HOME > Chowhound > California >

Discussion

Coming from Los Angeles - what does Stockton (and environs, Modesto, Lodi, maybe even Sacramento) have that I simply can't get at home?

  • 51
  • Share

We're doing a round of pharmacy school tours of the bay area, and we're ending out trip with a visit to University of the Pacific in Stockton. We're having lunch at the university, but we'll be looking for breakfast in Stockton and dinner anywhere in the area. We might even be open to heading up to Sacramento... possibly spending the night there before returning home.

Our priority is finding local experiences with great food. The type of cuisine really doesn't matter, as long as it's local and delicious.

Since we're from LA, ideally we're looking for something we couldn't taste back home... that means no Mexican, no Chinese, no Vietnamese. I know that Stockton has a Cambodian temple, and the Cambodian community in LA is rather small, so we might be up for some bo loc lac or amok fish.

Looking forward to your suggestions

Mr Taster

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. For sacramento, the simple answer is nothing you will find that's better than LA. We have some fine restaurants, but LA is a much much bigger city with a huge diversity of cuisines.

    However, if you simply want some excellent food while in Sacto, you may want to try the Waterboy or Mulvaney's.

    -----
    Waterboy Restaurant
    2000 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95814

    Mulvaney's B & L
    1215 19th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

    3 Replies
    1. re: PeterL

      These two restaurants look nice, but they're a bit more than we'd like to spend. We're not averse to spending a more than we do at home (there are some incredible Chinese meals to be had for $20-$30 for 2 people, including tax & tip!) I don't expect to eat that cheap.

      What could $50 out the door (including tax & tip, not drinks) get you by way of a filling, excellent local meal in this area (that falls within the paramaters I've outlined in my initial post)? Surely you must have some kind of local delicacy or cuisine....?

      Mr Taster

      1. re: Mr Taster

        Try these two. Both have been (will be?) featured on Food TV's triple D (Guy is from Sacto). Squeeze Inn and Cafe Rolle (caferolle.com). Squeeze Inn is famous for their hamburgers. Cafe Rolle is a French bistro.

        -----
        Squeeze Inn
        5301 Power Inn Rd., Sacramento, CA 95820

        1. re: Mr Taster

          Another suggestion is Vientienne in West Sac, Laotian/Vietnamese cuisine. If you are here on a weekday and looking for lunch, you may try La Bonne Soupe Cafe, #1 Zagat rated restaurant in Sacto. Be warned, very long lines.

          -----
          Squeeze Inn
          5301 Power Inn Rd., Sacramento, CA 95820

          La Bonne Soupe Cafe
          920 8th St, Sacramento, CA 95814

          Vientiane Restaurant
          1001 Jefferson Blvd 600, West Sacramento, CA 95691

      2. I think you have me stumped. I've lived in Stockton nearly all my life, and I can't think of anything in Stockton that you wouldn't be able to get in LA. Admittedly, I have not tried any Cambodian restaurants here (not even sure where they are, I hate to admit). You would think that Stockton would have some Filipino restaurants, because at one time, Stockton had the largest Filipino population in the world outside Manila, but other than a couple of lumpia shops (which I can't really recommend), there just aren't any.

        We *do* have outstanding locally-grown produce at really cheap prices, but you'd have to hit a farmer's market and then have some way to cook it. Or you could come back in April and have an asparagus margarita and asparagus shortcake at the Asparagus Festival. I'm pretty sure you won't find THOSE in LA!

        (edit)
        One thing just occurred to me: Lodi produces some of the finest wines in the world (as I've been told...I'm just as likely to drink wine from a box!), so you can transform your trip from a pharm tour to a wine tasting tour.

        8 Replies
        1. re: ricepad

          Re: asparagus martinis... definitely not! :) Thought we're not big drinkers, either-- but wine tours are always fun.

          I guess what I was looking for was Stockton's uniqueness... like the way Bakersfield has the Basque restaurants, the way Santa Maria does BBQ, etc. I was hoping that we could find something uniquely "Stockton".

