Restaurants: Road Trip Style

I love food. There’s really no ifs, ands, or buts here. I feel like a big part of a trip is eating at new places. The Greek in me insists that the best way to get to know a culture is through food. Taking people to restaurants I love is part of my love language. As you know, cooking is a big passion of mine – I don’t even mind the clean up process afterwards. Going out is just fun. There’s no shopping, cooking, getting things messy, clean up… For me at least. And I get to try things I don’t really cook. Whenever I go on any trip, I tend to research places to eat beforehand and keep a list. I didn’t do this for this trip. It felt too overwhelming. Trying to put the trip together, get everything at work in order… It was too much to ALSO figure out some restaurants. A lot of these ended up being “Hey we drove past this place earlier and it seemed good” or “I just yelp’d something right now and this place has good reviews” or even “Okay I don’t know where that place is cause my map is being weird but this OTHER place we just drove past looks good”. There was a lot of “get up and go on this trip”. Food wasn’t any different.

Klamath, CA

Photo from TripAdvisor

This was our first non-RV cooked food stop. We had planned an adventure day that day which wasn’t working out (you can read all about that here) due to the absolutely pouring rain. We hungrily drove around, looking for options. We had passed this diner on our way to a grocery store earlier that week and Jacob had commented that that place was where he wanted to become a regular at. I stayed in the car (which was surrounded by emus??) with Sidney while Jacob ordered for us. He said the staff was so nice. We both got cheese burgers with fries – I was CRAVING a cheeseburger. It was heaven. Maybe it was the annoyance at the rain, hanger, having had to cook in an RV for days, or just that it was genuinely that delicious. I don’t know but it was one of the best fries I’ve had in a long time. We ate in our car, listening to the rain falling (this was when we were still entranced by the rain). If I ever find myself in Kalamath again, I’d absolutely stop here! You can find out more about the Log Cabin Diner here.

Photo from Yelp

I love seafood. Seafood is the number one reason I could never go vegetarian. I could happily live off seafood. This small shop is on the side of Highway 101. When someone’s sign claims they have the best smoked salmon, you have to stop. We got some smoked salmon because they were out of salmon jerky (which seems to be a norm for them according to their Yelp page). The smoked salmon was fantastic, but a bit pricy. Although, historically, I’ve only been gifted smoked salmon so you can’t trust me when it comes to pricing. You can find out more about Paul’s Famous Smoked Salmon here.

Crescent City, CA

Photo from Yelp

The day we were leaving Klamath to go to Gold Beach, the sun finally made its appearance. We found a brewery in Crescent City and made our way there. Typically, breweries allow dogs so we try to go to those places. It was even better since no one else was outside so our social pup just sun baked instead. Although, beware if you eat outside here. Someone is clearly feeding the birds here. They were really ballsy! I’m pretty sure they would have taken the food right off my plate if we had let them. Which… would have been fine because the food was pretty blah. Jacob got the fish & chips (something he can’t not get if it’s on the menu) and I got the fish tacos. I could have been eating cardboard for all I knew. It was incredibly unflavored. It was so unflavored that I really feel like they must have only cooked everything in water. The fish & chips were both pretty good and the beer was fantastic! So really, it could have just been a one off with the tacos. You can find out more about Seaquake Brewing here.

Gold Beach, OR

Photo from Yelp

This was a stumble upon location. I didn’t feel like making coffee that morning so we simply needed somewhere to get a coffee. We were already at this location because we were checking out the vintage bookstore. I’ve probably said this somewhere on this blog but I have to say it again… Oregon had the nicest people. Every place we went, everyone was just so friendly! This cafe was no different. We ended up getting delicious Mexican Mochas and some pastries (a blueberry muffin and a giant chocolate chip cookie). Everything was tasty but it was just made better by the woman working there. This place had some good vibes. Make sure to grab something from the cafe when you visit this bookstore! You can find out more about the Gold Beach Books & Art Gallery Cafe here.

