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Driving to Lake Tahoe

guru533 Jan 18, 2011 03:17 PM

Was hoping for some suggestions on good places to eat right off I-80. Driving up to Lake Tahoe and usually we just stop at In-n-Out in Auburn, but wanted to try some new places.

  1. t
    teleme Mar 6, 2011 03:21 PM

    I really like Joe's Caribe Cafe, which is next to Ikeda's. An Auburn friend told me about this place. Apparently they recently moved from a more obscure location -- more obscure to highway drivers, anyway.

    Really good fish and prawn tacos, lots of other caribbean-style dishes including fantastic sides and a burrito with sweet potato puree (!), and some outstanding ginger ales. And very friendly service.

    What's not to like?

    1 Reply
    1. re: teleme
      c oliver Mar 6, 2011 03:44 PM

      Sounds good. Here's a link.


    2. c oliver Feb 11, 2011 05:42 PM

      Okay,, don't laugh at me. You live in SF and I'm recommending a Sichuan place. Golden Dragon in Rocklin (of all places) is just simply outstanding by any standards. Ask for the "special menu." Right off the freeway.


      Off topic slightly but if I gotta say for such a short trip (and don't forget you can have monster traffic in either direction) I'd just haul butt up and back. In N Out would be slow :)

      10 Replies
      1. re: c oliver
        PolarBear Feb 11, 2011 06:28 PM

        Don't feel bad, they didn't believe me (and I'm sure laughed like hell at the hick from Fresburg) when I told them their beloved Bocusse d'Or award winner Chef Liu, formerly of China Village, was in fact proprietor of our wonderful Hunan here in the central valley. Ah yes, revenge is a dish best served cold, in fact our friend Yimster turned me on to the Chinese version, something to the effect that the wise man will wait many years to deliver a comeupance. ; >P

        1. re: PolarBear
          c oliver Feb 11, 2011 06:33 PM

          Gotta get Yimster to stop in Rocklin :) Maybe we could 'gather' at alanbarnes and have a meal. Hey, alan, whaddya think???

          1. re: c oliver
            alanbarnes Feb 11, 2011 11:09 PM

            Name the time.

          2. re: PolarBear
            yimster Feb 12, 2011 07:44 AM

            Actually the real version is A wise man who seeks revenge will find it sweeter as more time has passed.

            Great food is were you find it.

            Believe it or not I have driven great distance for great food. My yearly trips to Vancouver and China for the real deal in great food. I only hope someday I can do more great food but I need to get healthier before that.

            Twenty year ago there was a great Chinese place in Hanford with a wine cellar to die for. I remember Mrs yimster all the way down tell me I was a dummy and on the return trip asking is a low tone of voice when are we going again.

            When I the 9er's were in Rocklin I would stop to watch them. So it is a possilbe future chowdown. But after I finish my required meals for CNY here in the Bay Area. 14 down and 6 to go.

            1. re: yimster
              PolarBear Feb 12, 2011 08:05 AM

              "...there was a great Chinese place in Hanford..."

              Ah yes, the Imperial Dynasty, many fond memories. They carried on with the American menu for a couple of decades after discontinuing their Chinese fare, before closing for good a few years back, irrc. Their wine cellar was legendary.

              Imperial Dynasty
              406 China Aly, Hanford, CA 93230

              1. re: PolarBear
                yimster Feb 12, 2011 09:53 AM

                Thanks for remembering the name. I was thinking of Imperial Palace, which was wrong. As my cousin still says I am like a bad penny I have been everywhere for good food. If memory serves me well was the owner and master of the wine cellar from Washington DC?

                1. re: yimster
                  PolarBear Feb 12, 2011 10:07 AM

                  Richard Wing and family, here's a great article from last October:


          3. re: c oliver
            PolarBear Feb 12, 2011 06:03 AM

            For some reason the autolink won't cooperate. It's located just west of Hwy 80 north of the Rocklin Rd. exit.

            Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant
            4800 Granite Dr. #B2, Rocklin, CA
            (916) 632-9542

            1. re: PolarBear
              alanbarnes Feb 12, 2011 07:04 AM


              Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant
              4800 Granite Dr. #B2, Rocklin, CA 95677

              1. re: alanbarnes
                PolarBear Feb 12, 2011 07:11 AM

                Guess you gotta be a local to make it work! ; >P

          4. s
            souvenir Feb 3, 2011 12:58 PM

            A few miles before Auburn, Newcastle Produce is right off I-80 and has a nice, small-ish array of in-house sandwich and deli items and baked goods. Their local produce is also really good and clearly labeled.


            1. g
              guru533 Jan 21, 2011 08:39 AM

              That's one of the reasons why I love living in the Bay Area so much. We got Lake Tahoe and Yosemite in a less than half day drive away.

              Thanks for all the tips. Le Bilig Kitchen does look pretty good. Looks like its not open for lunch on the weekends, so I might try to go on the way back for an early dinner.

              I checked out Katrina's Cafe on Yelp and it looks pretty good. Will probably do that for brunch on the way there, hopefully its not too crowded.

