Hot!West Coast Food Safari: US Hwy 101

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cecif
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/11 15:53:21 (permalink)
wanderingjew

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I'm trying to AVOID that damned "California Cuisine"...I totally disdain it...I bet the person who coined that overused term would be happy with a horse turd on a stick IF it was labeled as "California Cuisine"...and Wandering Jew that is what I consider "fru-fru" food... 

If that's the case then you have an extremely limited definition of what Roadfood is.

Fru Fru food to me is a place you won't be able to step foot in without a tux- not a jacket mind you- but a tux - there are some Roadfood restaurants where a jacket is required - Galatoire's in New Orleans comes to mind-

Ummmm... pot/kettle?!?!?! WJ you know you limit your definition more than most of us!
It's all about perception and we each - as we well know - have our OWN definitions of Roadfood. (We have been down this path many times...)
 
That said, for me 'fru-fru' is a fancy place, a place I can't wear jeans, but not always a place I have to get super dressed up for - a tux is extreme, IMO!
Edit to add that I'm sad about the foul language and the conversation I clearly missed, but always wish people would respect others' opinions! As far as I can tell, BackRhodes has respected others' opinions and I can clearly see why the judgmental and, frankly somewhat mean, posts have upset him. It's one reason I have been infrequent here this last year or two. We used to all show mutual respect and it degenerated. (I'm happy to blame the economy, but it doesn't excuse folks insisting that their opinion is the 'right' one! We all have valid opinions, thank you.)
post edited by cecif - 2011/11/11 16:17:39
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Twinwillow
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/11 16:19:54 (permalink)
Cecif ~ I am very familiar with the Mexican food at Libby's in Philo. We ate there as often as we could. 
She originally cooked at the (forgot the name) hotel restaurant in Booneville. Correct?
Her food is fantastic! Sometimes we'd drive all the way from Healdsburg just to have lunch there. 
 
I wanted to mention Libby's earlier on this thread but I forgot the names and places. But, I never forgot the wonderful food she served. And this coming from someone who lives in Dallas and is exposed to some incredible Mexican food.
 
Thank you for writing about Libby's.
post edited by Twinwillow - 2011/11/11 16:21:41
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/12 09:37:27 (permalink)
i know this is an old message but I just saw it...   Foster's Freeze is NOT dreadful and the food is NOT awful...  just like any chain some are better than others....  but here in the Central Valley of California its a beloved local chain, and I think the food is yummy.  We've been eating at various Fosters for over 30 years now.
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/12 11:12:43 (permalink)
Pismo Beach: Splash Cafe's for their onion rings & bread bowl clam chowder, The Cracked Crab for their bucket (on the table cracking) and fish tacos, Honeymoon Cafe for their breakfast, Giuseppe's Express Deli for a beach picnic, and 
Avila Beach: Joe Mama's coffee, Woodstone Marketplace (Monday - prime rib night!), and The Avila Valley Barn for olallieberry tarts.
San Luis Obispo: Another outpost of Splash Cafe that is great for breakfast, San Luis Fish and BBQ for their halibut and chips (not sure what the BBQ part is), New Frontiers for juicing, Madonna Inn for their hash, Spirit of San Luis at the Airport for their burger, Petra's ironically for their pepperoni pizza, Breakfast Buzz for all day breakfast, and Blue Sky for their beignets. 
Oceano: Old Juan's Cantina for some yummy mexican before or after you drive on the beach.
 
#34
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/12 19:18:02 (permalink)
Twinwillow

Cecif ~ I am very familiar with the Mexican food at Libby's in Philo. We ate there as often as we could. 
She originally cooked at the (forgot the name) hotel restaurant in Booneville. Correct?
Her food is fantastic! Sometimes we'd drive all the way from Healdsburg just to have lunch there. 

I wanted to mention Libby's earlier on this thread but I forgot the names and places. But, I never forgot the wonderful food she served. And this coming from someone who lives in Dallas and is exposed to some incredible Mexican food.

Thank you for writing about Libby's.

Boonville Hotel!   Had fabulous food!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
And Jennifer re: Foster's Freeze, I'm with you on that... I have great childhood memories of stooping at FF in Oakdale (almost) every summer!!!
 
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/15 14:40:05 (permalink)
Bnavarre:  Excellent suggestions...Thank you...!!!
 
Jennifer: It's a magic moment when you get a chocolate dipped cone and the chocolate is still warm and soft...I like the one in Lucerne, but have not been to the one in Lower Lake for many years because I thought they massacred the milk shakes by scraping the walls of the wax paper / plastic cups with the mixer blade...the burgers at the Santa Rosa Fosters on 4th near Farmer Lane always had very good burgers...
 
