Breakfast In/Near Terre Haute on I70 ? Lunch in KC? Dinner near CO KS border?
I and my lovely wife go to KC from Detroit using that route (through Indianapolis). I can't think of any place particularly outstanding. The thing that jumped out at me re: your post was that you have chosen a VERY aggressive driving schedule. That's a long trip for two days., especially the Terre Haute to Colorado leg. Are you sure about this?? I'm worried and I don't even know you!
Effingham was mentioned in another post. My wife and I always stay at the Raintree Best Western off of exit 159. Next to it is a very nice but nothing fancy place that offers good food at a reasonable price. Good salad bar. The motel itsself is clean, inexpensive and handy. They offer the usual in-lobby breakfast (bagels, bisquits and gravy, cereal, etc.). You could stop at Kingdom City (mid-MO) for a break. When you go through KC you will pass the 435 south exit. If you were to take it as a little side trip you would soon come the the exit (not sure of the street) that's marked LC's BBQ. I'm not sure of the exact distance from 435 but perhaps a KC or Raytown chowhound could be more specific. Anyway, it's a classic BBQ joint and very highly regarded (also a dump so don't expect candles and violins). I don't think it would be that much out of your way as long as you had specific directions. Just a thought. As an old K-State alum, I can almost assure that once you blow by Topeka, there's not much. Have a great trip!
While I've lived in KS all my life, I've only driven through the western part of the state once. It's pretty desolate out there...you might want to try to eat in Colby or a couple hours earlier in Hayes (I think Hayes is about 5 hours west of KC, but someone else might know better). If no one responds about western KS, you can try www.travelks.com and click on places to eat. Surely you can find some fun little Americana-type places that I don't know about.
It might be fun for you to stay on I-70 to Lawrence, about 25 minutes west of KC. There is a really nice downtown area, easy to find off I-70, with lots of locally owned restaurants. It is an easy city to navigate.
It depends on what you're in the mood for, but if you like hot wings and hamburgers, I like Jefferson's at 743 Mass. St (in the downtown).
If you're looking for sandwiches, try Quinton's. www.baranddeli.com
People always seem to love Freestate Brewery. www.freestatebrewing.com
And last, but certainly not least, Wheatfields. I enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner there and they have some OUT OF THIS WORLD dessert treats you can take on the road. My dad says they have the best coffee he's ever had. http://www.wheatfieldsbakery.com/
Also, if you need a sweet little treat, Sylas and Maddie's Home Made ice cream is yummy good! 1014 Massachusetts St
Have a fun and safe trip and enjoy your time in Kansas!
I second stopping in downtown Lawrence for lunch.
Aside from having better food in a better atmosphere, you won't waste a ton of time getting lost in KC & trying to find your way back to the interstate. Downtown Lawrence is just a 3 or 4 mile straight shot from I-70.
Free State Brewing Company is quintessential Lawrence. The beer rivals the best-of-the-best. I get a cup of cheddar ale soup with either a Turkey Bacon Focaccia Sandwich, the Brewhouse Chicken Salad, or the Fish and Chips. (The Portobello Parmasaen Sandwich is real popular, too, I'm just not a portobello fan.) Bonus: A lot of the menu, although not widely advertised, is local.
(Personally I would skip Jefferson's & Quinton's, both college bar food. Wheatfield's is great--especially for breakfast--it's where Free State gets their bread from.)
After lunch walk a few blocks down to Sylas and Maddy's for ice cream. Pass Cold Stone & Ben & Jerry's, Sylas and Maddy's has them beat. Plus they let you taste all you want before you decide. http://www.lawrence.com/places/sylas_...
Then grab coffee for the road at La Prima Tazza, next to Free State. Although there are a dozen local coffee shops downtown (& a Starbucks for people who get lost downtown from the Westside) La Prima Tazza does it best. I recommend bringing a couple thermoses to fill up because past Lawrence you'll be stuck with gas stations (& few & far between at that).
P.S. If you want to get food for the road there is a local grocery store downtown, The Casbah, with a lot of deli sides (tastey, although pricey), can get bread @ Wheatfield's Bakery, & Au Marche has an awesome selection of salamis & cheeses (which they will very happily slice as little as you want). The Cheese Shop has your standard deli lunch meat, too. All these places are within walking distance downtown. http://www2.ljworld.com/marketplace/
The City Market in KC is right off of I-70 (like 2 block off of I-70). In and around the market, you have lots of good lunch options, including a great Middle Eastern restaurant (Habashi House), an excellent Itallian deli with great sandwiches and pretty good cheesesteaks (Carollo's), a diner that's Kansas City institution (Cascone's), gelato (Argento), several very good Vietnamese restaurants with varying degrees of chicken-footednes, and so on.
Plus, you can pick up some good car snacks. Then back on the road!
KC is a great foodie town. Those mentions in Lawrence are also worth visiting.
KC, here's a variety and in no order...
Classic Cup (on the Plaza)
The Mixx (fast salads and sandwiches but nice)
ChefBurger (downtown parking though)
Bristol (also downtown)
Pizza 51 (cool neighborhood pizza joint)
Hi Nelle - We travel from Cleveland to KC (my hometown) via I-70 about 2X/year and always try to stop at the Flatbranch Brewery in Columbia, MO (home of Mizzou Tigers). I'm not a beer drinker but my hubby is fond of brewpubs and gives this one a thumbs up! Food is good with a decent selection. Also, save room for the Tiger Stripe ice cream!
We also get a caffeine fix at Lakota Coffee in Columbia: