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Birmingham AL to Baltimore MD to Williamsport PA

m
MatthewDavid Sep 29, 2007 07:24 AM

Hiya Hounds!

I am moving to Pennsylvania in November. Any suggestions for chow along the way?

I would prefer:
--No chains (although local chains are ok).
--Food I can take in the car with me (to go).
--Places not too far off the roads I will be taking.

My Mapquest directions are below if you want to see what highways I will be taking.

Thanks!
~Matthew
matthewdavidmd@mac.com

BIRMINGHAM AL TO BALTIMORE MD
--I-459 N toward ATLANTA / GADSDEN. [9.1 miles]
--I-59 N via EXIT 33B toward GADSDEN (Crossing into GEORGIA). [123.5 miles]
--I-24 E toward CHATTANOOGA (Crossing into TENNESSEE). [17.4 miles]
--I-75 N via EXIT 185B on the LEFT toward KNOXVILLE. [100.3 miles]
--I-40 E toward KNOXVILLE. [36.5 miles]
--I-81 N via EXIT 421 on the LEFT toward BRISTOL (Crossing into VIRGINIA). [391.5 miles]
--Take the VA-7 E exit- EXIT 315- toward BERRYVILLE. [0.2 miles]
--LEFT onto VA-7 E / BERRYVILLE PIKE. [8.5 miles]
--Take the US-340 S / US-340 N ramp toward CHARLES TOWN / BERRYVILLE. [0.2 miles]
--Take the US-340 ramp. [0.1 miles]
--LEFT onto US-340 N / N BUCKMARSH ST. Continue to follow US-340 N (Crossing into WEST VIRGINIA). [12.8 miles]
--US-340 N toward HARPERS FERRY (Passing through VIRGINIA- then crossing into MARYLAND). [23.6 miles]
--I-70 E via EXIT 10 toward BALTIMORE / I-270 S / WASHINGTON. [39.1 miles]
--I-695 N / BALTIMORE BELTWAY INNER LOOP via EXIT 91B toward I-95 N / NEW YORK / TOWSON. [12.1 miles]
--I-83 N via EXIT 24 toward TIMONIUM / YORK PA. [1.4 miles]

BALTIMORE MD TO WILLIAMSPORT PA
--I-83 N via the ramp on the LEFT toward YORK (Crossing into PENNSYLVANIA). [71.6 miles]
--I-81 S / US-322 W via EXIT 51A on the LEFT toward CARLISLE / LEWISTOWN. [2.4 miles]
--US-22 W / US-322 W via EXIT 67 toward LEWISTOWN. [13.2 miles]
--US-15 N toward SELINSGROVE. [68.6 miles]

  1. rabidog Oct 1, 2007 08:11 PM

    they have you taking a very pretty route (81 thru 340).

    i'm actually from philly but looks like you are not heading this way. but DC / bmore were my old stomping grounds...

    --I-695 N / BALTIMORE BELTWAY INNER LOOP via EXIT 91B toward I-95 N / NEW YORK / TOWSON. [12.1 miles]
    --I-83 N via EXIT 24 toward TIMONIUM / YORK PA. [1.4 miles]
    ..........a couple places around here for good crabs and seafood - i love CJs in reisterstown (not far off 695 - route 140 exit) and crackpot in the towson area (loch raven blvd exit i think?). they're both dive places where road trip clothes would suit fine.

    leesburg va also has some cute options - very historic area - check to see if you are passing anywhere near there, it is worth a longer stopover. i have been too far removed from the area to comment specifically on any one place (can't remember names!) but query the DC board for leesburg to see what may come up.

    sorry, those are all MD recs. i don't know central PA that well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rabidog
      j
      jfr Oct 6, 2007 06:50 AM

      Driving home from DC almost two years ago, my wife and I stopped at the Charred Rib in Timonium (12 Ridgely Rd.) and had very good sandwiches at lunch. Sorry, can't comment on the ribs. Just thought I would suggest an alternative to sea food in that area.

    2. n
      neighbor Oct 3, 2007 12:22 PM

      Moving to Williamsport by any chance? I am! I'm afraid it will be a culinary wasteland, though perhaps tempered by the nearness of State College. There is a brewpub called the Bullfrog that appeared decent and was packed on a Sunday afternoon (we didn't have the time to wait for a table). There is supposedly a Thai place (name escapes me) but I haven't tried it yet. There's also a Caribbean place, Island Beginnings. Avoid "The Lodge," attached to the Lycoming Econolodge. It serves mediocre pub grub at a glacial and disorganized pace. Oddly, there appears to be virtually NOWHERE to have breakfast out except Dunkin Donuts, McDonald's and Denny's. Of course that pretty much means there's nowhere to go out for brekkie, but maybe some diner owner will see this post and jump at the chance.

