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I-5 Challenge Report

Margo | Jun 29, 200210:56 AM

Some of us divided up the L.A. to S.F. I-5 route into segments to see if we could find some good Chowhound locations. This is my report on the Buttonwillow segment; and wow did I hit paydirt! The actual town of Buttonwillow is about four miles off highway 5 after you have made your way through the gas staions and fast food eateries. Its an old agricultural town of a few thousand surrounded by fields, and with a sign as you enter town announcing that it is the center of Cotton Country. Going west along the through street is a Frosty King that has a sign saying, "Burgers, Shakes, videos", and another interesting looking placed, "Titas Pupuseria Restaurant. Comida Salvadorena and Mexicana." I'll try these next time through. Then at 1st and Main (the parallel street to the north) is the Ostoneria El Palmar Restaurant which is a real gem. The food was a good as anything in the best restaurants in San Francisco. The specialty is seafood prepared in a variety of Salvadorean and Mexican styles. Jukebox blaring in the corner and local Spanish-speaking ranchers and ranch hands enjoying the very pleasant family atmosphere. I had a freshly made cheese papusa. Then ordered the Cascada Mariscos that came wrapped in aluminum foil. Unwrapping this, inside was a great assortment of crab, octopus, shrimp and other seafoods in a wonderful butter, garlic, onion sauce. Rice and beans, corn tortillas. Just fabulous. There was, however, a note tacked to the wall of each table indicating that raw oysters were available and that they can be fatal if eaten. At least they warn you. WE might want to return to Buttonwillow the third week in September for the Buttonwill Farm Festival. Then I drove 15 miles on southwest through the rolling hills to the small company town of McKittrick, surrounded by oil fields, pipes and refineries. In addition to the mini mart, the only other establishment that looked like it might serve food had a sign that said, "McKittrick Hotel. Oakwood BarbeQ Cafe and Bar" I'll give it a try next time. Happy Chowhounding. Let's hear the other reports from along I-5. There's got to be more out there than just the fast foods right next to the freeway. Afterall, the people who live in the Valley have to eat too.

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