Photo from Yelp

Jacob will try any and all BBQ places. If your restaurant boasts being a BBQ place, Jacob will eat there. He has pretty high standards for his BBQ too. This place had some great reviews so we gave it a shot. I would like to say one thing to BBQ spots – why can’t you make good mac and cheese? I’ve had “good for being a BBQ place” mac and cheese but not GOOD mac and cheese at a BBQ place. I understand that I have very high mac and cheese standards (thanks to Homeroom and my dad’s mac and cheese) but I’ve never once been impressed with BBQ mac and cheese. Sure, you can argue that that’s not the reason you get BBQ but why offer it if it’s going to be mediocre at best. I digress. The BBQ itself was fantastic! Very flavorful, falling off the bone type of BBQ. The corn bread was moist (sorry), which is always a hit or miss with BBQ. Unfortunately, they did forget both the BBQ sauce and mac and cheese on our initial order (Jacob went back the next day and got a mac and cheese side) – so 100% make sure to check your order before you leave the location! I’d go back here if I’m ever in Gold Beach for sure. You can skip the mac and cheese though. You can find out more about Gold Beach BBQ here.

Glide, OR

Photo from Yelp

This might be one of my favorite coffee shops ever. Seriously, click on the link below and check our the vibes. Because they are fantastic. Plus, the food AND drinks are great too. It’s a 10/10 place that I wish was here and everything I want in a coffee shop. We spent a morning at this cafe, working on a rainy day. Sidney stayed in the car, with frequent visits to the front window – to everyone’s delight. You can find out more about The Atom Bistro and Cafe here.

Roseburg, OR

Photo from Yelp

They don’t take “gathering” lightly. I could tell that this location was a very popular meeting location for long time friends. All around us, there were friends catching up over cups of coffee. Our laptop hidden faces were a rarity here. Which I loved. Back in the day, I used to meet my friend Kaitlin for coffee all the time. She had left Michael’s to go to an office job and I was still finishing up college. Those were some of my favorite days. Coffee shop catch ups are my favorite. This location had unique choices. I got the Honey Cinnamon Latte – which you should only get if you LOVE honey. I like honey. I don’t LOVE honey… apparently. We both got a breakfast burrito (Jacob got bacon, I got tofu) and both were tasty. It was a pretty calm and peaceful place in what is probably a popular part of town during the weekends. You can find out more about Gathering Grounds Coffee House here.

Portland, OR

Photo from Yelp

We lucked out on a nice Portland day. Which is good because we worked at this cafe for part of our work day. We only got coffee here and it was good! The inside had a very cool, warehouse thing going for it and so many people stopped to pet Sidney. We even got to meet another hound/pit mix (a 9 year old grey boy). The only bummer about this place was the bathroom situation. There’s 1. I know that with spacing and the way the building is and yada yada yada you can only do what you can only do but this space is huge and there’s ONE BATHROOM which was occupied for about 7 minutes while I waited and then finally gave up. You can find out more about Coava Coffee here.

Photo from Yelp

I have heard about this place for YEARS. I have heard about how amazingly delicious it is. But. It’s just biscuits so I set my expectations low in order to not be disappointed. This place delivered. I can’t even describe how delicious this place was. The biscuits really just melt in your mouth and the sausage gravy they use is heavenly. It’s incredibly filling (so don’t let your eyes order for you). The staff is also very nice. Since there was an outdoor area, Sidney was allowed and she was being unusually calm. The staff brought out a big piece of bacon and said, “This is for the very good pups”. So it’s safe to say that this was probably Sidney’s favorite food location of the trip. You can find out more about Pine State Biscuits here.