          Restaurants using fresh, local produce is always welcome, just not when the average entree price is $20-$25. A perfect place would be something like Big Sky Cafe in San Luis Obispo-- locally grown stuff, interesting and delicious preparations, generous portions, at a very reasonable price:

          http://www.bigskycafe.com/menus/index...

          We'll be there on a Saturday night in September-- any markets or interesting food related doin's a transpiring?

          Mr Taster

          1. re: Mr Taster

            If you're coming on Labor Day weekend, there's a Native American pow-wow at UOP. Native American crafts, dancing, and 'Indian tacos' (pretty much like a tostada on fry bread instead of a tortilla).

            If you're coming tomorrow (8/29) or Labor Day weekend, you could hit the State Fair in Sacramento and have an "Everything's Deep-Fried" day.

            1. re: ricepad

              Interesting.... we'll miss the pow wow as we're there on Aug 12. Interesting to know though that they make Indian tacos here too... we had our first taste of one last winter when we visited a friend in Phoenix. We actually thought the frybread was so good that the taco accouterments were gilding the lily!

              OK, so let's reevaluate my request.... rather than looking for something uniquely Stockton, where would you send me to that would showcase some of the best not-expensive food the area has to offer?

              Thanks!

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                Rosewood and Alebrijes (both in Lodi) do seasonal and local, ISTR. Papapavlos in Stockton is Greek (mostly), and is reliably good, too. The owner of Dynasty Seafood Restaurant in Stockton tends to try new things pretty regularly, but if you're not Chinese, he probably won't even tell you about them (his really special 'specials' don't appear on the menu or even the white board).

                Avoid Le Bistro - while they used to be one of the best in town, I've heard from some reliable sources that the quality has really dipped in recent months. LIkewise any restaurant that wins the local paper's "Best of" awards. There aren't any really good Japanese restaurants in the area, and most of the Mexican places are typical 'taco/enchilada combination with rice & beans' places.

                If you're up for Sunday brunch, the Grand Island Mansion (on Grand Island, of course, near Walnut Grove) does a pretty good one, and they try and use mostly local, too. It's about a 40-minute drive from Stockton.

                If it were my money, tho, I'd hit Alebrijes. Twice. I really like Alebrijes, and Ruben and Ade are the sweetest folks, too.

                1. re: ricepad

                  I'd hit Alebrijes too, at least once, though it won't seem quite as special for someone from LA. Think of it as a poor person's Babita, sort of. Not a completely accurate description but about as good as I can come up with. (it is regional Mexican with fresh local ingredients prepared by an innovative chef, and quite reasonably priced).

                  Sacramento does have some good Japanese restaurants, though again, if coming from LA, I'd skip Japanese.

                  -----
                  Alebrijes Mexican Bistro
                  1301 W Lockeford St Ste D, Lodi, CA 95242

                2. re: Mr Taster

                  are you time travelling?

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    1. For dinner I'd consider Siamese Street restaurant for Thai. Very close to Pacific. The Pla Pao is so good I just had to figure out how to make it myself. i'm pretty close.
                    It's a marinatied halibut fillet wrapped in banana leaves with garlic, lemon grass, and cilantro - grilled to an aromatic perfection. Big menu - lots of curry dishes, loved all their appetizers. The only thing I've had there that i thought was ordinary was a seafood noodle soup. Everything else is thumbs up. and you can have dinner for two for $50. Highest price entree is $15.

                    2. Now if you want the perfect bowl of soup I concur with many others, go to Alebrijes, and get the Sopa Tarasca. I've been there twice recently and love the place. It reminds me of the open air cafes in Michoacan that I visited last spring. Bright color walls (see blurry photo) and the hanging "alebrijes".

                    I also had the mole poblano which was great. The shrimp ceviche was as good as I've ever had.

                    It's a mixture: authentic mexican with a oaxacan influence, some mexican american (chimichanga), and vegetarian/vegan menu section (e.g, portabello burrito).

