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May 26, 2010 10:17 AM

DTW to Philadelphia road trip this Friday -- places to stop?

Hoping some fellow hounds can help me out. On Friday I'm driving from Detroit to somewhere a few hours short of Philadelphia (completing the last leg of the trip Saturday) and need some help finding chowish places to hit for grub. Willing to drive off the beaten path, of course. Our one set agenda item is a tour of the Yuengling plant in Pottsville on Saturday morning so that may be where we spend the night. Our travel on Friday can be timed around where to hit for lunch and for dinner, or at least that's my plan.

Suggestions welcome, or else my brother and sister in law will make me go to McDonalds on the highway, from which I will surely never recover. TIA...

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    1. On the Ohio Turnpike, it's a lot easier to stop at the service plaza than to get off at an exit and pay another toll. They have been modernizing their service plazas, and there are a lot more options than McDonald's, although they are still chains. On my most recent trip I ate at a Panera Bread in the service plaza. For more information see

      1. Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. I'm looking for places on the way from Detroit to Philly, not places in Philly. Unless there's a guy doing pit barbecue in the parking lot of one of those Turnpike plazas, not interested. I've seen the new pike options. Panera is definitely not my definition of "chowish."

        The above probably will read as snarky, it's not intended to be, I'm just trying to clarify what I meant by "chowish" "places to stop" on a "road trip" where "travel on Friday can be timed around where to hit for lunch and for dinner."

        Again, thanks for any suggestions people can send my way. I've been told it is a vast wasteland from Youngstown to State College along I-80 and my stomach would like to prove that false.

        2 Replies
        1. re: oppsie

          Made many a trip from Cleveland to Philly in the 90's. The bad news is that there really isn't anything (of which I'm aware) on or near the turnpike. Close to Harrisburg/Reading is Stoudt's Brewery and Pub. I've never been, but it seems interesting and the beer they sold in 6's seemed pretty good.

          1. re: JohnE O

            I think what you have heard is mostly correct between Youngstown and State College.
            I live out side Detroit and my in laws live outside Philly and I went to college out there as well. Have made the drive hundreds of times and yet to find anything meaningful in that stretch. SORRY! There a couple of famous Toledo places right of 280 but not sure if that too early in the trip. Try asking, I believe one is a deli close to the highway with good overall reviews.

            Why I think Nsxtasy mentioned the hassle with the ohio turnpike is the cost. To take the turnpike from Toledo to Youngstown is now over $9 dollars and cost goes up with each exit. Also as far as Ive seen (got off a few times) there is not too much directly off the turnpike either....

            Sorry for all bad news.....wish I had something better to give ya


        2. I've been stopping at the Summit Diner, in Somerset, PA, on the way to the east coast since 1976. I am not saying its the best food ever. But I always enjoy my meal, and its a bit nostalgic. Its been a number of years since I've been there, but I think I usually get a hot roast beef sandwich. Enjoy the Yuengling!

          2 Replies
          1. re: freddyeats

            is that the town with the small windmill farm? can you see the diner from the freeway? always looking for a good place to stop on our way to obx.

            1. re: xman887

              That's it, you can see the wind turbines from the highway. If you get off that exit and head North toward Johnstown, there are turbines a plenty.

              Shortly off the Bedford exit on the turnpike on US 30 is the historic Jean Bonnet Tavern.