Forks, WA

Photo from Tripadvisor

Listen. We all know I went to Forks because of Twilight and it was cool to say that I’ve been to Forks (actually I’ve been twice now). Wonderful. But I’m telling you, it was slim pickings for lunch choices on a Wednesday here. We found this pizza place and Jacob is always down for pizza (and BBQ). This location looks like it used to be a house that was turned into a pizza joint. Which, I can’t complain about. When we walked in, I immediately wanted to walk out but it would have been very awkward so we persisted. Besides, even crappy pizza is still pretty good. I was pleasantly surprised by this place! We both just got slices of pepperoni. The dough was really fluffy and tasty. The cheese and pepperoni were good quality and it was cooked perfectly. Sure, it was a little greasy but for the price we paid, I’d totally snag pizza from there again. Quick, easy, cheap, and tasty. What’s not to love? You can find out more about Home Slice Take N Bake here.

Photo from Tripadvisor

Boy does Washington love their drive through coffee. I’m not really a fan. I enjoy the coffee shop vibes and typically only get coffee from a shop if I’m hanging out (I’m not talking about you, Dutch Bros, don’t worry). Drive Through only coffee shops are lost on me. We chose this one because YELP says they have free wifi – they don’t. That being said, I really enjoyed the mocha. I never order mochas – ever. But on this trip, that’s the main thing I ordered. Weird. You can find out more about Mocha Motion here.

La Push, WA

Photo from Tripadvisor

If I had know about this place before we got pizza, I would have gone here. We just picked up some smoked salmon (due to the sign advertising it) while I took photos of the Twilight related stuff around. Honestly, I also wish we’d stayed in this RV Park instead. But here we are. Anywho, this smoked salmon was amazing. 10/10. You have to stop there to get some. You can find out more about 3 Rivers Resort Restaurant and Store here.

Port Angeles, WA

Photo from Yelp

I think Port Angeles hates dogs. I don’t have scientific evidence of this but I’m pretty sure I’m right and I’ll tell you why. I went on YELP to find a restaurant that was dog friendly and had outdoor seating. Restaurant 1 had one table in front that was behind a locked gate… that no one had the key to. Restaurant 2 had a standing bar in the back with no seating. Restaurant 3 had a bench with no table. It was ridiculous. At that point, we figured we’d find somewhere and just order to-go and eat in the car. I didn’t want to eat at any of those lying places and we were passing the New Day Eatery. This place called out to me so I said sure. Plus I was really hungry. I went inside to get a menu and order. During that time, Jacob located a picnic table around the corner and down the street – right in the sun. Maybe we were meant to eat here. Which I think we were because this was probably my favorite meal we had. I had the Tofu Bah Mi and some soup (which they’ll give you a sample of before you order it). It was all delicious and just exactly what I craved. I feel like this was the most ~California~ restaurant we ate at too – no wonder I loved it so much. You can find out more about New Day Eatery here.

Seattle, WA

Photo from Yelp

Did I tell you that we love pizza? Because we do. We typically try to get Serious Pie while we’re in Seattle because it’s bomb. This location was at the suggestion of our friends that we stayed with and holy cow, it was so good. First and foremost, the decoration/vibes were perfect. We sat upstairs where the ceiling has this crazy cool wood like pattern. Everything about this place is cool to look at. It is pretty dark so your Instagram photos might have to wait but perhaps it’s better lighting during the day. Our waitress was super nice and suggested the Tikka Tikka pizza (with chicken), which we were already considering and I would do some questionable things for that pizza. The cool think about this place is that you can do half and half pizzas. I love trying different things so being able to half pizzas is always cool. I do have to warn you, it’s pricy. This is not your go-to pizza joint. One pizza is $50. I know, I can hear you shouting “WHAT?!” but every once in a while, as a treat or a date night – you should check this place out. We got 2 pizzas between the 4 of us (and had leftovers). The other halves were: cousin Margaret (delish – my 2nd fav), three little piggies (not my fav), and chicken pesto (you can never go wrong with pesto pizza). You can find out more about Roccos here.

