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Interesting eats along I-80 between SF and Auburn?

  • b

On I-80 between SF and Auburn, what are some interesting places to eat? I'm talking about a quick stop along the freeway, nothing in downtown Sacramento or anything far off the road.

Redrum Burger in Davis comes to mind.

I hear there was a place called the Vintage Sweet Shoppe which sold cookies using the old Nut Tree recipe, but I haven't been able to find them.

Suggestions of curious places to stop?

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  1. I don't know the cookie place, ( Vintage Sweet Shops at 1663 Monte Vista

    The strip mall where the Nut Tree used to be?)

    but try

    http://putahcreekcafe.com/ in Winters and

    http://www.pholeehoaphat.com/ in Vacaville

    1 Reply
    1. re: Shrinkrap

      Winters is WAAY off the route requested. Perhaps you are confusing Winters and Dixon? (but Putah Creek Cafe is indeed in Winters. Good choice if heading up towards Redding, however.)

      1. re: Cynsa

        Note that the one in Davis just sells produce, jams, and such. Worth a stop though! The Auburn one has burgers, etc.

        1. re: hyperbowler

          burgers and pie, oh my. This is our road stop between SF and Donner Lake.

      2. Based on when you want to eat, I think the question is more appropriate for the California board.

        One note though--- "Redrum Burger" and "quick" don't belong in the same sentence, or even webpage. It gets a lot more love from out of towners than locals, probably because of its name. There's an In N' Out across the street if you're in a super rush. Davis's better food would steer you a bit more off course timewise.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hyperbowler

          It is true that Redrum is not exactly speedy, but I personally find it to be *much* faster than Ikeda for an actual meal, and I like their burgers better. (and they have ostrich burgers and such.) Redrum's strawberry shakes in season are excellent. And their fries put In N' Out to absolutely shame. However, Ikeda is worth a stop for pie and for roadfood snacks.

          1. re: susancinsf

            One option would be to call in an order to Redrum burger, but I used to do that a few times a year, and even still have to wait 20 minutes or so after it was supposed to be ready. Not sure if the service has gotten any better as of late...

            I definitely agree about Redrum's superior fries. Their ZOOM, deep-fried zucchini, onions, & mushrooms, are also wonderful greasy goodness.

        2. Here's a recent discussion about Vientiane in West Sac.

          1. About a half mile west of 80 on Arden Way

            Chando’s – mulitas, tacos de rajas
            863 Arden Way Sacramento, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: PolarBear

              bein picky here PB...west of Business 80, so a bit of a back track from I-80...be forewarned, can be sticky at high traffic commute times.

              1. re: toodie jane

                Stopped in again last trip north, under two minutes each way from 80. One caution, if returning to east (Reno) bound 80 need to pay close attention approaching the on ramp, there is a cross over with Arden Way traffic wanting to get on west bound 80.

            2. here's a link to recent posts about Rocklin/Loomis area: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/871640

              1. In Vacaville is Hisiu, a Japanese steakhouse that I like a lot. Old school sushi boat. Good stuff and lot of fun.

                The Mel's in Pinole is great, much better than Me'ls is usually. Don't know why but this one has really good diner fare.

                Diamo in Richmond has amazing noodle soups.

                The Golden Dragon in Rocklin is the best chinese anywhere. Lots of threads about it here.

                1. High Hand Nursery in Loomis is amazing. Either in the conservatory or at the outdoor bar area. There is also a great almost old fashioned deli on site.

                  Great spot. Art, nursery, amazing food. Love it.

                  Less than a mile off the 80 at the Horseshoe bar exit.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bennyboy1

                    Wow! And I spent MANY an evening at Jimbos,waiting for my son to finish soccer practice.

                  2. I was recently in Vacaville for a couple of days. Based on the rec in this post we tried pho lee hoa phat. The restaurant was fairly full, the service was quick, and the soups were OK. The pho noodles were not badly clumped and the broth was light, but adequate. We actually preferred the hu tieu, which benefited from a more complex and fuller tasting broth. Garnishes were OK. The spring rolls, on the other hand, were mediocre. Nonetheless, overall, we enjoyed.

                    Also had a take-out meal at Clay Oven (on Orange along I 80). Very good. the naan was adequate, and garlic naan, very garlicy. the bhaigan bharta had good spicing, though lacking the charred/roasted quality that I really love. The chicken biiryani was pretty standard and good. Our favorite was the Kadai prawns, which were deeply flavored and surprisingly tasty. The dishes could be ordered mild, medium, or spicy. I appreciated that the mild was still spicy, and we found the medium to be plenty hot for our palates. We had a bit of a wait for the food to go, but we thought the food was better than what we could reasonably expect.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Ed Dibble

                      Back in Vacaville for a couple more days, we tried both places again. I was less impressed with Clay Oven. Kadai prawns seemed smaller and overcooked, but we enjoyed the potato/cauliflower veggie dish. Chili chicken was adequate. On the other hand, pho lee hoa phat was a better experience. I went with bun with bbq pork (adequate) and egg roll (just OK), but the bun itself and garnishes were good. Tina loved the hu tieu again, and the chicken wing appetizer was excellent. Again the place was packed. Right next door is a small Thai place, which we didn't have opportunity to try.

                      1. re: Ed Dibble

                        I go to one or both every week. sometimes both on the same day! But I almost always get the same thing ( #2 Pho at pho lee hoa, Pad-Kai-Sub at the Thai place), so I don't have much of a review to offer.

                        The Thai place is Tom Yum.


                        Used to be on Monte Vista until somebody drove though the window.

                        I prefer Rose Garden's larb.

                    2. Well, this is all the way IN Auburn, but a friend who was stranded there on the way to Reno recently (bad snowstorms) had good things to say about Joe Caribe's (near Ikeda's, I gather....). Souds like its Caribbean-Mexican fusion. I've never eaten there, but it souds like it might be worth a stop. Several people on another site raved about the fish tacos, and since that's DH's favorite we may have to stop and check it out sometime.....

                      1. I'm not sure if it's too late to reply (I just noticed this discussion), but I recommend Taqueria Maria in Roseville.

                        It's about 1 1/2 min off the freeway, but beware that Google Maps shows a longer, non-optimum route to get there.

                        The restaurant's address is on Cirby Way, but if you enter from Riverside Blvd it's quicker and easier to get there from the freeway.

                        1. Since this old thread was just revived, let me add a new find: Mehfil Indian Restaurant on Douglas Blvd. just off the freeway. It is standard North Indian fare, but everything is tasty and freshly prepared...definitely a step above average. We stopped there for dinner the other night and found that it might be the perfect stop on trips back from the Bay Area to Reno: accessible, moderately priced, and with attentive and rapid service. We will definitely keep it in the rotation.....Bonus points for an excellent (and "picante") green chili chutney and a good onion salad.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: janetofreno

                            For those who don't know I-80 as well as you, that would be Douglas Blvd exit in Roseville I believe.

                            1. re: susancinsf

                              That's right; specifically, the Douglas Blvd East exit.

                              If you take the other Douglas Blvd exit, you get to take a side trip to Trader Joes.

                              1. re: susancinsf

                                Yes, sorry, I forgot to say that the restaurant is in Roseville. My bad....

                              2. re: janetofreno

                                Thanks so much for posting this. We ended up at Mehfil on the way back to Berkeley from the Yuba River. It hit the spot & was definitely a cut above, as you said. Service was good although I wouldn't say it was particularly rapid. Not slow, just not notably fast either. We were very happy, overall.

                              3. Nectar Cafe vegan restaurant in Auburn, about 0.5 miles off the freeway.

                                I like their food, and I'm not vegan.