You know the drill when it comes to In-N-Out’s secret menu and you love to wow your barista with your super insider order at Starbuck’s. But show up in Siskiyou and you might not realize just how many unexpected foodie gems are hiding in plain sight – if you just know where to look and who to ask! Here are a few “in the know” orders that will have you eating and drinking like a local in no time.
Drink Like a Local.
We all know ordering food from a secret menu is cool, so why shouldn’t you order your beer that way too? While Siskiyou’s got a ton of great breweries to choose from, locals get super-crafty at the Etna Brewery and Taphouse with an insider’s “50/50” – basically a 50/50 combo of the Kappler Stout and Old Grind Porter. Alternatively, head down to the Mt. Shasta Brewing Company in Weed for an off-the-menu “Porta-peño” – or combo of their Porter and Jalapeño Weed Ale. Note on the spice, it can change based on whether it’s been brewed with summer or winter peppers so don’t be shy and feel free to experiment with what’s on draft and in the bottle! These are great stops after a day exploring the slopes!
Shop Like a Local.
When it comes to shopping for specialty ingredients, Siskiyou at first glance might appear to have limited options – until you know where to look. For instance, stop for gas at the Mayten Store in Montague and you might think it’s just a quick mart. But go inside and to the right, and you’ll find an extensive Asian market with all kinds of unexpected imported foodstuffs. If it’s a maki roll fix you’re after, there’s a great sushi bar tucked into the corner of Raley’s grocery in Yreka, made daily onsite by Japanese Chef Bunya. And if it’s a wide array of natural foods, herbal remedies and teas, head to local favorites Berryvale Grocery in Mt. Shasta or Nature’s Kitchen in Yreka – you might just be amazed at the quality and variety you can find.
Who doesn’t love a secret go-to grab and go? Look no further than the Lake Shastina Mini Mart & Deli on Big Springs Road. It looks like a gas station but has an outstanding deli with absolutely fabulous house-made sausages. And for a surprising taste of Down Under, head off the beaten path to Seiad Café where vegemite is always on hand to spread on toast for any visiting Australians (or just the odd Australo-phile) who miss that mysterious, thick, dark, savory spread.
Hiding In Plain Sight
Billed as a retro soda fountain and paint-your-own pottery studio, Bella Art Works Creative Cafe in Yreka is fun for all ages. It even features BJ’s ice cream – an Oregon-based cult foodie favorite. But if you’re truly in the know, you’re aware they go far beyond the typical soda fountain, serving an amazing “Grown Up” grilled cheese. Just around the corner at Shoppe Serendipity is another one of Yreka’s favorite artisan shops that also goes hand in hand with hidden food. Here at lunchtime you’ll find The Smokey Palette, a weekday pop up restaurant featuring delicious soups and a single item daily menu. Another unexpected treat is at the Axe & Rose in McCloud, where a delicious Vietnamese banh mi is hidden in plain sight amongst tasty American comfort food options. And, if you know to ask, Graciela at El Ranchito in Dorris will make you a homemade tamale on the spot.
Pop Up Perfection
It doesn’t get more insider than knowing when and where pop-up food is happening, and Siskiyou – as an agricultural hotspot – has pop-ups all over, not to mention some amazing seasonal farmer’s markets. In fact, wherever you’re visiting, be sure to ask for the most up-to-date spots. But some of our longtime favorite pop-ups are Juan’s fruit stand in Yreka at the corner of Oberlin & Main. He’s there on Mondays and Fridays with seasonal produce, nuts, honey and eggs. On Thursdays is a more unusual year-round pop-up with the “Mayor’s Bread” in downtown Etna, where the mayor Erik sells his artisan bread to very long lines from 4-6pm. And don’t forget the eggs! All over Siskiyou you will find several roadside stands selling eggs on the honor system, including a cute dedicated egg truck belonging to Five Marys Farms on Eastside Road in Ft. Jones.