To the lady that asked "when?" No definate date but perhaps Springtime...???  I don't have any experience at running a food safari, and perhaps somebody who has can offer suggestions...the concept is just too pregant with possibilities to not consider...My idea was to do it and possibly write a book about it... 
 
The hidden backstory:
 
Philo:...I'm "Long John", one of the original DJ's at KZYX-FM, usually heard on my Tubby Tunes radio show, and sometimes in the past as a News Dept reporter when Annie Esposito was N.D.
 
Tubby Tunes is in homage to both (the late) KFAT-FM-Gilroy (LINK) and Warner Bros cartoons...humor is my main motivation...I'm semi retired from it now (I moved to KMUD-FM-Garberville 11+ years ago) but still do fill-ins...KFAT is credited with inventing the "Americana" music format, (and to a lessor extent KVRE-Santa Rosa)...
 
December 19th on KMUD (LINK) I'll be doing my annual Tubby Tunes Holiday Music Massacre...I'll eventually post it on my webby page (LINK) ... This is not yer typical Bing Crosby type of Xmas music, but rather the strange alternatives...I've been doing it since 1989 when KZYX first went on the air...
 
Calistoga was my hometown for quite a long time...Cal Hwy 128 is an old friend...I used to go up to The Geysers when it was still open to the public, and I feel at home whenever I see Mt St Helena...I'll be lunching in Calistoga in 2 days at Cafe Sarifornia...this used to be the Village Green cafe... Friends of mine used to own Nance's in Calistoga...
 
A friend of mine is a caterer based out of Healdsburg...
 
Yeah, MA, UK, & Dallas ARE a long ways away, but it's wonderfull to hear from folks familier with "Mendoland" and "Slow-noma"...
 
BTW...Huell Hauser did a piece about  the origins of Fosters on his California's Gold tv program...I think I still have in on my DVR or on a DVD disk...
 
When we lived in the East Bay, and special company was over, it was take out from Banchero's followed with soft serve from Fosters (2 blocks away)...everybody was happy, and less kitchen cleanup ...
 
Finally, I stumbled across DDD (Drive-in's, Diners, & Dives) by random chance last night, and was watching DDD # 19 (2007) and one of the 3 places he featured was Willie Bird Turkey over there by Sabast-o-apple (Cal Hwy 12 between Santa Rosa & Sabastopol)...they're always top notch and a favorite at the Thursday Night Market (Santa Rosa) which was moved to Wednesday nights...grilled premium turkey drumsticks...not cheap but worth it... they have a dining room on Hwy 12, besides supplying turkeys to regional supermatkets...
 
Boogie onward folks...
 
post edited by BackRhodes - 2011/11/15 14:54:41
#36
Twinwillow
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/15 14:55:05 (permalink)
Outside of Healdsburg in the Alexander Valley, we always enjoyed the "Jimtown Store" in Jimtown.
Mostly sandwiches and a sorta, grocery store selling unique food items.
You could eat there on their outside patio or, take out.
We think they made the best ham around and would always order ham sandwiches with strong Dijon mustard on their delicious french rolls and drive to a nearby winery, buy a bottle of wine and have a picnic. Again, we'd hear that strange noise of our blood pressure coming down.
Click on the link to see this unique vintage store in its current incarnation. NOT SPAM!
http://www.jimtown.com
post edited by Twinwillow - 2011/11/15 17:55:49
#37
BackRhodes
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/15 15:17:08 (permalink)
Ah yes...Jimtown...gateway to 1 of the 2 routes up to The Geysers...
 
Back in the 70's & 80's, before it's current incarnation, it was a very fun, funky country store, crammed to the limit with all sorts of odd stuff...buy a hat, a postcard, a sandwich, or ammunition...
 
In those days BOTH stores in Jimtown catered to us locals, not the tourists like today...
 
(Starting in the in the mid 1980's the tourists were flocking to the "wine country" ALL year long, not just in the summer, and many downtown areas of places like Calistoga, St Helena, Healdsburg changed in look, feel, and function)
 
In it's current incarnation, it's not the same, but it's still very unique, and highly suggested...sometimes you can see vintage cars out front...and vineyard campesinos still eat there and also at the Alexander Valley Store (the other store) ...
 
After the influx of tourists 24/7/365 in the 1980's, we lost the cobbler, baker,  auto parts store, and a few other businesses oriented to the LOCAL Calistoga population...they were replaced by businesses that catered ONLY to the tourist trade, so what were self sufficient towns are now only a shadow of their formers selves... (on a side note: one of the new businesses was a chocolate specialty store that had the disaster of an airconditioning failure during the very hot days of July)
 
But the beautiful  scenery is still there, watched over by Mt St Helena, and yes, it's still is good for city folks to decompress, and for those who dig into the HISTORY there are amzing stories...
 