                    3. the bagel place is named Bagel Express.

                    4. I ate at Pacific's new Univ Center twice last week - hope you're not as disappointed as I was. Very ordinary limited buffet in the River Room.

                    5. I've located only one Cambodian restaurant over on West Lane in stockton. don't know anything about it. I'll try to check it out. I've been to a cambodian market a few times for banana leaves, but never a restaurant.

                    6. Chucks for breakfast means a 4000 calorie meal. you'll be done for the day. I vote for Toot Sweets for a pastry and coffee. Love the cinnamon rolls and the sticky buns. but everything there is good.

                     
                    1. re: poncaparker

                      The River Room isn't meant to be a lavish buffet, the variety is downstairs.

            2. Bad food?

              1. As a frequent visitor to Stockton (my son just graduated from Univ of the Pacific and now is a grad student there) and former resident of LA, I concur, there isn't anything there you can't get in LA, or anywhere else, I think. That said, I have enjoyed some local places you might consider.

                Toot Sweet's (on March Lane right off I-5) and Chuck's (on Pacific Ave north of the university) have great breakfasts. I also like the bagel place (sorry, I don't remember the EXACT name but it's the only one in the area) on March Lane between I-5 and Pacific Ave.

                Lunch or dinner in the immediate area--there are alot of chain restaurants but I know you don't want that. My son and his friends all like Michael's Pizza on Alpine, west of the university, closer to I-5. We ate there last week and it's pretty good.

                We haven't journeyed further out since time is always of the essence for us. And, my son is a picky eater, so nothing too "exotic" for him.

                Off-topic, Pacific is a GREAT school. The new DeRosa University Center opened last year and the Marketplace (dining hall) is focussed on sustainable, organic cuisine.

                Good luck with your search and the road trip!

                2 Replies
                1. re: rednails

                  Hi rednails, this is all extremely helpful. Thanks for this-- I'll let you know what we decide!

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    Glad you found it helpful. Expanding on the breakfast places, Chuck's is the only one (of the 3 places I mentioned) with a sit-down full breakfast. It is also VERY busy (all 3 are busy w/local folk), and somewhat small. It's a little hard to find--in a small strip-mall on the east side of Pacific Ave. The bagel place and Toot Sweets are both counter service.

                    Oh, and the Asparagus Festival. II went to the festival during my son's freshman year, and the deep fried asparagus was the bomb. I usually don't eat anything deep fried (health reasons) and the festival wasn't that great, but would gladly go again just for that, um, delicacy.

                2. I'd keep an eye out for fresh, semi-sweet Yellow corn on the menu - Brentwood and the delta area seems to be the only place in the state that grows it any more. Too late for the Corn Festival there.

                  1. Breakfast - Chuck's. Excellent and definitely filling. You can actually order a half-order for their omelettes. For the side, you can opt for their pancake.
                    If you go...go early...or just be prepared to wait. This is down-home type cooking, nothing fancy.

                    Although you say no Mexican, I would try Can Cun This is a differenty style of Mexican than I see elsewhere. Honestly, I live in SF and still haven't found food like this.

                    I'll echo Papapavlo's....though nothing fancy, but it is good. At least it was the last time I was there.

                    Pizza - Michael's Pizza on Alpine. Not far from the school. Favorite pizza is the one with Pepperoni, olives, garlic, artichoke hearts, and fresh tomatoes.

                    1. I think Ella is the best deal in town. People have a misconception that it is really expensive (perhaps because they associate it with The Kitchen), it is not.
                      In reality, most of the "small" plates are really quite generous and very well priced. They have a great wine list that has some excellent wines at all price points.
                      I have dined there by myself as well as with both small and larger parties. People are amazed (pleasantly) when we get the check.
                      Honest to God, I have spent more at a girls night at Chevy's for margaritas and appetizers than I have spent here for a FABULOUS meal and (house crafted) gin and tonics!!

