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Sep 2, 2010 04:46 PM

good country cooking

I will be driving across country with my parents ages 79 and 83 in October. We will be traveling from Cincinnati, Oh to Las Vegs, Nv mostly on I-70. On the return trip we will be traveling mostly on I-40. I need your help finding restaraunts on theses large interstates, that are not fast food chains, but just good old fashion Mom and Pop's where the local's eat. We are not opposed to driving some distance off the express way to get a nice meal. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. You may find some answers in this thread from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website. The area is east of St. Louis, on the Illinois side of the river. On the Missouri side on I-70, Mom 'n Pop-ery is harder to come by between STL and Columbia.

    3 Replies
    1. re: lemons

      Thanks for the information I will check that out. Do you know anything about Hannibal, Mo?

      1. re: love2wonder2

        Hannibal is pretty much a wasteland. I recall a diner on one of the east-west streets that's okay but not great. Hannibal is a considerable distance north of I-70, of course, but you probably knew that.

        1. re: lemons

          Thanks for the comments on Hannibal. Yes, we are on the fence about Hannibal. Thought it might be a pretty river town with lots of nice shops, old homes and some nice places to eat. Having never been there before I looked at the towns webcam and websites and I am having second thoughts.
          Also thought about traveling on rt- 36 from Hannibal to Jamesport for a drive through Amish country. From there I read about a restaurant in St Joseph, The Frederick Steakhouse that sounded great and had rave reviews. Again on the fence, not sure if it is worth driving on rt-36. Still in the pre planning stage of the trip trying to weigh all of the options. Any thoughts?

    2. Here's some help in NM and AZ...........I wrote this up going E to W so you will have to reverse it if you are on your way home.

      Get off I 40 at Exit 22 in Gallup, NM and go S on Ford Drive just across the RR tracks to The El Rancho Hotel on Historic Route 66 which has been home to John Wayne and many movie stars filming in the NM area. It was built in 1937. Have lunch or cold drinks at The Restaurant and Bar at the El Rancho Hotel. If you prefer breakfast, lunch or dinner at a real joint go past the El Rancho Hotel and go S on Highway 118 or Historic Route 66 to S 4th Street then take a left and go to Jerry's Cafe at 406 W Coal Street. If Jerry's looks too rough go S on Route 66 past S 7th Street to Don Diego's Restaurant and Lounge for outstanding Mexican cuisine.

      I believe lunch at El Rancho Hotel would be wonderful and you would get good food and cold drinks at the same time. Leaving go S on Route 66 to Munoz Drive and go N to I 40.

      El Rancho Hotel Restaurant and Bar @ 1000 E. US 66, Gallup, NM 800 - 543 - 6351.

      Jerry's Cafe @ 406 West Coal Avenue, Gallup, NM 505 - 722 - 6775.

      Don Diego's Restaurant and Lounge @ 801 W Historic Highway 66, Gallup, NM 505 - 722 - 5517

      It will take about 4 hours to get to Holbrook, AZ. If you want to stop and rest get off I 40 at Exit 286 and go S on Navajo Blvd. to W Hopi Drive and outstanding homemade Mexican/American cuisine for breakfast, lunch or dinner at Joe and Aggie's Cafe.

      Winslow, AZ is an interesting town on Route 66. Get off I 40 at Exit 255 and go S to E 3rd Street. Take a right and go W to N Kinsley Avenue then take a left to e 2nd Street and have a cold drink or lunch at the gorgeous Turquoise Room Restaurant at La Posada Hotel. Your guy will love the national historic landmark hotel which was built in 1929 for Santa Fe Railroad.

      You may want to take a short break at Flagstaff, AZ and see the N Arizona U Campus. Take a right at Exit 195 off I 40 and go N on S Milton Road to Buster's Restaurant and Bar for a nice lunch and cold drinks.

