice.

                1. re: toodie jane

                  EDIT: Found the address for Petra:
                  200 S. Green St.
                  Tehachapi, CA 93561