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Jan 4, 2010 07:25 AM

Driving from NYC to Nashville - Rest Stop Suggestions?

Hi all,
I'm going to be driving from NYC to Nashville, and I was wondering if there were any good places to stop on the way. I'm not looking for anything official, just something better than fast food at rest stops. Any local delicacies? I'll be on route I-78 and I-81 through PA, MD, WV, VA, and TN and then I-40 in TN to Nashville.

I'll x-post this on the South board, too.


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  1. If you are going to be in the Roanoake, VA area around lunch or dinner time I highly recommend stopping at Three Li'l Pigs barbeque in Daleville. It's no more than 5 minutes off of I-81.

    1. The San Antonio Taco Company (or SATCO as the locals call it) on Broadway adjacent to the Vanderbilt campus in Nashville has great tacos when you get there. Never stopped along the way tho :(...

      1. We recently drove from Philadelphia to Nashville, and then on to Memphis. We didn't find any gems on the road, but in general, we were surprised at the business model of the Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Store, chain. They were everyone on the way; shown on exit ramp signage, proving to be reliable, and fairly reasonable, if hardly chow. What we were not willing to do was wait in line, so we left some of them and went elsewhere.
        They are obviously doing a lot right.

        Actually in Nashville, we stayed at a Comfort Inn, and were directed by the desk clerk to Cafe F???? very closeby. Don't expect true rib barbecue, but again, this non-chain had its act together for reasonably priced, good quality solid food. Service philosophy was outstanding. My ribs were delivered cold in the middle, only hot on top; a downer if there was one. But, the manager, the waitress, even the busboy stepped up to the plate to make amends, and we left happy. I'd go back. Oops, my mistake, this winner was in Ashville, not Nashville. My bad!!

        1. I did a list for a trip I did over the summer. There were a few places that I couldn't put on the list because of the limitations before the database upgrade, but it has a few worthwhile. Here's the link:
          We did stop at the Little Collective Grill in Harrisonburg and it was really good. Just right for a quick lunch. Good (mellow) staff and great food. It's not far out of the way, but it helps to plug it into GPS. You can park in front and find spots if you're early enough. They were doing a pretty brisk lunch as we were leaving.
          All of the places on the list were recommended in one form or another on the South Board. One of these days, I'll finish updating, but for now, this is a good start.
          Oh, and if you're passing I-78 exit 40 after 6 AM, stop in at Deitrich's Meats and pick up some snacks for the road, or scrapple to share with people in TN. They also have some pretty good pies, and assorted pickled things if you're daring.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JohnnyKBar

            These have all been extremely helpful. Thank you, all!

            1. re: JohnnyKBar

              love Dietrich meats! My father won't let me come home anymore unless I bring him 5 lbs of brats from Dietrich meats in krumsville

            2. Hey BrappNYC! I'm about to make this same trip at the end of this month. I was wondering if you had any suggestions from your experience? Any must stop places?