      It's almost 4 hours from Flagstaff, AZ to Kingman, AZ. You might want to stop along the way for a short rest. Williams, AZ is on the Southwest Amtrak route and historic Route 66. Williams, AZ is also near the S Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and serves as a major tourist stop for visitors to GCNP. The altitude here is about 6,800 feet which contributes to the beautiful scenery around Williams, AZ making it a nice place to visit and enjoy. Get off I 40 at Exit 163 and go S on N Grand Canyon Blvd. to Pine Country Restaurant on N Grand Canyon for breakfast, lunch or dinner or go by Twister's Soda Fountain on E Route 66 for good burgers and steaks or a cold drink. Stop by Old Smokey's on W Route 66 for breakfast or lunch.

      Joe and Aggie's Cafe @ 120 West Hopi Drive, Holbrook, AZ 928 - 524 - 6540.

      Turquoise Room at The La Posada Hotel @ 303 East 2nd St., Winslow, AZ 928 - 289 - 2888.

      Buster's Restaurant and Bar @ 1800 South Milton Road, Flagstaff, AZ 928 - 774 - 5155.

      Pine Country Restaurant @ 107 North Grand Canyon Boulevard, Williams, AZ 928 - 635 - 9718.

      Twister's Soda Fountain @ 417 E Route 66, Williams, AZ 928 - 635 - 0266.

      Old Smokey's Restaurant @ 624 W Route 66, Williams, AZ 928 - 635 - 1915.

      Seligman, AZ is a very small town on Route 66 that is a nice place to stop for a rest. Go by Delgadillo's Snow Cap for good burgers and cold drinks. The Roadkill Cafe is fun and Westside Lillo's Cafe is a nice place for breakfast, lunch or dinner on their outdoor patio if the weather permits.

      Delgadillo's Snow Cap @ 301 E Chino Ave., Seligman, AZ 928 - 422 - 3291.

      The Road Kill Cafe @ 502 W Hwy 66, Seligman, AZ 928 - 422 - 3554.

      Westside Lilo's Cafe @ 415 West Chino Street, Seligman, AZ 928 - 422 - 5456.

      Kingman has some nice places for good road food. Get off at Exit 48 off I 40 and go W on Route 66 which is W Beale Street to Redneck Southern Pit BBQ. If you don't like BBQ then stop at Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner on E Andy Devine Avenue for good road food for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Head W on Beale Street which will take you to Highway 93 and LV, NV.

      Redneck Southern Pit BBQ @ 420 W Beale St., Kingman, AZ 928 - 757 - 8227.
      Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner @ 105 East Andy Devine Avenue, Kingman, AZ 928 - 718 - 0066.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Littleman

        Perfect! I looked up all of the restaurant that had websites and they all look amazing! Just what we are looking for. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your help.

        1. re: Littleman

          And many thanks for those, from me; we're planning a run thataway in the spring for a NAU graduation.

        2. Will you go to Nashville, TN on the way home on I 40 then take I 65/I 71 N to Cincinnati. I can help you there. Thanks.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Littleman

            We will be going home the way you had mentioned and we would love and suggestions you may have. Last time my husband and I went through Nashville we ate at Swett's and we really enjoyed that.

            1. re: love2wonder2

              Get off I 40 in Albuquerque, NM at Exit 159 B to I 25 S and go to Exit 224 B on I 25 S. Exit and go back E on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. Go 5 blocks and take a right on Maple. Go 3 blocks to Central and turn right to go to 66 Diner for outstanding road food for lunch or dinner. For outstanding Southwest cuisine for breakfast go 7/8 blocks E on Central from Maple to Frontier Restaurant.

              If you want good road food in Albuquerque and don't have time to get too far off I 40 get off at Exit 160 and go N on Carlisle Blvd. NE to Rudy's Country Store and BBQ.

              66 Diner @ 1405 Central Avenue NE, Albuquerque, NM 505 - 247 - 1421.

              Frontier Restaurant @ 2400 Central Avenue SE, Albuquerque, NM 505 - 266 - 0550.

              Rudy's Country Store and BBQ @ 2321 Carlisle Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, NM 505 - 884 - 4000.