                      1. Perhaps this is too little too late, but I am from Stockton, Mr. Taster, and lived there 'til I was 20.

                        It's always rough coming home to find interesting places, but it seems Stockton has been better as of recent.

                        At El Dorado/Hammer, there is a shopping center with a Cambodian retaurant, Mitapheap, and a pho and a banh mi place. Pho Lucky and Viet Huong Sandwich respectively. On weekends, there is a Vietnamese skewers stand in front of Lion's Market.

                        Stockton's Mexican-American food is also unique and distinctive. I would say I find it more curious and nostalgic, than aythng else. But, a steak ranchero plate at Arroyo's, Cancun, Xochimilco, or Mi Ranchito's is a true Stockton experience. All these places make their flour tortillas from a machine, they are soft, thick, and dusty.I can't get these anywhere in LA.Next to the authentic flour tortillas of Sonora and Sinaloa, they are my favorite. Your hands will be covered in flour.

                        Many of the Mexican immigrants came in the 50's and 60's from other parts of Mexico than the Los Angeles counterparts. They seem to have lost all Mexican tradition in their food, but not in the same way Mex-Amer in LA did. The rest of the combo plates aren't of interest to me, but a good steak ranchero, flour tortillas, and a beer are very nice.

                        I wish the Laotian and Hmong populations would open some restaurants.That would be something that Stockton would be able to do better than even LA, I suppose. There should be more Cambodian place, too, hopefully soon.

                        23 Replies
                        1. re: streetgourmetla

                          Wow, this is a great post as always, streetgourmetla. We came back about 3 weeks ago where we had a miserable almost-experience at the Vietnamese place downtown... we asked for the pho tai beef on the side and the woman just told us "NO-- health of the customer is too important!" (well then don't serve us rancid beef!) I almost wanted to ask her when the last time she had real pho bo tai was. When I told her we wanted to share a bowl, she told us that there was a minimum charge per person for lunch and at that point we were so disappointed that we just walked out.

                          We looked for Cambodian but didn't find any. Ultimately we just left the town for SF, hungry and disappointed (though UOP fed us cold sandwiches for lunch) where we had an incredible meal of Peruvian chicken at Limon in the Mission

                          I'll bookmark this post. If my wife gets into UOP pharmacy school, we'll be prepared (and I might come to you for more advice, if you don't mind!)

                          Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            Absolutely! Fire away any time.

                            I've only started hunting down these places in recent years, the south east Asian scene. I grew up in these Mexican-American joints, my dad was close friends with the Arroyo family and we were in there all the time. My grandfather, from Aguascalientes, Mexico, only ate my grandmother's cooking and some special occasions at Mi Ranchito.

                            Sounds about right, your experience at the Thai place.Stockton is where ethnic cuisines come to die. The Chinese food is also pure Chinese-American, CHICKEN IN FOIL is the regional specialty!!

                            I need to escape my grandmother's kitchen next time to hit that Cambodian place, and I am setting my mom to hunt down more of the like. SHe works in Head Start, so I might just invite myself to one of her Hmong families' houses for a dinner.

                            Oh, and I went to UOP, too. The Conservatory. I remember those sandwiches from orientation.Aramark!!! Yuck!

                            1. re: streetgourmetla

                              I *was* going to take issue with your assessment of Stockton's Chinese scene, but in the main, I think you're probably right. In many (most?) of Stockton's Chinese restaurants, the food is decidedly Americanized, but in those very same restaurants, IF you order in Chinese, you can get the real deal, with dishes that aren't on the (English) menu.

                              As for other ethnic cuisines, I have little basis to say whether they're authentic or not, but I suspect they're as watered down as Chinese restaurants. Still, I echo your recommendations for Mexican, although I think Arroyo's quality slipped when they moved north. When I was a kid, Mi Ranchito, Azteca, and Xochimilco were our usual Mexican places...I think my dad thought the original Arroyo's was too dangerous! Like the old joke goes, "sabes por que el molino is rojo? Por la sangre!" (Arroyo's bar was called "El Molino Rojo", or 'The Red Mill')

                              1. re: ricepad

                                Good to know... my wife is Taiwanese and so she does speak fluent Mandarin, and I am lao wai and speak a fumbling (I'd like to think of it as "endearing") Mandarin, so we should be okay on that front. Any particularly good Chinese restaurants for Mandarin speakers?

