U.S. Route 20, East to West
I'll be traveling on U.S. 20 through the Midwest.
Looking for places within a max of a half-hour or so of U.S. Route 20.
States are Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska.
I'm interested in chicken, sandwiches, BBQ and ice cream parlours.
No interest in Mexican or Seafood (though, that's likely not a concern on 98% of the trip. heh)
Sounds like a blast! Try recent Toledo threads for NW Ohio--Byblos Lebanese would be near U.S. 20 if not on it.
When I was younger I drove a truck for a while on a route that went through the Amish country in northern Indiana. I remember the bakeries were very good--can't remember the names or towns (Wakarusa was one), and anyway this was years ago (and they don't have websites, natch). But keep an eye peeled as you go through there, and if you see buggies in the parking lot, stop.
In Nebraska, you absolutely HAVE to stop at Bob's Bar in tiny Martinsburg. It's only a couple miles north of 20 on hwy 9.
Bob's is the ultimate dive bar, dirty and full of local farmers and good 'ole boys. But their food is awesome- the burgers are HUGE. Seriously, the burger is easily twice the size of the bun. The rest of the food is of the deep-fried variety, and the portions are equally large. One side is plenty for an entire table- you literally get a mountain of them on a plate. Try the gizzards!
Oh, and use the restroom before you go there. If you've ever seen the movie Trainspotting, you have a good idea of what the restrooms look like.
Sorry to reply again, but I have a recommendation for a slight course change. Near Randolph, NE, you should head north on hwy 81 for a half hour or so, and then west on hwy 12. Hwy 12 will meet back up with 20 in Valentine, and it is a much better drive visually.
The first town you would pass through on hwy 12 would be my hometown of Crofton. In Crofton, there is a great bed and breakfast- The Argo. Rooms are decently priced (around 70ish a night if I remember correctly) and they have excellent steaks there as well. The owner, Sandra, is also a delight.
Walt's, one of the bars in town, also has the best broasted chicken you will ever eat.
Anyways, enjoy your trip!
Rt 20 will take you through downtown Cleveland, but I'm uncertain of what kind of chicken dishes that you seek. Barberton chicken is a Serbian style friend bird that is regionally famous, but it's slightly more then 30 minutes from your route.
Melt in Lakewood has great soup and sandwich combos, and Yours Truly on the east-side has great breakfasts and burgers.
Id suggest a stop at the West Side market if you are in Cleveland on market days.