              Get off I 40 at Exit 332 in Tucumcari, NY and go N on S 1st St. to Tucumcari Blvd. Take a right and go to Kix on 66 for good road food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

              Kix on 66 @ 1102 East Tucumcari Boulevard, Tucumcari, NM 575 - 461 - 1966.

              Get off I 40 in Amarillo, TX at Exit 68 B to Georgia St. Turn N and go to Frontage Road. Take a left then take your first right on S Kentucky to Dyer's BBQ for outstanding road food for lunch or dinner.

              Dyer's BBQ @ 1619 South Kentucky St., Amarillo, TX 806 - 358 - 7104.

              In Oklahoma City, OK take Exit 139 off I 40 N to Kilpatrick Turnpike. Go 5 miles and take Highway 66 E. Go 6 miles to Ann's Chicken Fry House for outstanding road food for lunch or dinner. When you get your fill of good fried chicken go E less than a mile to I 44 and go S to I 40 about 3/4 miles to I 40. Get over in your left lane going S and take the I 40 E ramp to I 40 E. For outstanding BBQ get off I 40 at Exit 150 A and go N on S Walker Ave. Take your second left on Reno and go E to Oklahoma. Take a right on Oklahoma and go to S E 2nd. Take a right and go to Johnny Bench Drive to Earl's BBQ. You can see Earl's from I 40 but it sure is difficult to reach. The BBQ makes it worth the effort.

              You may want good ole country food for breakfast or lunch or a fine steak for dinner. Cattlemen's Steakhouse located in the Oklahoma Stockyards offers outstanding road food and it's the most convenient location off I 40 in Oklahoma City, OK. Get off I 40 at Exit 148 A and go S on S Agnew Ave. to Cattlemen's Steakhouse. I would have a hard time trying to choose between fried chicken, BBQ or Cattlemen's country food.

              Ann's Chicken Fry House @ 4106 Northwest 39th St., Oklahoma City, OK 405 - 943 - 8915.

              Earl's Rib Palace @ 216 Johnny Bench Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 405 - 272 - 9898.

              Cattlemen's Steakhouse @ 1309 South Agnew Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 405 - 236 - 0416.

              1. re: love2wonder2

                Get off I 40 at Exit 325 at Ft. Smith, AR and go E on Robert Pine Blvd. which turns into Garrison Ave. when you cross the river. Go to Rolando's Restaurante for outstanding Mexican cuisine for lunch or dinner. If you prefer BBQ go to Neumeier's Rib Room just down the street.

                Rolando's Restaurante @ 223 Garrison Ave., Fort Smith, AR 479 - 573 - 0404.

                Neumeier's Rib Room @ 817 Garrison Ave., Fort Smith, AR 479 - 494 - 7427.

                Headed East on I 40 you could stop in Ozark, AL for good BBQ @ Rivertowne. When you get to Russellville, AR you could stop at CJ's, Colton's, Old Post or Pudgy's for good road food. Beverly's Diner in Atkins, AR is a nice place to stop for good road food. A little further E of Atkins is a good place for lunch or dinner at Morrilton Drive Inn in Morrilton, AR.

                Rivertowne BBQ @ 205 S. 3rd St., Ozark, AR. 479 - 667 - 1808.

                C J's Butcher Boy Burgers @ 2803 North Arkansas Ave., Russellville, AR 479 - 968 - 2300.

                Colton's Steakhouse & Grill @ 2320 North Arkansas Ave., Russellville, AR 479 - 880 - 2333.

                Old Post BBQ @ 407 S. AR Ave., Russellville, AR. 479 - 968 - 2421.

                Pudgy Pig BBQ @ 2405 E. Parkway Dr., Russellville, AR. 479 - 967 - 6062.

                Beverly's Family Diner @ 502 North Church St., Atkins, AR 479 - 641 - 0046.

                Morrilton Drive In Restaurant @ 1601 Oak St., Morrilton, AR 501 - 354 - 8343.

                Here are a few places with good road food in Conway, AR near I 40.

