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Venerable Bede

I-70, I-68, and I-76

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My wife and I are going there this weekend, and we're pretty unfamiliary with the town. We'd appreciate recommendations for:

1) Road food along the way (traveling from D.C. - I70 to I76 to I80).

i fear that i may get a talking to for this, but can you really have road food on an interstate?

two things immediately pop into mind- 1) "feasting on asphalt" pretty much tried to emphasize this point, to find "road food" you have to get off the interstates, and drive the backroads, i mean, can you find brain sandwiches on the interstate (digression- the best chicken fried steak i had in texas was in a restaurant somewhere west of austin and I-10 on a 2 lane highway); 2) i am reminded of charles kuralt's quote- "The interstate highway system is a wonderful thing. It makes it possible to go from coast to coast without seeing anything or meeting anybody."

now, i realize that most of us don't have the time to simply traverse and lazily drive the backroads to get to our destination, and i certainly do not mean to be mean on this point. i'm just raising the greater issue of where to find "road food" in this country. (i've told my wife that one thing i would like to do is drive u.s. 50 all the way from sacto to ocean city. . .just to do it, you know?)

all that being said, you can always pop on in to pittsburgh and sample their cuisine (pierogies and french fry-topped sammiches, among others).

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(i've told my wife that one thing i would like to do is drive u.s. 50 all the way from sacto to ocean city. . .just to do it, you know?)

Presumably you're already familiar with the distance-to-Sacramento sign in O.C...not surprisingly, there's a complementary sign outside of Sacto on eastbound 50. Get photos. I sorta regret not stopping for one. There's also the bizarre and distracting "shoe tree" in the middle of the Nevada desert. Apparently, everybody notices this thing out of the corner of their eye and pulls over to investigate, myself included.

Ahhhh, road food. This one's a good candidate for Manifold Destiny...you get plenty of heat climbing those hills.

The I270-70-76 haul is a lousy one, in no small part because of the amount of time you end up tied to the PA turnpike. From the time one passes out of Hancock MD (about 1.3 hrs) to the Ohio border (maybe 4.5 hrs) it's rest stops and left-lane-hogging flatlanders. Assuming you'll be hungry in about four hours, you'll be stuck in western Pennsylvania which, apart from Pittsburgh itself, is astonishingly rural in both population and dining opportunities. Personally, I end up settling for the usual fast food when driving that way...it diverges a bit too far north for me to head into Pgh.

HMS Host now operates the food concessions along the turnpike, and has replaced some of the long-standing fast food joints with either a Roy Rogers or some generically-named burger counter I can't fully recall...they don't even have a logo. Now, don't laugh too hard, but they do serve up a pretty good fast-food fried chicken. I think the two-piece combo cost me maybe five bucks, but what I received were two very large chicken breasts, piping hot from the pressure fryer, with a good crisp batter and surprisingly juicy. It wasn't in the style of the old Pappy Parker's chicken, but more like Popeye's mild...except better. Now, that's how it was at one particular rest stop on the eastbound side, but maybe (just maybe) the others are comparable.

Failing that, the town of Cranberry at the intersection of I76 and I79, has recently grown to include a reasonable array of all of the usual lousy chain restaurants. It's just past the "terminal" toll plaza on the Turnpike that all westbound traffic has to pass through, so there's no real cost to hopping off and on there.

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Greetings from the heartland - the tiny hamlet of Newton Falls, Ohio. I'll report later on my spaghetti dinner at the Covered Bridge Inn; in the meantime, can anyone recommend anything in the area (Warren - Youngstown)? Also, I'll be heading back to DC Sunday afternoon, and depending on adrenaline levels, might take a scenic route. South to Morgantown and then I-68. Any food to look forward to on that route? Anything at all on the I-80 - I-76 route past Pittsburgh to Breezewood?

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Also, I'll be heading back to DC Sunday afternoon, and depending on adrenaline levels, might take a scenic route. South to Morgantown and then I-68. Any food to look forward to on that route? Anything at all on the I-80 - I-76 route past Pittsburgh to Breezewood?