If one goes in back of the stores in Calistoga you can still see the giant iron window shutters in back of the old Wells Fargo office, used to protect against boom town wildfires (similar to Columbia, CA)...this is on the north side of Lincoln Ave, between the Napa River bridge and Washington St, and an alley leads to the back of the buildings...and the founding of Calistoga IS closely linked to the opening of the west coast frontiers, the Mormans, and the Gold Rush...
 
Although Calistoga has a unique place in our history, there are hundreds of towns along the backroads of our state to explore...
 
And by golly, we sure do need to eat a few times a day during these excursions...
 
PS...just north of Sabastopol on Cal Hwy 16 is Mom's Apple Pie...Yum
 
Another good place for pie is in Murphy's (can't remember the name) in the Mother Lode area of the Sierra's...
post edited by BackRhodes - 2011/11/15 15:24:50
#38
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/15 15:28:43 (permalink)
A radio guy?  What happened to the trains?
 
I happen to love Foster's Freeze.  It was a treat when I was very little and I was devastated when they closed "my" location.  It's a part of my past.
 
With those wonderful chocolate dipped cones, it's a race against the drips!
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/15 15:51:51 (permalink)
I still play with trains, but those days might be ending...my lower back is going downhill again (up and down like a yo-yo...some days are good, some aren't)...so I might apply for "Restricted Fireman" status...I don't know about the Santa Trains in December... cold winds at 20* or less is not good for my back...we'll see what shape my body is in, along with what shape my Jeep is in, plus there's the possibility of being "snowed in" (i'm in the "snow belt" area of  mountains of Mendo Co)...
 
Fosters STARTED in your area...
 
And yeah, it was a contest between licking the chocolate top, and the drips going down from the cone top and running down your hand...
 
I'm now racking my brain to remember where I've had hard packed icecream dipped in chocolate...this might be in the part of my brain that no longer works...I know I've had this but just can't remember where...
 
BTW...have you eaten at a place down there called the "5 Cent Diner"...???   I saw it on DDD last night...
 
#40
mar52
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/15 16:24:56 (permalink)
5 Cent Diner is on my list of must tries.  Don't think I'll be having a bacon topped donut.
 
I still have a Foster's Freeze near me, but it's just not "mine".  I like their fried burritos which are trash food, but oh so good.
 
Back pains are the worst.  I'm already worried about being able to stand the entire time it takes to dice an onion.
#41
Twinwillow
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/15 17:44:32 (permalink)
BackRhodes

Ah yes...Jimtown...gateway to 1 of the 2 routes up to The Geysers...

Back in the 70's & 80's, before it's current incarnation, it was a very fun, funky country store, crammed to the limit with all sorts of odd stuff...buy a hat, a postcard, a sandwich, or ammunition...

In those days BOTH stores in Jimtown catered to us locals, not the tourists like today...

(Starting in the in the mid 1980's the tourists were flocking to the "wine country" ALL year long, not just in the summer, and many downtown areas of places like Calistoga, St Helena, Healdsburg changed in look, feel, and function)

In it's current incarnation, it's not the same, but it's still very unique, and highly suggested...sometimes you can see vintage cars out front...and vineyard campesinos still eat there and also at the Alexander Valley Store (the other store) ...

After the influx of tourists 24/7/365 in the 1980's, we lost the cobbler, baker,  auto parts store, and a few other businesses oriented to the LOCAL Calistoga population...they were replaced by businesses that catered ONLY to the tourist trade, so what were self sufficient towns are now only a shadow of their formers selves... (on a side note: one of the new businesses was a chocolate specialty store that had the disaster of an airconditioning failure during the very hot days of July)

But the beautiful  scenery is still there, watched over by Mt St Helena, and yes, it's still is good for city folks to decompress, and for those who dig into the HISTORY there are amzing stories...

If one goes in back of the stores in Calistoga you can still see the giant iron window shutters in back of the old Wells Fargo office, used to protect against boom town wildfires (similar to Columbia, CA)...this is on the north side of Lincoln Ave, between the Napa River bridge and Washington St, and an alley leads to the back of the buildings...and the founding of Calistoga IS closely linked to the opening of the west coast frontiers, the Mormans, and the Gold Rush...

Although Calistoga has a unique place in our history, there are hundreds of towns along the backroads of our state to explore...

And by golly, we sure do need to eat a few times a day during these excursions...

