RE: Carlisle, PA off of PA Turnpike
I think you may be thinking of what the locals derisively refer to as the "Miracle Mile" on RT 11 that is between the PA Turnpike and I-81 that is basically all chains or truck stops. Any independents on this stretch of road you want to avoid.
Little John's, while not close to the PA Turnpike was a good recommendation, but has been shut down for over a month. Not sure what happened, but it will be missed.
Getting off the PA turnpike, and heading towards Carlisle, you've got several choices. There is a Hoss' Steakhouse real close. Some people like it, I don't. Further down the road, before town, is Sunnyside, which is more like finer dining, then some Mexican places that are pretty good. In downtown Carlisle, I really like the Market Cross Pub, which is styled as an English Pub and they have their own beers. But it's about 10 minutes from the PA Turnpike to downtown Carlisle.
If you're looking for something a little quicker, from the PA turnpike, head towards I-81 on the Miracle Mile, and go past I-81 about another 3/4 of mile to the Middlesex Diner, which will be on your left. I've written about it in previous posts and I think others have stopped and written about it, so you may want to do a search. We were in there two weeks ago for dinner and it was still good. We also usually stop for breakfast here before heading to Philly to visit relatives.