                Mike's Place @ 808 Front Street, Conway, AR 501 - 269 - 6453.
                Shorty Small's @ 1475 Hogan Lane, Conway, AR 501 - 764 - 0604.
                Smitty's BBQ @ 740 South Harkrider St., Conway, AR. 501 - 327 - 8304.
                Stoby's Restaurant @ 805 Donaghey Avenue, Conway, AR 501 - 327 - 5447.

                Go to Pruett's in Lonoke, AR. Go to Nick's BBQ in Carlisle, AR. Go to Craig's in De Vall's Bluff, AR. Go to Gene's in Brinkley, AR. Go to The Ole Sawmill Cafe for outstanding breakfast, lunch or dinner in Forrest City, AR.

                Pruett's Bar B Que @ 108 E. 8th St., Lonoke, AR. 501 - 676 - 2622.

                Nick's Bar B Que @ Hwy. 13 N., Carlisle, AR. 870 - 552 - 3887.

                Craig's BBQ @ Rt. 70, Devalls Bluff, AR. 501 - 998 - 2616.

                Gene's Barbecue and Family Restaurant @ 1107 N. Hwy. 17, Brinkley, AR. 870 - 734 - 9965.

                The Ole Sawmill Cafe @ 2299 N. Washington St., Forrest City, AR 870 - 630 - 2299.

                For outstanding BBQ stop at Roadside BBQ @ Exit 271 off I 40 In Procter, AR.

                Road Side BBQ @ 196 St. Hwy. 147, Procter, AR. 870 - 733 - 9208.

                1. re: love2wonder2

                  If you want to stop in Memphis, TN for BBQ I suggest you go to Cozy Corner BBQ due to it's location close to I 40. Right after your cross the Mississippi River get off I 40 at Exit 1B and go N on N Danny Thomas Blvd. Go about 2 blocks and you will pass St. Jude Children's Hospital then take a right on N. Parkway. Go 2 blocks to Cozy Corner for outstanding BBQ. When you leave CC head E to N Manasas and take your left. Go a block and take a right on Jackson Ave. then go about half a mile to I 240. Go under the IS and take a left going N and get on I 240 or I40 and go N. Go about 15 miles on I 240. You will turn E and then S before you reach Exit 12C then take I 40 E 200 miles to Nashville, TN.

                  Cozy Corner @ 745 N. Parkway, Memphis, TN. 901 - 527 - 9158.

                  It's about 85 miles from Cozy Corner to Jackson, TN. It's a fine place for a road stop. Get off I 40 at Exit # 80A at Jackson, TN and get off to the right on Hwy. 186/45 then turn into Casey Jones Old Country Store on the right. This is a large complex with Casey Jone's Home and Museum and some shops. The Old Country Store serves a buffet of outstanding country food for breakfast, lunch or dinner and opens at 6:30 AM.

                  Old Country Store @ 56 Casey Jones Lane, Jackson, TN 731 - 668 - 1223.

                  Are you going to stop in Nashville along I 40. It's about 4 hours from Memphis, TN. You may want to keep on rolling. If not I will give you a few places for lunch or dinner there, First good country food is at Exit 204 before you get to downtown Nashville on I 40. Get off and go right on Robertson Ave. then take your first left on Charlotte Ave. go past the shopping center on your left and take a left on 53rd Ave. N and Wendell Smith's is on your left open for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving good soul and country food. There's a Best Western, Days Inn, Comfort and Baymont back at Robertson where you get back on I 40 if you want to stay there. If you stay in this area you can go back to Wendell Smith's for breakfast.

                  Wendell Smith's @ 407 53rd Ave. North, Nashville, TN 615 - 383 - 7114.

                  If you pass up Wendell Smith's then you can get off I 40 at Exit 1A and go back E on West End about a mile and then turn left on 25th Ave. N just past Centennial Park take your 1st right on Elliston and Rotier's is just ahead. Have a great country meal there in one of Nashville's most well liked restaurants serving good seafood, steaks, sandwiches and plain ole good food in great atmosphere. Opens around 10:30 AM for lunch and dinner and closed on Sunday. Get back on I 40 and find yo self a motel E of Nashville headed to Knoxville out of the traffic.

