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Jul 7, 2010 10:17 PM

Stop-worthy eats en route to Winthrop?

Hi Chowhounds;

We're camping out in Winthrop this weekend and plan to return late Sunday, which means a dinner stop somewhere between Winthrop and Seattle. Any don't miss options along 20 or back down I-5? (I fondly remember Cascadian Farms berry ice cream and shortcake in Rockport, but that's not really dinner!)

Any other chow rec's for Mazama/Winthrop/Twisp also welcome. Many thanks! Stay cool.


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  1. I just did this same route last weekend and found it quite challenging.

    Leaving Seattle northbound, we considered stopping at Redline in Lynnwood for burgers but decided instead to hold out for La Casita, a superficially promising Mexican place in Mt. Vernon with a grocery sign upstairs. Drawn in by the WC match in progress on TV inside, our group collectively failed to register by browsing the menu that we had entered yet another hapless iteration of the "Family Mexican Restaurant". We suffered through insipid salsa, gobs of processed cheese, feckless beans, near-turned sour cream and watery threads of chicken. I should have known when I asked about carnitas and the waiter said that the place was "thinking of ordering them." The result left our group dismayed and my reputation as gastronaut notably tarnished.

    After reaching Winthrop, we looked around and I was reminded of a terrible meal last summer at Duck Brand Cantina, truly one of the worst dinners on record. The menu at Arrowhead Bistro looked more promising, but we had no occasion to try.

    On return to SEA, we stopped at a burger place in Marblemount called Buffalo Run, specializing in buffalo and game burgers. The owner was an interesting cat, and the garden patio was very serene. Unfortunately, the cook completely disregarded all requests for medium rare burgers and produced uniformly well-done pucks that made it difficult to appreciate the variety of ground meat inside. Too bad.

    We did succeed in getting ice cream from Cascadian. Otherwise, our camp food was better than what we located. I did notice that a Tacos Guaymas outpost in Burlington had adopted a "new name, same owners." If so, that's a palatable option. Across the street there was a taco and seafood cocktail truck in the gas station lot.

    3 Replies
    1. re: equinoise

      I've eaten (several years ago) at the Guaymas in Burlington. It was ok, but not ask good as the Lynnwood ones. I wonder if exiting I5 in Mt Vernon, and going east to 9 would pass something better. I've also eaten at Buffalo Run without being impressed.

      In Winthrop itself, Gubstake, or something like that right on the main drag has been my best lunch. In Twisp, I try to stop at Hanks Grocery for their smoked meats.

      1. re: equinoise

        I searched for a breakfast place near Marblemount last week - we went up hiking last Saturday. As far as I could tell, there are no great restaurant options on this route. I have eaten dinner at Buffalo Run and thought it was just tolerable but they don't open until 11 am. We ended up at The Eatery between Rockport and Marblemount. It was unspeakable.

        1. re: bourbongal

          The Iron Skillet in Sedro Woolley might be worth a breakfast stop. But I've only eaten there one, way back.

      2. Old Schoolhouse Brewery in Winthrop has very tasty burgers and damn fine beer (I had the brown). There was a place down the street with tasty ice cream and a very tricky mini-golf course!

        Ive eaten and the Buffalo Run at least twice and was dissapointed by the food and the prices both times. There is a BBQ "shack" up the way near the Shell Gas station I wanted to try but didnt get a chance too. By the way, that Shell station has one of the best beer selections anywhere and especially out in the middle of nowhere!