PS...just north of Sabastopol on Cal Hwy 16 is Mom's Apple Pie...Yum

Another good place for pie is in Murphy's (can't remember the name) in the Mother Lode area of the Sierra's...

 
We discovered Jimtown Store when we bought our vineyard very shortly after they opened.
As a matter of fact Carrie and her late husband catered our open house. 
Back then it was as you described. A quirky little store catering to locals but, with an eclectic, somewhat sophisticated edge the tourists liked.
After looking at the store now on their website, I see the hordes of tourists descending on them as they do everywhere in Napa and Sonoma nowadays.
It's certainly not the quaint little store it was back in the early nineties. But that said, I would still encourage our Roadfood friends to visit them if they're out that way.
 
Btw, we used to shop at the Wholefoods in Sebastopol (they bought out the terrific little organic market that was there before) and while in Sebastopol, we stopped at Mom's Apple Pie often for an afternoon treat. 
#42
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/15 21:50:36 (permalink)
In the 60'a & 70's, walking into the Jimtown Store was like a time machine into the pastprobably hadn't changed for decades until it changed owners in the 1980's (?)...BTW...the way I blew out my lower back was working as a Press Operator (Ironically I don't drink alcohol anymore)...had back surgery over 20 years ago, need more...the good news is that I've always had several "careers" running concurrently...(now I'm just a hillbilly, which is a full time job with 8mm of disk pressing into my spinal cord)...
 
I spent a large part of today working on my webby site, adding stuff to it, so I'm ready to pull the plug...
 
Boogie Onward...
#43
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/20 19:54:02 (permalink)
Jimtown is roughly 5 miles east of US Hwy 101...take the Lytton Springs exit and go east, dogleg south at the "T" to Alexander Valley Rd, then east...
 
Hwy 101 does go through Alexander Valley, but the real soul of it is OFF the freeway, along cal Hwy 128...
 
I was there a few days ago on my way to a lunch date in Calistoga (at Cafe Sarafornia). I had an excellend CFS (Chicken Fried Steak) and a vanilla milkshake...
 
Passing by the Jimtown Store...this looks like an old Ford F1 pickup from the early 1950's...(I first walked in the Jimtown Store around 1957 as a young kid)...
 

 
In the old days (pre-1980's) is was a white colored building, and NO antiques whatsoever (that didn't happen until the yuppy-fication of the 1980's) and was crammed to the ceiling with every type of fishing lure and gun ammo imaginable...
 
meanwhile...
 
The fall colors are getting real intense...these photo's are near Red Winery Rd & Hwy 128...
 

 

 
The REAL magic of US Hwy 101 is often found just a handful fo miles off the highway...
 
This is why I think that REGIONAL guides are a great idea...tell us what's in YOUR backyard...
 
I know Mar knows the LA area pretty good...does anybody here know the San Diego area fairly well (good enough to be a guide)...???
 
Also...more suggestion are welcome...
 
 
post edited by BackRhodes - 2011/11/20 19:59:46
#44
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/20 19:57:46 (permalink)
PS...the Alexander Valley Store (and bar) at the junction of Alexander Valley Rd & Cal Hwy 128 is no longer there...
 
It's now a drab grey colored (wine) tasting room...from the outside it has little appeal...
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Twinwillow
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/20 20:35:58 (permalink)
BackRhodes

PS...the Alexander Valley Store (and bar) at the junction of Alexander Valley Rd & Cal Hwy 128 is no longer there...

It's now a drab grey colored (wine) tasting room...from the outside it has little appeal...

 
Tch, tch, tch. How typical. They didn't stand a chance after as you say, the yuppification of the Jimtown Store and the whole general area starting in the early nineties. We got there in the late eighties. I can still remember shops for stationary supplies and other regular household necessities around Healdsburg's square. Not any more, I'm afraid. 
post edited by Twinwillow - 2011/11/20 20:38:24
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/26 12:20:21 (permalink)
The same thing happened in Calistoga...the local shops and services that made for a fairly self contained town dried up and blew away when the price of retail space doubled...and some like 49 Minute Photo died due to digital cameras...
 
I remember Healdsburg from the old days...and Cloverdale went through major changes when th efreeway bypass went in...
 
I was driving down Hwy 101 last week on my way to Calistoga, and Just as a lark I truned off on Independance Dr to criuse down "Old Red" ( the old Redwood Hwy) and where Souvereign used to be is now Francis Coppala winery (I assume the restuarant is still functioning there). I remember when he got his first start south of St Helena...
 
Now it's winter, the tarp is on my grill, and I'm doing my cooking indoors again...But...this is the time of year I start getting ideas...dangerous ideas...ideas about road trips...I like to really plan things out yet still leave room for sidetrips and explorations...
 
