Real Food on I-80

TRAVELERS ALONG I-80 NEEDN’T SETTLE FOR fast food on their way to the Sierra and back. Some of the region’s best eateries are just off the highway.

CAFÉ ZORRO
This restaurant, just off I-80 at Loomis, is a longtime local favorite and worth a stop. Its menu features seasonal fare such as fish, chicken, meat, salads and exceptional pasta dishes, using fresh, local ingredients.

Examples include Jambalaya, Pasta Carbonara, Chicken Parmesan, Grilled Flat Iron Steak and Sausage & Porcini Stuffed Quail.

The pizza at Café Zorro is legendary, with thin crust and homemade sauce. Owner Matt Williams, an Italian-trained chef and wine connoisseur, is an affable and knowledgeable restaurateur. He also owns Gourmet Garage, for catering and commercial kitchen rentals. CafeZorro.com

LOOMIS LOOP WINERIES
The Loomis Loop wineries’ tasting rooms are just off I-80. Tahoe travelers can stock up on Placer County wines.

NEWCASTLE PRODUCE
Only a few minutes off I-80, Newcastle Produce offers a full-service deli, including homemade soups and made-to-order sandwiches, locally grown and organic veggies and fruits, and gourmet items.

Newcastle celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The owners are fifth-generation farmers. Perfect for real food “to go.” NewcastleProduce.net

MONKEY CAT
This downtown Auburn restaurant is celebrating its 10th anniversary under owner Jim Bril, a seasoned restaurateur who ran San Francisco’s famed Fior d’Italia.

Monkey Cat is popular with locals and vis- itors for lunch and dinner. It has an enticing
ambiance and an extensive menu: steaks, chops, seafood, poultry, vegetarian and pasta dishes.

Dinner entrees include Tortellini Pesto, Petrale Sole, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Rack of Lamb and a Bone-in Rib-Eye. The Monkey Cat burger (grass-fed and grass-finished) is delicious.
MonkeyCat.com

DINE N DASH CAFE IN COLFAX
Comfort food with quality ingredients.

SPICE
Spice is a new Indian restaurant, at the junction of I-80 and 89 South.
SpiceTruckee.com.

MORGAN’S LOBSTER SHACK
Morgan’s in Truckee features fresh Maine lobster, fish and seafood dishes and a fish market. MorgansLobsterShack.com

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