Truck Stops

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Chatmag
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/03/21 01:20:52 (permalink)
Wow, glad I found this site! Prior to my present job as "Imadaboss" of Chatmag, I spent 30 years over the road, primarily doing car hauling, and still drive part time for a local nursery. Driving is something I think I'll never fully give up.

I see that you've listed most every place I've stopped, and agree they are good. I'll add my own favorites to this list.

The Ranch Hand in Montpelier Idaho, on US 30, the shortcut between Little America Wyoming and the Northwest. They have what I believe to be the biggest breakfast in the world, consisting of literally pounds of eggs, bacon, ham, hash browns, and other cholesterol laden goodies. Also a great drive for the scenery and hot springs.

I stopped in at a new place last week just outside of Columbia South Carolina, maybe ten or twelve miles east on I-26. Maggie Mae's I think it is. It's a restaurant adjacent to a small fuel stop, and serves a great southern style hamburger, with all the trimmings and mayonnaise, which I find is usually standard down south.

Most of the chain truck stops are ok, but I have always found the small independently operated places in the south or west are usually the best for food.
#31
LegalLady
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/03/21 11:04:59 (permalink)
There is a "chain" (heaven forbid) of truck stops in Nebraska called Bosselmans, the restaurant is called Grandma Maxs, and the food is excellent, lots of choices, lots of food. The one in Kearney is worth the stop!

Legally Loving Food
#32
LegalLady
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/03/21 11:06:01 (permalink)
OMG, I'm a HAMBURGER!!
#33
mayor al
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/03/21 11:54:32 (permalink)
Congratulations LegalLady,
Keep those posts from the Heartland coming in---
AL
#34
45013
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/03/24 02:33:49 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Sundancer7

Does anyone know the name of the truck stop that is just west of the quad cities of Rock Island, Davenport, Moline and something. I stopped there while traveling to Des Moines and the place was huge. they apparently have a 24 hour buffet with the regular buffet items along with those huge Iowa porkchops. Pigs must be a big deal in the corn state of Iowa.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN


Sundancer, you might be thinking of the "Iowa 80" truckstop near Walcott, Iowa, at I-80 Exit 284. It is affiliated with TravelCenters of America. I ate there; not bad.
#35
PatLNH
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/08/12 22:05:43 (permalink)
The Fort truckstop off I-89 in Lebanon, New Hampshire is not to be missed (unless you need to smoke with your meal; it's a non-smoking restaurant). The baked goods are fabulous, especially the crullers and scones. It has some innovative items like Huevos Papas Con Chorizo, one of my favorites, along with the traditional truckstop two-of-everything breakfasts. Real maple syrup. Dinners are pure comfort food: fried chicken, meatloaf with gravy, pot roast, fish & chips. And the price is right, as are the hours ... all 24 of 'em!
#36
BigGlenn
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/08/13 02:40:28 (permalink)
My Dad was a Truck Driver, holidays from school was usually spent "Sneaking" a trip with him. Nothing but good memories. I can still remember most of the trips I took with him. The truck stops seem to be the first to come to mind. The foul language,jokes being told both from the truckers and the waitress's. The smell of the food, cigarettes coffee and diesel. Man that's living.......My Dad is retired now, he says he doesn't miss it at all!
#37
enginecapt
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/08/20 08:37:32 (permalink)
There's a small 15 store truck stop chain called Sapp Bros, identifiable by the big neon trimmed old style coffee pot sign at every location. When I was on the road more than I am now, and found myself in the midwest
more often (mainly I-80) I'd make sure to end my shift or run out of hours
near a Sapp Bros if at all possible. They are all clean and friendly , and the food is not bad at all, but my favorite was the one in Peru. Ill. off the 80. I appreciated how all the Sapp stores keep the riff raff out, because when I'm on the road, I don't need trouble to bump into me. It's a family atmosphere also, kind of nice when you're 2000 miles away from yours, heading the other way.