Photo from Yelp

When we go to Seattle, we try to make sure we have the earliest morning flight we can get… so that we can land and go directly to Glo’s. Jacob spends most of his time not at Glo’s talking about eating at Glo’s. If he could pick up any restaurant and move it next to our house, it would be Glo’s. We found this tiny gem on our first Seattle trip, a billion years ago. We stayed at an Airbnb in the neighborhood and the host had a binder of places to check out. Glo’s was in there and was in walking distance. Perfect. I’ve waited an hour for Glo’s before. It’s worth it. The coffee is some of the best “restaurant that’s not actually a brewery with food” coffee. The staff is always a delight and they make the vibe welcoming. The food is great! We always get the smoked salmon dishes (Benedict and scramble) and usually the french toast. All in all, you can’t go wrong here. They’re getting a new and bigger place soon too! Cannot wait. You can find out more about Glo’s here.

Photo from Yelp

This was a very random find on our last Seattle trip. During the pandemic, we found a local restaurant that made “Hand Pulled Noodles”. So we ordered from it because I love trying new foods and I didn’t know what this was. Moral of the story, it’s amazing. I found a small, hole in the wall place that was in walking distance of our hotel (which worked well because we didn’t rent a car). When we walked in, we immediately knew this place was going to be the best thing we’ve ever eaten… or the worst. It was the best. The reviews really don’t lie here. We’ve ordered most of the non-soup related noodles and dumplings through our visits here – they’re all fantastic. The flavor of the sauces/meats/veggies are a plus but that noodle. Ugh. It’s just so perfectly made and cooked. You can find out more about Qin Xi’an Noodles here.

Photo from Yelpe

I think that a lot of the reason that I loved this place was because of the company. I was lucky enough to get to meet up with a work friend for dinner here and she’s just a lovely ray of sunshine. My friend told me this is one of her favorites and I can see why. It’s a cool, chill vibe and if you love oysters, you’re in the right place. 90% of what we ate here were various types of oysters – I honestly can’t remember which ones but I’m telling you, it’s all great. They have attentive staff members and we got to sit upstairs and it’s a pretty cool view down! If you love seafood, swing by here! You can find out more about RockCreek Seafood & Spirits here.

Yes. You read that right. This is alcohol and pie. I think there’s a few locations and it doesn’t matter which you go to (although the Pie Bar in the Ballard district had a ton more options that I’ve ever seen). This is another place that we found on our first trip. There is a location close to Glo’s but it’s really small so we’ve only ever ordered from the window to go. This trip, we got to eat inside (Ballard) and enjoy it. I can’t remember what everyone got (the guys got TWO slices) but it was all good. Mine was the best. It the the Peanut Butter and Jelly pie. Peanut Butter is one of my favorite food groups so I couldn’t pass this up. If someone could figure out their recipe and give it to me, I’d love you forever. You can find out more about Pie Bar here.

Honorable Mention: Taco Time

Photo from Taco Time’s website

Don’t come at me. I freaking love Taco Time. Perhaps it’s purely a nostalgia thing. For those who live in places where Taco Time is a thing, it’s not everywhere. It seems to be really only in the PNW, Idaho, and I think there’s a few in Nevada. My dad worked at one when he was a teenager – it was down the street from my grandma’s house (in fact, it’s still there) and has tried to re-create the Crisp Bean Burrito most of my life (he hasn’t figured it out yet). We went to Idaho pretty much every summer to see family and every trip HAD to include Taco Time for Crisp Bean Burritos (really the only thing I eat there). So for me, when I’m in the area of Taco Time, I go to Taco Time. We were able to get TT 3 times during this trip and that was perfect. I was a little Taco Time’d out by the end (I don’t want fast food for a good long while). Years ago, my cousin and I drove to Seattle for a quick trip and I took her there. She said, “It’s like Jesus came down and deep fried these himself”. That’s a perfect way to describe them. Plus their original hot sauce is great. You can find out more about Taco Time here.

Great… now I’m starving. Have you eaten at any of these places?

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