But not today...I have a bunch of stuff to edit from the old KFAT-FM, my 23rd Annual Tubby Tunes Holiday Music Massacre, and soem custom Xmas dvd's, so it's round up time at the digital corral...
 
And lunch will involve Turkey leftovers...
 
 
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/26 12:24:09 (permalink)
Speaking of Healdsburg...did anybody enjoy Angelo's Pizza just of Hwy 101 at the south end of town...???
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/26 12:34:18 (permalink)
YES! We used to eat there all the time! Our home and vineyard was about 2 miles away from Angelo's. On Grapevine Lane off of East Side Road just 1/6 of a mile south of where Old Redwood Highway connected with East Side road.
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/27 01:15:06 (permalink)
I used to work at Piper Sonoma...
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/27 01:18:08 (permalink)
I'm getting the urge to head up Hwy 101 to scout a few places to eat in Humboldt & Del Norte counties...
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/27 11:28:00 (permalink)
I sure do miss that part of the country. Especially the huge Redwoods.
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/28 23:23:24 (permalink)
They're still here anytime you want to see  them again...
 
Just head west until you hit US Hwy 101...
 
Go north until you see a bunch of big  trees...
 
The trees don't get up and walk around at night so I'm fairly certain they'll still be here...
 
Lunch at Catelli's...???
 
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/11/29 00:43:20 (permalink)
Spoke to my good friend in Healdsburg tonight. He owns the big shopping center in Cloverdale. The retail stores there are doing poorly but you can't move in Healdsburg because of all the "one percent" tourists clogging the stores and restaurants.
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/12/01 16:06:11 (permalink)
Furber...???
 
The same thing happened (for a while) in upper Napa Valley...St Helena was clogged with "visitors" and Calistoga still had a bit of "elbow room" inspite of the visitors...
 
I had lunch in Ukiah at a place I have not been to: Ellie's Mut Hut & Vegitarian Cafe on So State St, less than a mile west of Hwy 101 (across from the old Fosters)...and I've driven past this place *many* times, and I was in the mood and in the area yesterday...
 
Hot dogs and vegitarian under the same roof...???  It turns out they serve MANY meat dishes along with vegitarian selections, and they also have a breakfast menu...
 
I had the Polish dog (which had a nice snap to it, was juicy and flavorful) plus a vanilla milkshake...
 
I'm intrigued by this place I've passed by so many times, and think I'd like to try more eats there...
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/12/01 18:10:54 (permalink)
Yes. (Craig) Furber. He was my "next door" neighbor on the lane we lived on in Healdsburg. We've remained good friends and talk as often as we can and still exchange Christmas goodies. Ham's, cookie's, etc. He was telling me his shopping center retail tenants are really having a tough time.
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/12/01 20:56:10 (permalink)
Downtown is probably worse...I remember buying Clover milk at the Clover Market in Clover-dale when I lived there...
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/12/01 21:11:21 (permalink)
My next target in Ukiah is Henny Penny...just west off Hwy 101 at the Gobbi exit...
 
I've eaten there before but can't remember a thing, so I guess it wasn't  good or bad last time I was there, or else I'd remember...
 
 
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/12/05 00:05:54 (permalink)
Santa Cruz has a really nice Italian restaurant, Caffe Lucio. Good food, very entertaining atmosphere and very nice Tiramisu.
 
I know I am the new guy here, but suggesting Foster's Freeze and In and Out for a food safari? Seriously? I thought the goal was to avoid chains. I know it is always my goal.
 
As far as doing 101, do you mean 101 or HWY 1, with 101 when necessary? If so, what are the most north and south you would want to do? How long do you want to spend at it?
 
#59
smokestack lightning
Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 301
  • Joined: 2009/02/16 01:13:00
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
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Re:West Coast Food Safari...??? 2011/12/05 22:31:54 (permalink)
GotBaddog

I know I am the new guy here, but suggesting Foster's Freeze and In and Out for a food safari? Seriously? I thought the goal was to avoid chains. I know it is always my goal.


Welcome to Roadfood. If you read the entire thread you will see I have already made the comments about In and Out and Foster's Freeze. You will find many different views and tastes here. Some people are interested in revisiting the places they are nostalgic for regard;less of whether they are chains or mediocre.
 
You will also find people who think Roadfood has to be cheap, and are not interested in much beyoind burgers, dogs, pizza, etc.
 
In California, sushi, Mexican food, Asian food, etc is much more interesting than chains for dipped cones that can be found anywhere.
 
Just my opinion.
#60
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