      1 Reply
      1. re: neighbor
        m
        MatthewDavid Oct 3, 2007 02:10 PM

        Hey neighbor...we actually will be neighbors! I am indeed moving to Williamsport, although when my wife moves up we will probably relocate to Lock Haven since she will work in State College. I think I saw a chow post for breakfast at a place called Country Cupboard in Lewisburg? My wife loves breakfast as well, so hopefully something will open in Williamsport. I think the Peter Herdic House might do a brunch?

      2. b
        brian14leonard Oct 7, 2007 08:45 AM

        I'm a Williamsport native and still have family there, so I go there 6-7 times a year. I probably shouldn't even be posting here, since I'm a fairly picky eater, but I can recommend a few places either from personal experience (PE) or word-of-mouth (WOM):

        BREAKFAST:
        It's pretty much true, as far as I know, that there aren't many places to get a decent breakfast in town. I used to have a few favorites which are now gone. My current favorite is Mom's (PE), a homey place on West Third Street, which serves wonderfully crisp baked bacon and low-priced specials. One caveat: while there is a small non-smoking section, the place can still get pretty smoky, especially if you're at/near the counter. There's also a place called Donna's (PE) (either on High St. or Park Ave.--I forget) which serves good pancakes but most people I know won't go there, because it seems unclean to them and in a bad neighborhood. If you go to Jersey Shore (between Williamsport & State College), The Crest (PE) on Allegheny St. serves a good breakfast.

        Otherwise...there's Perkins and Denny's and nothing else that I know of.

        LUNCH/DINNER:

        My favorite restaurant in the area is The Bridge Tavern (PE), at the South Williamsport side of the Market St. bridge. The original owners are gone, but new owners/management have kept a lot of the original menu items. They have good burgers, a good chicken sandwich, decent steaks, and the best breaded mushrooms I've ever had.

        If you want a cheesesteak or hoagie (usually called subs in Wmspt.), go to Joey's Place (PE/WOM) on Washington Boulevard. Their "ho-made" fries can be nice and crispy, or underdone and greasy. People also like their pizzas, especially the white pizza. There are a lot of neighborhood sub shops in the area and people have their own favorites. The stromboli at Two Boys (WOM) is a particular favorite. Alas, what many considered the best and perhaps the "original" sub shop in the area, Cellini's in Montoursville, is currently closed and may not re-open.

        If you're willing to risk going into what's generally considered a "bad" neigborhood, check out The Shamrock (PE) on West Fourth St. They have excellent burgers and the best gravy fries I've ever had. I recommend eating in the big, old bar room rather than the attached sub shop, but either is fine.

        The Bullfrog Brewery (PE/WOM) is well-liked--good burgers and good handcut fries, among other things. Not to mention the beer selection.

        For Italian-American food, my recommendation would be The Triangle Tavern (PE) where Washington Blvd. and Third St. meet. Some people love the sauce, some don't. The homemade desserts are very good. And the Casales are great hosts. Unfortunately, the other well-liked Italian place, Tag's, closed a couple of years ago. Some people like The Villa (WOM).

        For upscale dining, the best places are generally considered to be the Peter Herdic House (PE/WOM), Penn College's Le Jeune Chef (WOM), and the Old Corner downtown (WOM). The Old Corner just looks like an old neighborhood bar, but the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival voted it the best meal on their fall tour about 12 years ago. Supposedly the quality has remained high. Franco's (PE/WOM) also has its adherents and is a great (if narrow!) bar.

        To me, though, the culinary highlights of Williamsport (besides subs) are to be found in an out-of-the-way place and at restricted times. I speak first of Eder's ice cream (PE), which is about, I dunno, 6 or so miles northeast of Williamsport, off Route 87. The ice cream is handmade right there and you can't go wrong with any flavor, some of which are unique. My favorites are teaberry and dark chocolate. Secondly, perhaps the best french fries I've ever had are handmade at the Newberry Lions truck, which can be found at Lycoming College football games and the annual "Homemade Days" in Brandon Park. (They also show up at other events, but those two are the regular ones I know of.)

        Anyway, good luck in your move. Feel free to e-mail me at unclebrian@brianleonard.net if you have any questions about the area (not that I can answer all of them!).

        1. b
          brian14leonard Oct 7, 2007 08:59 AM

          P.S. I see you mentioned the Country Cupboard--I've only eaten there once, and it wasn't for breakfast, but I didn't think it was very good. There used to be a good drive-in in Lewisburg called The Fence, which specalized in a fish sandwich--dunno if it's still there. I haven't eaten in Lock Haven since I was a kid, so I don't know about anything there. Nearby Jersey Shore has The Crest, which I've mentioned, and the Gamble Farm Inn, which some people love but which I thought was so-so. I like Santino's, which has a main restaurant in Jersey Shore and a small one in South Williamsport--they serve subs on unusual, delicious flat bread and the Jersey Shore one (dunno abt. Southside) makes a mean chicken marsala. One of my best friends runs the Jersey Shore Elks, and they have a monthly all-you-can-eat Sunday breakfast which is basic but good--and cheap. Oh, and I forgot to mention Sunday brunch at the Genetti Hotel, which may have gone slightly downhill (I was there three weeks ago and there was no roast beef) but is still pretty good and a good value.