                  Rotier's Restaurant @ 2413 Elliston Place, Nashville, TN 615 - 327 - 9892.

                  Get off I 65 at Exit 2 in Franklin, KY and go Nashville Road in Franklin, KY to Jim's BBQ for outstanding KY country food. Get off I 65 at Exit 26 in Bowling Gren, KY and go W on Cemetery Road or Fairview Avenue to Chestnut. Take a left and go to Brickyard Cafe for fine Italian for lunch and dinner. Get off I 65 at Exit 65 in Munfordville, KY and go S on Main Street to Big Bubba Buck 's BBQ for good Kentucky BBQ. Get off I 65 at Exit 86 at Glendale, KY and go to The Whistle Stop or Tony York's for outstanding southern country food for lunch or dinner. Get off I 65 at Exit 94 in Elizabetown, KY and go W on Mulberry to Commerce Drive. Take a left and go to Texas Outlaw BBQ for good road food.

                  Jim's BBQ @ 6111 Nashville Rd., Franklin, KY. 270 - 586 - 9851.
                  Brickyard Cafe @ 1026 Chestnut St., Bowling Green, KY 270 - 843 - 6431.
                  Big Bubba Bucks BBQ @ 1802 Main St., Munfordville, KY 270 - 524 - 3333.
                  The Whistle Stop Restaurant @ 216 East Main St., Glendale, KY 270 - 369 - 7969.
                  Tony York's @ 201 East Main Street, Glendale, KY 270 - 369 - 6000. I65/EXIT86.
                  The Whistle Stop Restaurant @ 216 East Main St., Glendale, KY 270 - 369 - 7969.
                  Texas Outlaw BBQ @ 220 Commerce Dr., Elizabethtown, KY 270 - 234 - 8586.

                  Get off I 65 at Exit 94 in Elizabethtown, KY and go W on N Mulberry about half a mile to Stone Hearth Restaurant for outstanding southern food. The fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy is outstanding. Get a Kentucky tradition Hot Brown sandwich or one of their delicious po boys. Call ahead and get a box lunch to go. Get off I 65 at Exit 127 in Louisville, KY and go E on Highway 1065 to Preston Highway. Take a left a go 3 blocks to Bootleg BBQ for outstanding southern food open at 11AM for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Get off I 65 at Exit 137 in Louisville, KY just before you cross the Ohio River and go W on I 64 to Exit 5B to River Road and go to Joe's Crab Shack for fresh seafood for lunch or dinner. For good home style food with a water front view get off I 65 at Exit 0 at Court and go W to the first street. Take a left and go S to Riverside Drive to Buck Head Mountain Grill for lunch or dinner.

                  Stone Hearth Restaurant @ 1001 North Mulberry Street, Elizabethtown, KY 270 - 765 - 4898.
                  Bootleg BBQ @ 7508 Preston Hwy., Louisville, KY. 502 - 239 - 2722. I65/EXIT127/128.
                  Joe's Crab Shack @ 131 River Road, Louisville, KY 502 - 568 - 1171.

                  1. re: Littleman

                    Littleman you made my day! Thanks for all the great suggestions! We should have no problem picking a great place to eat on our trip thanks to you. Nice to hear about a few of the suggestions that aren't too far from home. Great ideas for a nice ride on pretty day for a good meal! Many thanks again!

              2. On the I-70 part of your trip, there's a place just off the highway in Abilene, KS... I think it's called the Brookville Hotel, though it's not really a hotel... they used to be in an old hotel and moved up to this place on the interstate. It's next to a Holiday Inn Express. Great fried chicken and country-cooking sides. While you are there, take time to visit the Greyhound Hall of Fame. You won't be sorry you spent the time to see it.

