North of SanFrancisco
los Bagels makes pretty good bagels, bakery stuff, and deli/sandwich items for the bagels ; they have bakeries in Eureka and Arcata. not the usual chain store bagels, but with the traditional chewy consistency. we didn't have much trouble finding decent eats in that part of the state when we visited.
I saw July's issue of Sunset Magazine about "Roadtrip Eateries".. In Legget, The Peg House
69501 US Hwy 101 707-925-6444.Supposed to have really great burgers. In the same article was K & R Drive 201 Long John Rd, Rice Hill, Oregon. 541-849-2570 46 miles South of Eugene on Hwy 5 can't miss it S side! - known for their Umqua ice cream shakes. Had a chocolate one. Also had lunch food. Stick to the shakes, they were delish.
(Hubby and I just drove from Santa Clarita to Seattle and back staying in places along the 5)
The Beachcomber 1400 Highway 101 South, Crescent City, CA 95531. Awesome parmesan crusted halibut and tangerine wheatbeer. Mixed reviews so get there early for the view. Good value lovely food don't be put off by the look of the place. Also mini chain of Black Bear diners good for lunch en route.
In Gualala, we went to Bones Roadhouse on August 13. The place was packed, but it's relatively small. Our party of seven had to wait about 20 minutes, but it went quickly. Once seated, we ordered six different items: Dinosaur Meat Pop (a single Fred Flintstone-style smoked beef shortrib), a grilled ahi sandwich, 1/2 lb cheeseburger, New Mexico Chop (mixed smoked and chopped meats), Texas beef brisket, and a Captain's Platter of fried clam strips, fish, and shrimp, plus a couple of cups of clam chowder.
Of those, we deemed the ahi sandwich and chowder to be sub-par (IOW, a mistake to order them). The grilled ahi sandwich was meh and the flavor of the ahi was overpowered by the spread (supposed to be wasabi aioli, but we didn't detect any hint of wasabi). The chowder was salty and may have come from a can.
The other mains were all two thumbs up. The smoked meats had a good smoke flavor and smoke ring, the hamburger was ginormous, and the clam strips were surprisingly tasty. The sides were a mixed bag. The mac and cheese tasted as if it came from a box and the cole slaw was standard diner fare. The beans (I forget which kind we got) got raves, however, as did the corn bread (actually more like muffins).
I would recommend Bones Smokehouse, but stick to the meats.
39350 S Highway 1, Gualala, CA 95445