RE: New Orleans to Chicago
gstafford, right off hand I can't think of any restaurants right along I-57 in southern IL, but if you had time for small off highway jaunt, I'd recommend turning west off I-57 at Benton, IL, and running over to Christopher for one of Maid-Rite's unique sandwiches and its delicious pie or for either barbecue or catfish at Larry's Barbecue there. See my 7/14/03 post under "Long Gone Regional Chains" in "Miscellaneous" forum for more info. You could also turn off I-57 at Marion and head west toward Carbondale to try at "The Pioneer" (believe its name is) a few miles down the road, one of its family style fried chicken dinners. If you had more time, even more enjoyable would be going on over to Carbondale and out to Giant City State Park Lodge restaurant and trying its family style friend chicken dinner, not only for the great food but also for the beauty of the park. (See my 7/5/03 and others' posts under "St Louis Favorites" in "Where Should I Eat" forum.) Assuming you've not been to Lambert's "Throwed Rolls" Cafe in Sikeston, MO, a stop there would be worthwhile once just for the experience (provided you don't hit it right at mealtime and encounter one of its long waits). Know I've seen other posts re places along both I-55 and I-57, thought can't think of any just now except for several Memphis barbecue posts. If you'd utilize Roadfood's "Search" feature, perhaps searching city names and restaurant or food types, you 'd likely find more interesting spots along your route. Have a good trip. Liketoeat.