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Jun 29, 2006 10:15 PM

I-78 and Pennsylvania Turnpike - good food options?

About to start our annual trip across Pa to Ohio - any new recommendations? Any good pie to suggest? We've stopped at the Summit Diner in Somerset a few times. Had a surprisingly tasty Reuben on last visit. We were disappointed with Haags last year - is the Shartlesville Hotel better these days?

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  1. A good local spot, better than Haags or Shartleville Hotel, south of the Lenhartsville exit of I-78 is Deitsch Eck (corner of Route Old 22 and Route 143). Excellent, inexpensive PA Dutch cooking--very basic. The pork chops are very good and they have great pies. They are closed some days (early in the week) and close early, about 7 PM, so call ahead--610-562-8520.

    Another interesting experience is Kaufman's BBQ Chicken--it is famous in the area, but it took us a year to find it because no one could tell us exactly where it was. It you are on I-78, take the Midway exit (it is between the exits for Route 183 and Route 501--not sure of the exit #), go south about 1/2 mile to Old Route 22 (I think there is a stop sign), turn right onto Old 22 and look for the sign on the left--make a left onto Gravel Pit Road and go a short distance--there is a gigantic chicken so you should not miss it. Inside you see hundreds of chickens cooking on spits. You can take out or go through the self service line to order--your best bet is to get a half chicken, stuffing and a fairly good salad bar is included. This place is super casual, so don't dress up. It is closed Monday and Tuesday and have different hours on different days--phone#717-933-8102.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pnemiller

      Thanks - sorry we were too late to get your reply.

      Here is some info from this trip
      (1) Shartlesville Hotel appears to be CLOSED, out of business. Dont have a clue where the people who had ben running it went.

      (2) Breakfast spots, Landmark Restaurant in Bedford (Rte 30 - east of town center), Summit Diner in Somerset tasty stuff as always - recommended for lunch also.

      (3) A couple of years back we had a pretty good homestyle meal at a roadhouse called, I think, Johnnies, just off the Blue Mountain exit to the Turnpike. They, as well as the nearest turnpike rest stopp also sell a full line of the Utz potato chips, including the wonderfully flavorful red hot version.

      (4) Following up some Pittsburgh PostGazette tips we tried a couple of primo Western Pa Pie stops last year and this.

      best pie we had (well, not as good as MOm's in Ohio) was Glisans in Markleysburg, on the National Road. Nice diner show and probably the best pie Ive had outside of a home setting. Their coconut cream was best ever, for me. There is another place eastward from there (Casselman Inn?? that has a bakeshop in the cellar which produces good but not great stuff, nevertheless worth visiting.
      #2, just visited today was the Spring House Bakery, Dairy and Restaurant in Eighty Four,PA, just 4 miles east of Washington and a short jog off the TPKE (note, its on Rte 136 and west of the junction with 519. Very nice stop, good lunch, and delish desserts and baked goods. Ladies cooking - BBQ pork and baked beans were too sweet but reuben sandwich and other dishes were good. Make their own ice cream, very nice pies, cookies, etc to take home, too.

      (5) Dietrich's Meats at Krumsville exit on 78. Great liverwurst, also lots of other stuff including cans of Diet Moxie (yuck), shelled black walnut and hickory nuts, black walnut and shoefly pie and many other fresh and frozen meat specialties.