                                Mr Taster

                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                  Ya got me, there....there's not a very large Mandarin-speaking population in Stockton. Mom's from Toishan, and that usually unlocks the doors for us at China Palace and Dynasty, but as for Mandarin...I'm not sure!

                                2. re: ricepad

                                  My dad was a bouncer at the Molino Rojo at times, know it well. Yes, the quality did slip when they moved north. I was there when all the Arroyo's were young, and Mr. Arroyo was still alive. My grandparents were friends with them and my dad was tight with all his sons. An Arroyo is my godfather.

                                  Well, there doesn't seem to be any regioanl styles outside the Americanized Cantonese restaurants. What regional or authentic foods do you have there, and where?

                                  1. re: streetgourmetla

                                    I think another thing that hurt Arroyo's was when the brothers parted ways and Larry opened up his own place.

                                    As for Chinese, our family MO is to hit up Danny at Dynasty (he's the owner) and just ask him what's good, or what he's making for the staff, or if he's trying anything new. Then again, we go there so much that he knows us pretty well. Unfortunately, he's convinced that non-Chinese won't like a lot of authentic fare, so it could be an uphill struggle to get him to give you the goods.

                                    1. re: ricepad

                                      Which Arroyo's do you like?Larry's or Rick an Mario's?

                                      Nice to know Stockton has a genuine hound on the ground!

                                      Dynasty, is that downtown? Funny, I won't touch Americanized Chinese here in LA, but I will have that On Lock Sam's or Dave Wong's take out if my mom gets it. Chicken in foil and broccoli beef!!!!

                                      1. re: streetgourmetla

                                        Between the two, I prefer Larry Arroyo's, but in honesty I haven't been to either one in a couple of years. If I want traditional "BCS Mexican" (as the homies might say), I'll hit Xochimilco (which seems to have slipped...I think they're not using as much lard these days) or Mi Ranchito. My current favorite Mexican place is Alebrijes in Lodi.

                                        Dynasty is in Lincoln Center South, the side where Payless was. On Lock Sam's and Dave Wong's are probably the most successful and worst offenders at Americanized Chinese food...they're the Chinese equivalent of Santiago's!

                                        1. re: ricepad

                                          Dave Wong's might be the ultimate Chinese-American restaurant, completely stripped of any connection to Chinese cuisine.

                                          The Dynasty combo: Fried prawns, sweet n sour pork, almond chicken, pork chow mein, chicken in foil, and pork fried rice!!

                                          My high school band banquet each year was at On Lock Sam's, we even got dressed up for that. Hilarious.

                                          1. re: streetgourmetla

                                            Yeah, that sounds like the kind of combo that Dynasty puts on for gwei lo!

                                            I'm starting to wonder if we share an alma mater...does the name "Bud Behrens" mean anything to you?

                                            1. re: ricepad

                                              No, AA Stagg c/o '86!

                                3. re: streetgourmetla

                                  I was impressed by the crowd at the new Lucky Pho--do you consider it authentic? Have always loved the absolute freshness of the veg/herbs and the flavor of the broth. It was hoppin when I stopped for a lemonade in August, at lunch time.
                                  Best Pho I've had in my limited experience.

                                  1. re: toodie jane

                                    Hey toodie jane.I've never been to Lucky Pho, but was very interested in the scene around Lion's Market. I just had a skewer in front of the market and peeked in the Cambodian restaurant. I've had some great pho here in LA but am no expert. I don't see why Stockton couldn't become a center for Cambodian, Laotian, and Hmong cooking.

                                    If you're tasting freshness, that's probably a good sign. Maybe a little info on how they cook and where they're from might be of use to us.I plan on hitting all these places, if my grandma will let me!