I take I-68 to Southern Ohio often and I am not aware of any good food on that route. I'd imagine there could be something worthwhile in Morgantown but I've never got off the highway to explore.

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Greetings from the heartland - the tiny hamlet of Newton Falls, Ohio. I'll report later on my spaghetti dinner at the Covered Bridge Inn; in the meantime, can anyone recommend anything in the area (Warren - Youngstown)? Also, I'll be heading back to DC Sunday afternoon, and depending on adrenaline levels, might take a scenic route. South to Morgantown and then I-68. Any food to look forward to on that route? Anything at all on the I-80 - I-76 route past Pittsburgh to Breezewood?

We take 70 to 68 and usually pack our lunch for the trip. I've not seen anything along that route. IIRC, there was an article in the Post about Breezewood. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...7111301983.html

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Summe road trip time--it looks like we would want lunch just about the time we hit Wheeling, WV give or take 30 miles in either direction on I-70. I could pack a lunch but the soon to be kindergartner's ability to spot various chains on the road might make that harder than before. I haven't driven this route in almost 20 years.

Any ideas that I could get him excited about? He'll try almost anything. I'm willing to detour a bit for decent food--we aren't on a set schedule this trip.

Thanks!

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I take I-68 to Southern Ohio often and I am not aware of any good food on that route. I'd imagine there could be something worthwhile in Morgantown but I've never got off the highway to explore.

Ruby and Ketchy's off I-68 at Cheat Lake, isn't a bad little diner/greasy spoon. There is a lot in Morgantown if you are willing to drive in a couple miles off the interstate. I like D'Atri's in Cumberland for their subs. In Hagerstown their is great fried chicken on at the gas station at the entrance of the outlets. Can't remember the brand, as the restaurant has survived for long before the gas station renovated and the outlets were there. I like the Park and Dine and Weavers in Hancock (junction of I-68 and I-70). But sorry no Wheeling... I don't normally go that far on I-70.

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This is an old thread, but when anyone is headed to Wheeling (and many other spots), it's always wise to consult Holly, especially if hot dogs are in one's frame of reference.

(Note -- some of it may be dated, so call ahead)

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On a little spur off I-70, about 20 minutes past Hagerstown, we settled on the Clear Spring Country Diner as a dinner spot on our recent road trip to points north and west. The address is 11855 National Pike, Clear Spring, MD--I can't find a website, but they are on facebook.

I think the lady that welcomed us was the grandmother of all of western Maryland. She was just the soul of hospitality and right away took to our son (he had his curls patted by about 3 grandparently types as they passed by our table while we were there), and sweet-talked him into trying a plate of mac n cheese. I had a baked cod dinner served with mac n cheese and stewed tomatoes, a sweet and vinegary preparation that tasted to me very much like a prepared ketchup. Mr Phor had the turkey sandwich with gravy which is a preparation I myself am not terribly fond of (gravy + bread = soggy bread, IMO) but assures me that it was a most delicious exemplar of its type.

Our child then proceeded to do one of those terrible and unavoidable things that small children do on road trips (messy, requiring a complete change of clothing and much clean up). While we tag-teamed to minimize the impact of our offspring on the general surrounding populace, our hostess dropped by with wet towels and sympathy--and once we were all resettled, dropped a piece of her latest cake to taste (a raspberry-lemon yellow cake); to which we added a slice of berry pie.

It was all entirely delicious.

