kosher options off the 80 between nj and chicago
my nephew broke his leg badly and is stuck missing sleepaway this summer
so he and his dad and taking a baseball roadtrip, going to mets games all around
its pretty much the 80 all the way across, to their first game in chicago, so my question is, are there any options not far off the 80 lets say for minyanim, maybe 3 hours from ny, or for food the whole way through
thanks in advance for your help
I have driven between NJ and Ann Arbor, MI along Rte 80 many, many times. There is nothing kosher along the way except for Cleveland. Some of the rest areas (not in PA, unless you go to a gas station with a convenience store - in PA, the "official" rest areas are basic little huts with bathrooms, some brochures, a couple of outdoor picnic tables) might have some overpriced packaged snacks (chips, pretzels, nuts, etc.) with a reliable hechsher, and of course, overpriced beverages kept in the refrigerator (so at least they'd be cold). When I do the drive, I pack a sandwich, some snacks, and my own drink. It's kosher, healthier, and much, much cheaper.
In some pockets, you may be able to pre-arrange something with a Chabad. For example, there is a Chabad in State College, PA (near Penn State). It's about 20 minutes off of Rte 80. No guaranteed minyan, but for a donation, they may feed you. State College is about 4 hours, maybe 5 hours from New York (it's Exit 161 on Rte 80, plus another 20-30 minutes to get to town).
And, there probably won't be much, if anything, kosher between Cleveland and Chicago, either. Best bet for that is to take a cooler, get a hotel room with a freezer to keep ice packs cold overnight, and buy some food in Cleveland for the leg of the trip between Cleveland and Chicago.
There's an App for iOS devices called "Kosher Free" that takes its data from the shamash.org 's kosher data base. Alternatively, if you have a laptop, you can log in @ http://shamash.org/kosher/ . Personally, I like to stop @ the kosher Subway in the JCC in Cleveland. It's not even 5 minutes off the interstate, but you need to detour off of I-80 to get there. Don't forget to stop and load up on hot dogs (garlic polish are my favorite), cold cuts, & chopped liver from Romanian Kosher Sausage in Chicago.