                                    1. re: streetgourmetla

                                      Finally was able to go to Metapheap, the cambodian noodle shop and restaurant.

                                      Had the Phnom Penh noodle soup with pork and shrimp, which was excellent.Light tasty broth, lovely thin noodles, and a well stocked condiment wheel.And, the ground quail sauteed with lemongrass sauce, herbs and jalapenos. This was little browned bits of fire and crunch, packed with spicy quail flavor.

                                      While leaving town on the 99 on Mariposa I spotted a truck called Tacos de Canasta Tacos al Vapor.Was stuffed from lunch and off to Bakersfield for a job, I couldn't stop. This means Stockton has something Mexican we can't even find here in LA. These tacos are one of the two most common tacos in Mexico City, tacos of simple fillings that are put in a basket on the way to the stall or stand, where they sweat their juices all over the tortilla. Tacos al Vapor are sometimes meat fillings where the tacos are steamed under plastic, but the tacos de canasta have filling like chicharron, potato,chicken in mole, care adobada, or beans. The address the truck was parked in front of was 1864 E. Mariposa Rd.Their sign read tacos of frijol, papa, y chicharron.

                                      I long for these tacos, cheap bundles of intense flavor from the vendors baskets, scent wafting in the morning air. This place must be checked out, I will be tracking it down when I get to Stockton the next time. There were several trucks in this area on Saturday afternoon, but none quite as intriguing as this one.

                                      1. re: streetgourmetla

                                        Wow, great find streetgourmetla... I'll be seeking these one out when we're back in Stockton in January.

                                        Mr Taster

                                4. re: Mr Taster

                                  hopefully she'll get into UCSF and have things like chow fun at the cafeteria and good sushi, northern chinese, decent pho and bun, and naan and curry down the street

                                  1. re: peppermonkey

                                    From your keyboard to god's ears...

                                    Mr Taster

                                  2. re: Mr Taster

                                    Which Vietnamese place was this...the one across the street from the library? That used to be a pretty decent place, food-wise, but it's been several years since I've been there. For pho, we usually hit Pho Bac Hoa Viet, at the corner of Hammer Lane and West Lane.

                                    1. re: ricepad

                                      I'm 99% sure it was this one:

                                      http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&s...

                                      Any experiences with this one? The lady was rather cold and rude.... I might feel bad if we wound up turning down a great bowl of pho, though my chowhound instincts are telling me we didn't miss much.

                                      Mr Taster

                                      -----
                                      Saigon Vietnamese Restaurants
                                      1904 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95204

                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                        That's not downtown, that's the Miracle Mile! ;o)

                                        I've never been impressed with Saigon...been there three times over the years, and it's just...meh. A lot of my...uh...fairer friends like it, tho. If you ever come back, Pho Bac Hoa Viet has better pho, and I hear good things about Pho Lucky that streetgourmetla recommended, too. Pho 888 on East Hammer Lane is not as good as PBHV, but the service is WAY better.

                                        1. re: ricepad

                                          You know, I thought you were being facetious with the "Miracle Mile" thing and then my unconscious was struck with a thunderbolt and I remembered this image:

                                          http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&s...

                                          Miracle Mile indeed!

                                          Where is "downtown" Stockton?

                                          My wife just got an interview at Touro in Vallejo... I might have to make a similar Bay Area post!

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                            The Miracle Mile is the strip of Pacific Ave. that runs from Alpine to the north end down to Harding Way on the southern end.

                                            If you turn left heading east on Harding, and then a quick right onto Center St. heading south, you will hit downtown, from Park St. to the Highway 4, and the western and eastern borders are Center St. and Airport Way respectively.

                                            That's were the waterfront is located at Macleod Lake, which will take you all the way to the SF Bay.

                                5. We stumbled upon a diner in Lodi called the Golden Ox...it's on the main drag..right hand side. A Greek guy owns it and the menu is extensive. It's a strange little diner..lots of trains in there! Really diverse menu and the food was really, really good. It was packed too!