On the other hand, there's a seedy old flyblown truck stop that's seen better days on the north side of I-40 in Tucumcari, NM. I pulled in with 45,000 pounds of refrigerated Japanese beer behind me one bitter, icy night just before they closed the freeway all the way to Amarillo. I figured New Mexico, Mexican food on the menu , how could I lose? By ordering it and trying to eat it, that's how. Then paying for it. I've had alot of junk that tried to be Mexican food but failed, but I've never had any that tried to taste like this stuff did. It was unrecognizeable and unfoodlike. I can't remember the name to avoid, but Tucumcari is only one offramp big, and there's only one truck stop. You have been warned.
#38
syrup
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/08/26 12:41:18 (permalink)
A good thing about truck stops are if you live in an area with few all night restaraunts truck stops come in handy.
#39
mek
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/08/26 13:31:26 (permalink)
White's truck stop. It's on I-81 in the Shenandoah Valley (by either Harrisonburg or Staunton).
#40
queenb
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/08/30 04:54:18 (permalink)
We have another really good Flying J truckstop in Temple Ga, on I-20 19 miles from the Alabama line. It has a little pizza and Chinese food shop, and also all that great merchandise. But the 'regular' restaurant is the best part. When the place first opened a couple of years ago, it wasn't great, but then they hired a new cook who takes pride in his work; he's glad to tell you, "I been servin' truckers for forty years". Sir, we can tell and we love you.
#41
twodales
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/09/03 14:57:38 (permalink)
A little fancier than most truck stops (lots of wood and antler chandeliers)but real nice folks. We had trout, ribs and bullfrogs (lemonade and Jack Daniels) all very reasonable. It's been a few years but you might want to try it out if you pass through Rock Springs, Wyoming. The name is Cruel Jack's and it's off of I-80 around mile marker 99.
#42
Lunza
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/09/03 16:51:28 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Sundancer7

Mr. Mayor, you mentioned the olives in northern CA. Not too long ago while driving from San Fran to Seattle, I stopped at an exit just south of Redding and there was a huge olive store there. I bought enough olives to last me a life time. I bought olives that I don't even eat, but at the time seemed like a good idea. I got them stuffed with everything from jalapenos to garlic to sausage. I even bought an olive burger while I was there. It was OK, but not exciting.


That is the Olive Pit in Corning. http://www.olivepit.com/
#43
Lunza
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/09/03 16:54:01 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Sundancer7

The truck stops are interesting but the cigarette smoke and the noise sometimes overcomes the positives that are there. I have been to some truck stops that almost rivals Walmart in merchandise and groceries. That makes them more intersting because if you are a road warrior, a stop like that increases the stop value. Neat merchandise, clothing, CB radios, lotsa groceries, gas values, particularly good food and all that increases the stop value.

I have nothing against people enjoying a good smoke and on occasion, I enjoy a good cigar. I had some great Cuban's in Buenos Aires where you can buy them legally. But some of the truck stops are over abundant with cigarette smoke and diesel noise.

Maybe a minor complaint, but one that is a little irritating to some.


Not a problem in California! At least the cigarette smoke isn't a problem.
#44
fdm813
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/09/03 21:28:50 (permalink)
If your ever on I40 near Raleigh NC, at exit 152. Ask for the "BBQ Man" on your radio. This guy sells some fine BBQ Pork, Chicken, and Pork steaks. He sells them by the plate with home made sides. You have to eat in your truck. This is carry out only. But worth the stop. Across from Fuel City.
#45
45013
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/09/06 15:42:00 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by LegalLady

There is a "chain" (heaven forbid) of truck stops in Nebraska called Bosselmans, the restaurant is called Grandma Maxs, and the food is excellent, lots of choices, lots of food. The one in Kearney is worth the stop!

Legally Loving Food



Linkage!!! http://www.bosselman.com/
#46
Tedbear
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/09/08 18:09:54 (permalink)

Rather than recommending a good place, please allow me to warn you away from a really bad truck stop. I would suggest that you avoid Johnny's, which is located just off of I-78, somewhere in the western part of NJ. I'm sorry that I can't locate it any more precisely.

Johnny's seems to be a haven for flies, as well as truckers, and generally displays poor levels of hygiene. I recall making the mistake of ordering a dish of ice cream at this establishment. When the waitress opened the freezer case to scoop out the ice cream, I was able to see an incredible accumulation of ice, and it was not particularly clean-looking ice. The dish of ice cream was essentially inedible, as it had been stored so long that it was composed mostly of ice crystals.

