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Sep 29, 2008 08:13 PM

20 Hours on the road w/ 3 kids! I'm Hungry! Where?!

My wife and I are driving from Tacoma to San Diego over the course of a couple weeks in October with our 3 young children. Driving I-5 all the way. Anyone have any good ideas on fun places to eat on the way? My one idea isn't until Santa Nella in South of Sacramento at the Anderson's Split Pea Restaurant! That's 15 hours away! Don't think the little ones will last that long...ha! Any other ideas?!

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  1. Wild River in Grants Pass, OR, in southern Oregon on I-5 has a diverse menu. They have pizzas, sandwiches, salads, their own microbrews. It's very family -friendly.

    3 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      Here a a couple of previous links which cover some of your route.

      Ashland OR has quite a few good places many of which are kid friendly. Thai Pepper is really popular with my kids. Don't be confused by the Thai in the name. It is much more SE asian fusion than Thai. the owner is from Indonesia, and mixes flavors from many culture.

      Standing Stone brewery in Ashland has a toy bar where the kids can get a toy and be entertained while you wait and eat. good food, better beer.

      Lela's in Ashland for lunch. Actually, do a search on Ashland formany recs. It's the best concentration of good food you'll find between Portland and maybe LA. At least Sacremento (I don't know Sacto very well, so I may be doing it a disservice, but I haven't heard it described as a hotbed of chow, so apologies in advance.


      I think there is also a Wild River in Medford if that works better for your scheduling.

      1. re: lgphil

        Sacramento is quite the hotbed for Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine. I've done the trip from Portland to LA many times and am always thrilled to have Sacto as my layover.

        Roberta's Taqueria off the 5 in Williams, CA is quite good. I remember taking an exit one time just for a bathroom break and ended up stumbling on a local fave.

        1. re: lgphil

          Oooh, I love Lela's! I can never remember the name and I always just have to wander around near the Grange Coop but it's great.

          I'd also do a search in the Eugene area. It's neat little city with good restaurants.

          Also Corvallis, surprisingly, has quite a bit also. Our daughter got her masters there last year and we were always surprised at the good food.

      2. Hey! I've done that trip multiple times, most recently with three kids [6,8 & 10] in the car and we camped and we have done it in 2 days. Obviously I win.

        I can give you a complete list of restaurants but off the top of my head:
        Burgerville was a hit with the kids. yes its a chain but they have yogurt shakes, seasonal shakes, tasty burgers, fries, focus on local sources for food and have many locations in southern Washington and Oregon as far south as Eugene [I think].
        In Oregon we ate coming and going at the Wild Goose in Ashland--just over the border from California. We also stopped at the wierdish pie place south of Grant's Pass--slice of heaven or something where they play endless loops of Jesus loves me but make a darn fine blackberry cobbler. Hint: only get one piece to share. Really.
        In northern california, we have frequently stopped at the Black Bear diner in yreka and other places. Not sure about you but I have kids that eat like adults so my goal is tasty and plentiful. Breakfast at Black Bear was good for hours.
        When you get south of Sacremento, the apricot tree is a good place for apricot milk shakes but the rest of the food is so-so. Eat before you get there by stopping in GUSTINE for sausage at Wolfsens. Pack a cooler!
        more later...........

        3 Replies
        1. re: jenn

          Hilarious! I always love a good competition, but I concede to your culinary conquest!

          These are great ideas! I kept seeing Burgerville show up on AAA maps, but was hesitant to do a chain. Just might have to try it.

          I saw the word pie on your list and I am sold! I love pie!

          It's fun to see the names of these cities again as it's been years since I've made this journey. Thanks for the response!

          1. re: aaronandronda

            Yes you must go to Burgerville. Now there are sweet potato fries and blackberry shakes. There are no locations in Eugene. Only as south as Albany, north end point Centralia.

            1. re: aaronandronda

              well other than the music, we have enjoyed the heaven on earth pie/cobbler place --they even have plentiful samples of all the desserts--hopefully, you will too. But I do recommend that you only get a single one to split--each portion is about the size of a dinner plate!

              The Black bear diner which I referred to is also in Oregon and Washington--can't quite recall the locations.

              Burgerville's seasonal stuff--berry shakes, walla walla onion rings, etc--- was quite tasty. My monsters and I went for smoothies over milk shakes [a bit of calorie counting] but my husband had a vanilla shake and enjoyed it.

              as the chow team suggested, if you re-post on the california board, i can give you many tips [like there is only ONE starbucks place between sacramento and the edge of LA........]

          2. Hi:

            For the California portion of your trip, please post on the California board.


            1 Reply
            1. re: The Chowhound Team

              Oops. I was about to give some recommendations in the Yreka/Mt. Shasta area. I think those of us in So. Oregon look at the entire "State of Jefferson" as all part and parcel. I'll check to see if you reposted and offer some suggestions there.

            2. The Stand, in Seaside. Oh yes. Kids? - great. FOOD!? - great (and cheap). (and you can decide whether or not to visit The Candyman - but I recommend it for the visuals). Granzella's, in Williams, was nooo way great, but they had an air conditioner (!) and lots and lots going on, in a circus-commercial sort of way. Eat no entrees, but grazing might work and the olive bar is a fun. Nearby was an outdoor Mexican market, replete with heaps of chiles, scads of unknowable delicacies, and lots of grandmas to fuss over the little ones. The Big Artichoke, in Castroville, really is BIG, and the fried artichokes were a nice surprise, too. If you want to go completely nuts (we recommend it), take a side-trip for a couple of days and jog out to 101 to stay at the Pigeon Point lighthouse (a CA hostel - get reservations), where you can hot-tub a hundred feet above the surf and breakfast at Duarte's, in Pescadero, just across the highway. You (all) will love this and it will not break the bank.

              1. Are you driving straight thru? If so,
                Novak's in Albany for wonderful pastries and a hearty European breakfast.
                They serve lunch and dinner too
                The Drive Inn in Rice Hill for ice cream.
                Jasper's in CentralPoint/Medford for fresh ground burgers, along with a visit to the Rogue Creamery and Lillebelle Chocolates.
                Take the main Central Point exit -Pine St.and head west to 99. (A few blocks)
                Turn left for Jasper's, a mile down on your right. Turn right on 99 and head north a block for Rogue Creamery and Lillebelle.
                Hit Sengthong's in Dunsmuir for dinner.

                heaven on earth is several miles North of GP.