              I have been Ikeda's a couple of times already, sorry forgot to mention that. In and Out and Ikeda's are the only places I have been in my 20 or so trips up there, so was hoping to check out some new places. These suggestions sound great, thanks all.

              2 Replies
              1. re: guru533
                glbtrtr Jan 21, 2011 10:30 AM

                Please come back and tell us what you learn and take one extra deep whiff of that heavy pine scented air for me when you open your car door after arrival in Tahoe- that is always my best memory.

                1. re: guru533
                  bclevy Feb 4, 2011 04:16 PM

                  Le Bilig Kitchen closed last summer. The owners went back to France.
                  I also would like to point out that for those of us in the Sacramento area,
                  going to Lake Tahoe does not necessarily mean following I80 to go to
                  North Tahoe/Truckee. If you follow Hway 50 towards South Tahoe
                  you could stop in Placerville and the Apple Hill area. In Placerville,
                  Zachary Jacques is a reasonably good restaurant.

                2. r
                  RevrendAndy Jan 20, 2011 07:42 AM

                  Ikeda's, in Auburn, may be a fun stop. It's a fruit stand and burger bar. They have good produce and some interesting prepared foods. You can purchase some stuff to stock the Tahoe larder, and enjoy a burger and fruit shake at the same time.


                  1. PolarBear Jan 19, 2011 02:44 PM

                    Great breakfasts and lunches.

                    Katrina's Cafe
                    456 Grass Valley Highway
                    Auburn, CA 95603
                    (530) 888-1166

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: PolarBear
                      toodie jane Jan 30, 2011 05:38 PM

                      2nd Katrina's. It's small and parking is best down the street in a discreet corner of the shopping center, but food is copious and very good, lots of inspired daily specials. Kid frinedly? Tt's a tight cafe, but everybody is very friendly. A local's place. Open for breakfast and lunch only, closed Mon I think.

                      1. re: toodie jane
                        gmk1322 Jan 30, 2011 08:36 PM

                        I LOVE Katrina's! If you are a pancake person the lemon yogurt pancakes are a MUST!

                        Note: Unless things have changed it was cash only when I last ate there a year ago.

                        1. re: gmk1322
                          nancyhudson Feb 2, 2011 07:10 PM

                          4th Katrinas, but at Auburn you're so close to Truckee and there's lots of great places there, too. Search the board for Truckee - you'll find lots.

                          1. re: nancyhudson
                            Sarah Feb 2, 2011 07:44 PM

                            No, from Auburn, you're still pretty far away from Truckee, especially depending on weather and traffic (and kids). Best to food up in Auburn...

                            1. re: Sarah
                              glbtrtr Feb 2, 2011 08:25 PM

                              Agree, after Auburn the driving can get slow and treacherous in the winter. Have food also in the car with you as well as in your tummy.

                              1. re: glbtrtr
                                Tripeler Feb 2, 2011 11:58 PM

                                Yes, Auburn to Truckee can be as little as an hour, or as long as a day. It mostly depends on the weather. When there is snow, be sure to carry chains.

                                1. re: Tripeler
                                  guru533 Feb 3, 2011 07:27 PM

                                  Thanks for the replies all. Will definitely try Katrinas and hope there is not a wait that day. Didn't know about the cash only policy, really good to know. Unfortunately our last planned trip had to be postponed because my daughter got sick, so planning to go up in a couple of weeks.

                    2. g
                      glbtrtr Jan 18, 2011 03:58 PM

                      Where are you starting from and when are you leaving, when do you want to arrive, going to North Shore or South Shore Tahoe, and when do you think you want to stop to eat? Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, tea time break?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: glbtrtr
                        guru533 Jan 19, 2011 12:01 PM

                        I'm starting from San Francisco on a Saturday and coming back Sunday, so a one day trip. Plan to leave in the morning around 8am, so hoping to stop somewhere for brunch on the way. Probably around Sacramento or Auburn, since that is around the halfway point. I will have a 1 year old with me, so hoping somewhere children friendly. Also want a place that is close to the freeway, as I don't want to make a too long detour. On the way back, hoping to grab an early dinner, probably around the same area. Thanks in advance for any advice.

                        1. re: guru533
                          glbtrtr Jan 19, 2011 01:42 PM

                          Thanks for providing more details. That will really help others to give you their best advice. BTW: Lucky you to go to Tahoe and have it only four hours away. This brings back memories about having chains put on outside Auburn once which is pretty low on Hwy 80 to close it down to chains only traffic. Hope someone recommends just the right spot for you though my own recollections are now very out-dated and when driving that distance it was always a MacDonalds drive thru and my favorite Fishwich sandwich with fries and a coke for that route. I wanted to get there and not stop too long along the way.

                          In searching Auburn, this crepe place Le Bilig Kitchen got some recommendations but I have no personal experience with it: http://lebiligkitchen.com/menu_main.h...

                      2. Tripeler Jan 18, 2011 03:36 PM

                        Better to post this on the California board.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Tripeler
                          guru533 Jan 18, 2011 03:44 PM

                          Thanks Tripeler for the advice. First time posting and didn't even see the general California board.

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