          1. b
            brian14leonard Oct 7, 2007 09:11 AM

            P.P.S. If you have time (or just want dessert), one place right on your route is the Red Rabbit drive-in on 22/322 just before you get onto 15 North. It's an old-school drive in where you order in your car and get your meal there. The food is nothing great--it's the experience. And they are **very** slow, unless you just want ice cream.

            If you get desperate approaching Williamsport, there are lots of chains on the Selinsgrove strip.

            3 Replies
            1. re: brian14leonard
              p
              profjmm Oct 7, 2007 10:38 AM

              Next to the Red Rabbit on 22/322 is Micheal's Cafe, www.michealscafe.com. Micheal's has terrific food, which wouldn't be obvious given the location.

              1. re: profjmm
                b
                brian14leonard Nov 2, 2007 06:50 PM

                I've never tried Micheal's, but next time I drive by and want a meal, I'll definitely stop. Thanks for the tip!

                1. re: brian14leonard
                  t
                  tartuffe Nov 5, 2007 08:55 AM

                  I second Michael's. Quite good, esp given the location. have not been to dinner tho

            2. lynnlato Oct 26, 2007 06:41 PM

              Wmspt. is NOT a "culinary wasteland" as another poster commented. You certainly won't find foie gras or artisanal cheeses but they have some of the best italian american and PA dutch food offered in the NE. I was born and raised there but moved away to Charlotte NC 11 years ago. I miss the history, architecture and the food. Beautiful bakeries (Joanna's on Market St. & Rosencran's in Loyalsock), amazing pizza w/ that lovely NY chewy crust (Joe's or Park Pizza). Hoagies on beautiful hoagie rolls w/ homemade canned italian peppers that one can only find in Wmspt. Steer clear of The Triangle... it's dreadful Italian food (and i'm good friend of the family). Better yet is Franco's. They have great live music, good crafted beers, etc. Upscale restaurants I would suggest are Pazzo's downtown and 33 East. The owners of 33 East also own The Old Corner which is a great place to grab a bite and meet friends for drinks. The Valley Inn has the best wings you'll ever find. Get your hoagies at Ed's Market on Franklin St. or at Newberry Sub Shop on Newberry St. Sadly, a great diner breakfast is becoming harder to find there. The Busy Bee had the best breakfast in town, but it recently closed after many, many years in business. Heller's out Lycoming Creek Rd has a decent breakfast and while you're out there, check out Maseto's which has an amazing variety of sandwiches. Tony's Deli onWashington Blvd. is an old Italian deli and butcher and they have, hands down, the best prepared salads. Highly recommended are their ham spread, macaroni salad, pickled eggs, house made breakfast sausage and ham loaf. My family must bring these items down to me in NC when them come to visit!

              The poster who suggested Eder's ice cream was dead on! They're chocolate chip is unlike any you've ever eaten. I don't really care for choco. chip but there's is heavenly. Rather than chips, it's finely shaved chocolate mixed into hand made vanilla. Whoa.

              Okay, I just can't write anymore. I'm totally homesick now. I'll always miss the food back home. I've eaten at the finest restaurants in nyc, san francisco, etc. but the simple food you'll find in wmspt is perfection.

              Best of luck to you (oh, and you're only 3 hrs from NYC, DC & Philly)!!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: lynnlato
                b
                bsquare311 Jun 24, 2009 09:51 AM

                You mentioned the Busy Bee. My father grew up in Williamsport (1938-) and treated me to his love of Baked Hamburgers here. I've searched high and low for a recipe for these things and as anyone who knows, one bite and you are in for 3 or more. The only clue we've gotten is that is was possibly greek in origin as the owners supposedly were greek. It was as sad day to hear they had closed....

              2. b
                BSpill Apr 7, 2009 09:30 AM

                Would anyone be able to help with an update to this thread? I am going to Muncy and there is a group of 15 of us looking to go to dinner Saturday night, May 9. DiSalvos was the first choice, but they can only accomodate 8 people, due to Lycoming's graduation.
                Our group will include a 3 year old, an infant, and the rest are adults. We do not need to go to Williamsport - but don't really want to drive too far. We have ruled out Orlandos - since we have been there recently. The restaurant does not need to be Italian. Any suggestions for a good pinch hitter? Thanks in advance!

                1 Reply
                1. re: BSpill
                  m
                  MatthewDavid May 14, 2009 05:11 PM

                  Sorry I missed this, hope you found something good. I like Jasmine for Thai, Johnsons in Montoursville for general American (and a good Cheesesteak), and Long Island Pizza for pizza and cheesecake. No good chinese that I have found, Orlando's is probably the best Italian, and Mexican is only decent at Abrana Marie's and Ozzie and Mae's. I would suggest Smiley's as a great dive, but they do not seat 15.

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