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Dec 11, 2010 10:14 AM

Traveling from PDX to Del Mar, California-looking for diners I must stop at at or near I-5

I will be heading from Anchorage, Alaska landing at PDX then traveling along I-5 to a National Specialty Dog Show in April. Any dining and tourist stops I need to make would be appreciated. We will be stopping at Pine State Biscuits to start our journey and ultimately Pink's as we near the end of our journey to SoCal. Thanks everyone!

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      1. re: rld00442

        Try the San Francisco and Los Angeles boards too. They handle the surrounding counties for your trip.

    1. well, its not adiner, but if you are driving through Mt Shasta on a Friday or Saturday, Mt Shasta Supermarket cooks ribs and tri-tip outside that is ..just the best. The beef is Prather ranch, and oh my, it is just so, so good. Only two table outside to eat at, but you could take yoru food to the city park nearby.

      1. Here's a recent thread to get you started. Notice that the option of taking Hwy 99 south from Sacramento really opens up your options and frequency of places.

        For northern CA search this board (or Google with "chowhound" + a town's name) for
        Yreka, Mt. Shasta, Dunsmuir, Redding, Red Bluff, and Chico (actually east on 99).

        If you stay on I-5 after Sacramento you'll be pretty much limited to the Stockton area @ 45 min south, another 100 mi south Los Banos is 7 mi east of i-5, another 100 mi and Avenal is a few mi west of i-5, and finally Buttonwillow for a couple of small ethnic places another 80 mile. After that you'll be heading over the Grapevine into the LA Basin. There is an In-N-Out somewhere along the previously mentioned stretch after Los Banos and some chains in Kettleman City where Hwy 41/46 crosses I-5.

        Apricot shakes where Panoche Rd crosses 5 south of the Los Banos turnoff is popular for a sweet fix.

        Check the LA Board for everything once you're over the Grapevine from Santa Carita to the southern end of Orange County (San Clemente) and the San Diego Board from Oceanside to the Mexican border.

        If you have certain chowstops in LA that are of interest you but aren't close to I-5 keep in mind there's several options through the basin that will reconnect you with I-5, the 405 swings parallel to the south, and the 210 / 57 around the northern edge. Cross connecting them are the 110, 710, and the 605 which makes is fairly easy to get to most of the numerous cultural cuisine centers.

        Have a great trip and be sure to report back.

        5 Replies
        1. re: PolarBear

          Just to mention that the area from Sacramento south to Fresno was home to a large Southeast Asian migration in the past 25 years, so lots of Thai, Lao, Vietnamese joints for the local communities. Very solid home-style cooking in older neighborhoods of those towns. Search those town names here onthe Calif board (consult a good map) and you will find threads about the best chow available in each location.

          I like Pho Lucky in Stockton, about 10 minutes east of Highway 5 on W Hammer Lane, at El Dorado, in an older chopping cneter with several other Asian businesses. Can be bustling at lunchtime, but service is good.

          Mexican fast food can be found at Taco Trucks parked in the odd city parking lot or along the highway at interchanges. Usually catering to local field workers and local truck drivers, the food is usually very good. Simple items like tacos, sandwiches (tortas) burritos, quesadillas, soups, menudo, etc.. and usually quite reasonably priced. Workingman's food.

          Lucky Pho Restaurant
          8034 N El Dorado St, Stockton, CA 95210

          1. re: PolarBear

            Second the recommendation to take Highway 99. It splits from I-5 in Sacramento and rejoins the interstate just south of Bakersfield, so you're not really adding to your trip. I-5 runs through relatively unpopulated areas - good for making time, bad for finding chow.

            Sacramento is a good place to find whatever kind of food your heart desires. More specific questions will get you more recommendation, or you can just search here for more info.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              99 can be a pretty beat-up road, though, south of Sac. It gets all the local short-haul trucking, so can be congested near interchanges and on/off ramps.

              If the OP is not in need of a more than a lunch chow break, I would not rec switching to 99 (the old original north south highway with a roadbed that dates to the late 50's early 60's) for a bookin' trip such as this one. On a more leisurely drive? Sure. But f they're starting out at Anderson, decent chow for lunch can be had along I-5.

              1. re: toodie jane

                Point well taken. OTOH, I-5 has more of the long-haul traffic. I've driven both more times than I can count, and as far as congestion it seems like six of one and half a dozen of the other. 99 chokes up more at rush hour, I-5 has more off-hour traffic. And they both have rough patches.

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  Must be the patch I drive on 99 from Grant Line Rd to Manteca. Yikes! Sorta like the Bayshore (101) on the Peninsula. ooph! ouch! oh!

                  yet 1-5 from Santa Nella to Sac is mostly good. 'cept the congestion near Tracy. Then it's inside lane, foot-to-the-floor-get-me-past Stockton-in-one-piece. ....and I-5 has Wolfsen's so let's face it, I'm biased!

          2. Here are a few:
            1) The Morning Glory in Ashland. Breakfast and Lunch. Easy to get to from 5. Take Exit 14, go West to Siskiyou Blvd, right turn go less than 1/4 mile, and its a house just adjacent to a Subway.
            2) Jack's Grill in Redding. Old steakhouse (started in 1936, and not changed). Funky and old, but excellent food, and a good bar. Its on California Street. Definitely worth the stop.
            3) Wool Grower's in Los Banos. Classic old Basque style...609 H Street, Los Banos
            4) Wolfson's Meat in Gustine, CA A short drive off I-5, but worth it for lunch (They make great sausage sandwiches.
            Lesser places, but still worth knowing about. Burgerville, USA Several in the NW but the one we stop at is in Albany, OR. about a mile to the West at exit 233. Looks like fast food burger joint, but they will make things that are grown locally in season. (for ex. fried local asparagus in the spring. cobbler with local berries in the summer )
            Then at same exit, but just across to the east to first light, and then right down about 1/3 mile to Allann Bros. coffee. Area coffee roaster....makes the best coffee on I-5.

            Wool Growers Restaurant
            609 H St, Los Banos, CA 93635

            Jack's Grill
            1743 California St, Redding, CA 96001

            2 Replies
            1. re: stan D

              I'd add this caveat about Morning Glory...on the weekends it gets very very crowded, long waits, frazzled staff, etc. In Yreka,CA Gold Rush Burgers is tremendous, only open for lunch, wonderful Prather Ranch burgers, house made onion rings. Zero ambience and fox News runs on the tv continuously, but great food. Take central Yreka exit, turn left onto Main St, about a mile down on the left -it's an old gas station.

              Gold Rush Burgers
              1240 S Main St, Yreka, CA 96097

              1. re: karenfinan

                Thanks for that rec for Gold Rush in Yreka. And I agree on the Morning Glory weekends. Worth the stop any other time, though.

            2. You'll be driving through Sacramento on I-5, I'd recommend one of my favorite Chinese restaurants: cf cheng (no, not pf chang). It's just off I-5, very convenient. Be sure to order from the "Hong Kong" menu. My favorite dish is the beef brisket in clear broth. They also make an excellent tofu with salted fish pot dish.

              Cf Cheng Chinese Cuisine
              2063 Arena Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95834