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Jun 24, 2008 06:25 AM

81-S (PA to Asheville, NC)

Need your recs for great food, easy- access restaurants. Give me your best, must try- Diners, Dives and Drive-ins! (Am I asking for too much....?!)

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  1. i made that trip last year on a trip to maine.

    i can vouch for the burgers at the glass lounge. they were quite good. skip the fries.

    1. Wow, I have made this trip (PA to Charlotte) often and I am not aware of any decent food stops on 81-S. It's a total truckers wasteland. At least as far as I know. If there is decent chow to be had I'd be thrilled. I imagine the best food would be in Roanoke/Troutville/Salem area. Or maybe something in Harrisonburg near the JMU campus.

      3 Replies
      1. re: lynnlato

        We have to find something! This is the only place I've found so far: Skeeter's

        I'd like to try to find something else because I've not had a hot dog in over 10 years!

        1. re: Displaced California Foodie

          DCF, okay Skeeter's definitely looks worth a stop. I read some review by "a bunch of dirty hippies" whose appetites probably would of been satiated by a bag of Doritos but they said the place was awesome. Ha!

          Speaking of hippies, I found this place called The Little Grill Collective in Harrisonburg VA which looks promising. Another hippie place but it's been around since 1940 and is closed on Mondays b/c they serve a community meal. Interesting. Here's a link: Here's another link for Harrisonburg recs and some reviews of The Little Grill Collective:

          Search Chowhound for Roanoke and Harrisonburg and see what you come up with. Then, please let us know how you make out. I certainly could use some options other than Mickey D's and Wendy's!

          Safe Travels!

          1. re: lynnlato

            Wonderful! The Little Grill Collective looks great. Thank you!

      2. As suggested by others, there isn't much. Best single place is Ridgewood BBQ near Bluff City Tenn. Odd hours and long lines however--also not easy to find. There is a place near Natural Bridge Va called the Pink Cadillac Diner. Interesting decor and half decent low-end diner food. There are a few decent places around Abingdon Va--I don't remember names, but try a search. Same for Front Royal. Same for Johnson City, Tenn, where there is a college and the usual student type places.

        Other than Ridgewood, best to save your appetite for Asheville.

        1 Reply
        1. re: johnb

          Just saw on another thread a mention of a place called Skeeters in Wytheville, Va., said to have great hot dogs. The post was about Dec 27 2007 on the link below.

        2. We drop our kids off at camp in the Shenandoah Valley and often stop at The BBQ Ranch- a homey little BBQ place just north of Harrisonburg on Route 11 right off I-81. I believe the exit sign just says Route 11 - its near mile marker 257. You go south on 11 for about 1 mile. Anyway, its not a BBQ destination like Ridgewood in TN(mentioned by an earlier hound) but they have good fried shrimp and fried chicken platters. Very down home - same waitstaff for 30-years. Certainly beats any fast food joint and right off the highway.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gina Miller

            Thanks John B, Gina and lynnlato and mark.
            I appreciate the suggestions and I'll post upon my return to give feedback.

          2. You should get off the road in Lexington. I can't vouch for great meals, but Cocoa Mill on West Nelson (according to the Wall Street Journal and me) makes some of the best American chocolate you'll have and there selection is extensive. And Lexington is worth a visit with or without a meal.