Definitely avoid this place!

#47
Jean R
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/09/12 19:51:53 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Jennifer_4

Klein's off HWY 99 in Fresno used to be a roadfood mecca. For some reason in recent years the quality has gone so downhill that the food is not worth tasting.. I've had better chicken fried steaks at chain restaurants, frankly. And no matter how I ask for my hamburger steak to be cooked, it's ALWAYS underdone.. all the sides and gravy seem to come from a can or a mix.. it's a shame.. because it used to be a hallmark of good truckstops. It's only worth a stop for traditional "how ya doin' hon" service and local color.
#48
Jean R
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RE: Truck Stops 2004/09/12 19:57:05 (permalink)
Klien's in Fresno off of 99 is no longer family owned. (Don Klien) sold it about two years ago. After his dad past away.[|)]
#49
Jimeats
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RE: Truck Stops 2007/03/27 06:27:00 (permalink)
Thought I would revive this thread after hearing this. This morning on the early AM Fox news it was reported that a truck stop in Salisbury Md. was voted #4 in the world #1 being on the autobahn somewhere in Germany.

It was also reported that the Md. truck stop had the only active full time chapel there. The name and exit got by me but I'll look for it.
Chow Jim
#50
Jimeats
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RE: Truck Stops 2007/03/27 06:41:56 (permalink)
Sorry, It's in Salisbury N.C. Derrick Truck plaza I-85 exit 71.

There is food for the soul but they didn't mention how the other food was. Chow Jim
#51
tiki
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RE: Truck Stops 2007/03/27 10:00:39 (permalink)
Just went through and read this revitalized and had a few thoughts---I know that there are still a few great independent truck stops with great food--BUT--after A LOT of miles on the road working with bands and driving all night to get to the next gig i found that for the most part--the old adage that if you look for a place where truckers stop you will find great food should be changed to "If you look for a place where truckers stop you will find a big parking lot with room to park trucks and a dining room that serves BIG plates of rather heavy,carb based,well greased food that sticks to your ribs longer then it ought to"---but there is is the bonus that you meet some very friendly ladies in the lot!---and on Al's comments on Flying J--i agree-VERY variable when it comes to the food quality--but almost always over priced--i know that here in Checotah Ok--at the intersection of US69 and I40--two MAJOR truck roads--its THE most expensive breakfast around and its cooked by a couple of folks that none of the locals will hire.--it LOOKS good--but nothing to write home about--and the food on the buffet is at least two steps lower in quality then if you order the same meal of the menu.
#52
BunglingBill
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RE: Truck Stops 2007/03/27 11:24:31 (permalink)
On our adventure to the Southwest last fall we stopped at a truckstop we had heard about called Deno's 6 & 85 near Commerce City, Colorado.

The place is "well worn" in that the furniture is rickety, and the floors were less than sanitary. Also, the restrooms were TERRIBLE!

But the steaks were just outstanding and reasonably priced. Sides were typical diner food: canned corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc. The salads were simple but very good.

It appeared that besides truckers, there were a lot of locals and tourists (judging by the license plates) eating there. We had steaks, but noticed that a neighboring diner's burger looked fantastic.

I wouldn't go too far out of my way to find it, but if passing through, Deno's offers up some good slabs of beef and cold beer.
#53
jeepguy
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RE: Truck Stops 2007/03/27 17:16:28 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

Thanks we now have the name and exit in the log book..next trip east we will find it easily.
"Log book"[|)] That's so last year...lol.
#54
Blue Plate Special
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RE: Truck Stops 2007/03/27 18:36:13 (permalink)
Great thread to revive.

The Flying J at exit 125 on I35/80 on the west side of Des Moines, IA has a lousy restaurant, but serve some very good items up at the counter in the convenience store. Their gizzards are worth a lunch trip from Minneapolis alone (well...for me at least). Kept "fresh", hot, crunchy and spicy -- gizzard gnawing heaven! They also do something I previously thought possible with a "bagel dog" (hot dog wrapped in a bagel-like casing). Not only is it, literally, a 20 ounce hot dog (in itself no small feat), but it also was very good quality. You really have to like hot dogs though. I haven't seen a hot dog that obscenely large since the Slots O' Fun's $0.99 giant in Las Vegas. Their pizza by the slice is also good. Yes, I ate all three items in one visit two weeks ago.

Johnson's Corner near Loveland, CO (Exit 254 on I-25) is also legendary. www.johnsonscorner.com Monstrous cinnamon rolls and good burgers.

I recently stopped in the Ambest truck stop (aka "Shoemakers Truck Station) west of Lincoln, NE (exit 395 on I-80). The restaurant there is good and if you're a collector of die cast trucks, NASCARs or farm equipment, they had a pretty impressive array.

I also enjoy the Clearwater Travel Plaza in Clearwater, MN (exit 178 on I-94) but for a little more "upscale" truck stop food. This is actually my healthy alternative to fast food on the way "up north". They have an in-house bakery and make very good cold cut sandwiches to order on several types of bread. Choose from a zillion different options. The other baked goods (cinnamon rolls, pies, etc.) are also very good and they have about 10 different coffees at any given time as well as good soups. Skip the sit-down restaurant.

Finally, I concur with the commentary on "chain" truck stops (vary greatly with location), as well as the Bosselman mention (at least in Nebraska, these were very clean facilities...good options).
#55
buttrdish
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RE: Truck Stops 2007/03/27 18:45:03 (permalink)
Always a fun truck stop to visit!

Dunnigan, California - Pantyhose Junction

On long drives from Berkeley, California to Eugene, OR to visit my boyfriend, I would always spice up my road-weary mind with a snack at The Aladero, or Pantyhose Junction, Dunnigan, off of I-5. Not only does this greasy spoon serve up some tasty hash and eggs, but it also serves up some pretty fresh waitresses in little French maid outfits that go down to about mid-butt. Luckily they wear frilly lacy white underwear. I guess it started out as a place to entertain the truckers, but my girlfriends and I always stop in to give the gals a little moral support.
#56
mayor al
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RE: Truck Stops 2007/03/27 19:04:01 (permalink)
Jeepguy- Live with it. No Blackberry or active Streets and Trips in the car. My navigation system is also the beneficiary of my Life Insurance, with a Delorme and a Rand McNally atlas in the door pocket beside her (and maybe a mapquest printout if needed). I do have the cell-phone plugged in, but thats for her to use if necessary. The laptop will be used in the motel most evenings to chart out info for the next day, and the loose-leaf notebook has notes gathered over the last 20 years of roadtrips....Oh Yeah, there is a box of books on the floor in the back seat of Sterns, Triple A (and others) guide books.

I don't anticipated having an online service linked to my moving vehicle .[|)]
#57
ScreamingChicken
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RE: Truck Stops 2011/12/19 14:01:30 (permalink)
The truck stop at WI I-90 exit 160 (Edgerton) contains the Winchester Family Restaurant (I believe The Mayor has eaten there) and Mrs. SC and I occasionally stop for a weekend breakfast.  Yesterday I tried a "skillet" made up of a bed of hash browns topped with cut-up chicken-fried steak, white country gravy, and 2 eggs (over easy for me) and I really liked it.  Unfortunately I can't remember the specific name other than it started with the letter "P", although I'm quite sure that it wasn't "Portnoy" because I had nothing to complain about!
 
Mrs. SC likes the biscuits and gravy and they serve up a pretty decent burger, too.
 
Brad
#58
Foodbme
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RE: Truck Stops 2011/12/19 18:21:01 (permalink)
I was a Director of Merchandising and Distribution for the 35 Truckstops of America back in the early 80's and worked closely with the Restaurants. If you think running a restaurant is hard, try running them 24/7/365 AND maintaining consistantly high quality in every unit all the time.
They all had the same menu, they all used the same ingredients for the most part---The difference was in the quality and skill of the people. Despite high corporate standards, some locations had excellent food and results, some didn't. It's the same issues many chains face every day. People make the difference.
So generally speaking, you will always find those gems that serve outstanding food and service and those dogs that don't. Just keep a notebook of the good places or use Roadfood as your guide!
#59
timbiscut
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RE: Truck Stops 2011/12/30 19:05:54 (permalink)
Smittys Burgers in Ramona has to be the best in Cali of the 76 freeway try the venisin burger
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