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I fear that i may get a talking to for this, but can you really have road food on an interstate?

two things immediately pop into mind- 1) "feasting on asphalt" pretty much tried to emphasize this point, to find "road food" you have to get off the interstates, and drive the backroads, i mean, can you find brain sandwiches on the interstate (digression- the best chicken fried steak i had in texas was in a restaurant somewhere west of austin and I-10 on a 2 lane highway); 2) i am reminded of charles kuralt's quote- "The interstate highway system is a wonderful thing. It makes it possible to go from coast to coast without seeing anything or meeting anybody."

now, i realize that most of us don't have the time to simply traverse and lazily drive the backroads to get to our destination, and i certainly do not mean to be mean on this point. i'm just raising the greater issue of where to find "road food" in this country. (i've told my wife that one thing i would like to do is drive u.s. 50 all the way from sacto to ocean city. . .just to do it, you know?)

all that being said, you can always pop on in to pittsburgh and sample their cuisine (pierogies and french fry-topped sammiches, among others).

The only "talking to" you're going to get is a hearty "Thank you!" for starting this thread.

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The only "talking to" you're going to get is a hearty "Thank you!" for starting this thread.

Better late than never.

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I have mixed feelings about the Hen House off 68 in Frostburg. It's on Route 40 between exits 28 and 29. The food was plentiful and mostly delicious -- Azami called his "foot-long" (it totally was, too) fried haddock sandwich the best fish sandwich he'd ever eaten. The bite of fish I got was moist, flavorful, and flaky, and my bbq chicken thigh/leg was also moist and flavorful (but not flaky, thank goodness). Chicken soup was perfectly chickeny and had homemade noodles, salad was underwhelming (slices of iceberg core, really?), and my sweet potato fries were tasty, but not cooked all the way through.

Caveat: The Hen House's menu claims they use "fresh, privately sourced chicken." I know nothing about the farms out there, but there's certainly a lot of farmland visible from that stretch of 68, so I asked where they got their chicken from. Our waitress was like "What? We don't have, like, a farm or anything. We get our stuff from Sysco." Which is pretty much not the right answer (factually correct or not) if your menu declares otherwise.

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I have mixed feelings about the Hen House off 68 in Frostburg. It's on Route 40 between exits 28 and 29. The food was plentiful and mostly delicious -- Azami called his "foot-long" (it totally was, too) fried haddock sandwich the best fish sandwich he'd ever eaten. The bite of fish I got was moist, flavorful, and flaky, and my bbq chicken thigh/leg was also moist and flavorful (but not flaky, thank goodness). Chicken soup was perfectly chickeny and had homemade noodles, salad was underwhelming (slices of iceberg core, really?), and my sweet potato fries were tasty, but not cooked all the way through.

Caveat: The Hen House's menu claims they use "fresh, privately sourced chicken." I know nothing about the farms out there, but there's certainly a lot of farmland visible from that stretch of 68, so I asked where they got their chicken from. Our waitress was like "What? We don't have, like, a farm or anything. We get our stuff from Sysco." Which is pretty much not the right answer (factually correct or not) if your menu declares otherwise.

There are writings about Hen House (including from me) in the Western Maryland thread.

Incidentally, I accidentally left my credit card there, and they were kind enough to mail it to me; in the interim, there were thousands of dollars of charges put on it from India and/or Pakistan. I have no explanation other than that it happened, although being an "interstate restaurant," you can easily guess that a dishonest member of the staff might have gotten involved in a crime ring.

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The summit diner right there is an awesome example of the classic diner, I had a fantastic smothered chicken sandwich last time I was visiting my dads farm. Also right across the street is the pine grill which is considered a fancy place(I worked there throughout culinary school on weekends). A little ways up the road on same side as pine grill is brewsters which has awesome ice cream, any further or the other way it's gets a little grim. There's a hoss's steak house that has decent steaks and a "salad bar" which has soups and desserts and any matter of things. Also I think Wednesdays or Saturday there is a farmers market at Georgian mansion. And somerset lake is right there. On another note if your going through the Cumberland narrows(it's naves cross road off 68 west) there is a grocery store called the fruit bowl which if you need a sugar fix half the store is pay by the lb candy. And it's the good shit.

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Kenyan Cafe, in Morgantown, is on par with any central African restaurant that I've been to. The goat stew is ridiculously good.

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