                3 Replies
                1. re: onrushpam

                  Thanks for the information, it sounds great, unfortunately when I looked up the website for the Brookville Hotel it said they where closed on Monday and Tuesday and I believe that is the time frame we will be going through that area. I do have it written down though just in case we are delayed. Thank you so very much! I really do appreciate the suggestion.

                  1. re: onrushpam

                    Yes. Brookville Hotel has outstanding fried chicken and southern comfort food.

                    Brookville Hotel @ 105 E Lafayette Ave., Abilene, Kansas 785 - 263 - 2244.

                    They also have good fried chicken for breakfast or lunch at Goody Goody Diner in St. Louis, MO at Exit 242 off I 70.

                    Connelly's Goody Goody Diner @ 5900 Natural Bridge Ave., St. Louis, MO 314 - 383 - 3333.

                    Goody Goody Diner
                    5900 Natural Bridge Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63120

                    1. re: Littleman

                      Goody is wonderful, family-owned, good breakfasts, ditto lunch. Not a great neighborhood, but it seems to be a haven. You see everyone there from cops and politicians to church ladies.

                  2. I will give you some additional places besides strictly country cooking, but they are all family owned.
                    I have been to the Frederick several times and I really like it but I think if you are going east west you may want to go through KC. I was hoping someone would post from there. If you do take HWY 36 another good place is the Pear Tree near Macon. We've driven 36, but it is pretty quiet.

                    You might consider Hermann, Mo if you want a side trip. It is really a picturesque river town and if you can eat lunch or dinner at the Cottage-everything is homemade. The only thing is they have sort of limited hours.
                    If you don't hit when they are open we've had good pie here.
                    Then of course there are the wineries. Google Hermann, Mo for info. You might not want to go there on the weekend in Oct , because they have the Oktoberfest and it will be packed.

                    You could even come across hwy 50 from Kansas City. Not much longer and you can stop in Sedalia for a Goober burger @ the Wheel Inn.
                    There are other little interesting places along the way too.

                    I'f you decide to take 70 across,
                    Glenn's Cafe in the Frederick Hotel in Boonville. Check the hours. Haven't been for lunch. Just sandwiches I think. Dinner is pretty good.

                    Columbia is a great food town.
                    Catfish Corner
                    Murry's If you go early it isn't too crowded.

                    Downtown Columbia(parking may be an issue if your parents can't walk too far).
                    Mississippi Fish Shack(moving to new location so check
                    Sycamore This is a a white cloth place, dinner is expensive but lunch is great and a lot less.

                    Do not stop for food after you leave Columbia until at least O'fallon.

                    On the outside of St. Louis in St. Charles, if you want to try St Louis Italian. Fratelli's is in a strip mall right at exit 227 Excellent St Louis pizza. If you don't like provel(a St. Louis thing), you can get mozzarella. They usually have a lunch special.

                    Another place in St. Charles(recommend for lunch) with plate lunches and good hamburgers. It is a bar but wide clientele.
                    The Pine Room off exit 228
                    1102 Perry Street, St Charles, MO

                    I guess you read our little discussion east of St. Louis

                    Frederick Hotel & Cafe
                    810 O St, Loup City, NE 68853

                    Pine Room
                    1102 Perry St, Saint Charles, MO 63301

                    Wheel Inn
                    2103 S Limit Ave, Sedalia, MO 65301

                    The Pear Tree
                    222 N MacOn St, Bevier, MO 63532

                    Catfish Corner
                    914 S Commerce St, Ardmore, OK 73401

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: wekick

                      Thanks for the suggestion about Hermann Mo and of course all of the restaurants. I actually read about that town. Sounded pretty neat!

                      1. re: wekick

                        If you're going to stop in Columbia, it should be at Booches for a burger, a 'cup-o-red' and a beer. (That's the entire menu.) Dunno if that will work for the parents, but it doesn't get any better and you'll be partaking in a bit of history.

                        1. re: onrushpam

                          I am going to print this whole blog before I leave so we will have all the lowdown on all of the great places to eat. This is wonderful!