                                  1. Ahhh, Harris Ranch. You can eat your meat and smell how it was produced at the same time.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: NVJims

                                      Harris Ranch is a L-O-O-O-O-N-G trip from Stockton, unless you're flying into their airport!

                                      1. re: ricepad

                                        It's on the way, though-- not a bad idea.

                                        By the way, have you seen the "virtual tour video"?

                                        http://www.harrisranchbeef.com/aboutu...

                                        They show these lovely pictures of cattle roaming free and grazing on tall grass, but then they show giant industrial pens and say their cattle is fed on grain and finished with corn. I assumed that Harris Ranch beef was raised the former way rather than the latter, but it appears that one can't accurately make that assumption.

                                        Mr Taster

                                        1. re: ricepad

                                          About 2 hours, but there is virtually nothing but exit fast food joints in between and it takes that long to get rid of the smell....

                                          1. re: NVJims

                                            "...there is virtually nothing but exit fast food joints in between.."

                                            (from north to south)

                                            NEWMAN

                                            Mike's Timeout Rest. & Lounge - biscuits and gravy
                                            (209)862-4405

                                            GUSTINE

                                            Wolfsens
                                            http://www.wolfsensausage.com/index.htm

                                            LOS BANOS (7 mi E of I-5

                                            )

                                            Woolgrowers - Basque
                                            609 H St.
                                            (209) 826-4593

                                            Olinda's - Peruvian
                                            400 W. Pacheco Blvd

                                            El Grullense Jalisco – tacos
                                            1024 E Pacheco Blvd
                                            (209) 826-8575

                                            Junior's Taco truck -
                                            740 G St (one block east of the Wool Growers)

                                            FIREBAUGH EXIT

                                            Rosita #1 taco truck,
                                            @ 4-5 miles east of I-5 at the NW corner of Nees and Russell

                                            PANOCHE RD (S of Firebaugh exit)

                                            Apricot Tree - apricot shakes
                                            46272 W Panoche Rd (NW @ I-5)
                                            (559) 659-2028

                                            HURON

                                            Chris's (April) Meat Market - taqueria

                                            La Esquinita Mi Pueblo Taqueria
                                            36905 S Lassen Ave

                                            taqueria inside the Los Amigos Mkt #5
                                            corner of Lassen and Myrtle Ave.

                                            AVENAL

                                            Taqueria La Reyna - taquitos 3/$1.00 filled with spiced meat, creamy green guacamole type salsa
                                            on Kings St. downtown next to Bear's Den bar.

                                            Las Primas
                                            just past Las Playitas on south side but before State Market

                                            Debbie's Place - burgers
                                            429 Skyline Blvd

                                            HWY 198 and I-5

                                            Cazuelas - west side behind Chevron

                                            BUTTONWILLOW

                                            Planeta Rojas Café – chile relleno
                                            down the way from the Taste of India…in back of the Shell Gas Station

                                            Tita's - pupusas and more, yucca con chicarrones, empanada de plantano, (fried banana stuffed w/ pudding) breakfast-Sincronizado con tosino
                                            http://www.chowhound.com/california/b...
                                            350 Front (Hwy 58 W of I-5

                                            )

                                            also check this older link:

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/429931

                                      2. Great Basque food! Wool Growers is well worth the short trip off of the 5 to Los Banos (just south of Stockton). They serve a family style lunch with a parade of courses that includes, at least when I went in March 2012, bread & butter, soup, salad, beans, lamb stew, french fries and your choice of lamb chops (2), pork chops (2), a lamb shank or chicken. Wine also comes with the lunch as well as ice cream. The food just kept coming out, course after course. I am not normally a huge fan of lamb but all of the lamb dishes were amazing. It was 16 per person & cash only. I am definitely going back the next time I take the 5.

                                        I would also recommend the following stops:
                                        - La Costa Taqueria (Tracy, CA)
                                        - Tita's Pupuseria (Buttonwillow, CA)
                                        - Squeeze Inn (Sacramento)