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Jul 30, 2012 03:27 PM

Any Decent Food on I-78 between Allentown and Harrisburgh?

I have drive east and west across I-78 20 times over the past 10 years between I-95 and I-81. We have attempted to find a lunch or dinner break that is not fast food. Some evenings, the wait at Cracker Barrell is over 1.5 hours! We have been thwarted, and think that our last attempt, a Chinese buffet near Cabela's might have poisoned my family! The worst was the nasty neon yellow chicken gravy at the Skyline Restaurant. Is the only option to pack a picnic lunch? If so, is there a nice picnic area which people recommend?

Desperate, leaving on Wednesday. Will be coming through again the end of August.

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  1. You could try Deitsch Eck in Lenhartsville. I have not eaten there, but have passed by many times and the menu looks interesting. Can't imagine that it would have any trouble beating Cracker Barrel. If you wind up eating there, please post back.

    1. Would you consider getting off a bit earlier. There are plenty of good options in Bethlehem.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cwdonald

        I second Deitsch Eick. Have eaten there twice and the Pa Dutch items are quite good. Lettuce with hot bacon dressing is particularly well done.

        By the way, Peters Brothers meats in Lenhartsville is worth a stop, since you like Dietrichs. Many people believe their meats are as good as(although not as varied as) Dietrichs.

      2. We travel parts of this stretch fairly often. Most recently, we stayed on Rt. 22 rather than I-78 and went to Sangria in Allentown. Lunch prices are very good as is the food -- we have paid a lot more for a lot less at turnpike rest stops. Other times, we have stopped at Deitsch Eck as others have mentioned and, further from I-78 on Rt. 143, the Virginville Hotel. Truly a local place and serves a decent lunch. We also enjoy Haag's in Shartlesville, which serves breakfast and lunch until 2pm Wednesday through Sunday. Its bar opens at 7am for that breakfast beer. This place has been there forever and is, I guess, an institution. From I-78, the Rt. 145 north exit will take you to the Sunset Diner. Of all the diners in the Allentown area, this is our favorite. And, of course, I would second the Bethlehem suggestion.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jfr

          I also like the Virginville Hotel. It's a bit further off 78, but a nice drive along the creek. Their ham and bean soup is great. And the fries smothered with stewed tomatoes and beef is something I'm craving as I write.

        2. about 2 miles from the Rt 309 South/Center Valley exit of 78 is the Promenade Shoppes which has many restaurant options from casual to upscale.

          222 South Exit off 78 there is a great Chinese restaurant (not a buffet), Hunan Springs. From the Exit stay in the right lane and take the exit about 1/4 mile down for Brookside road. The restaurant will be on your right before you get to the light at Hamilton Blvd and Brookside Rd.

          Rt 100 exit - South I would recommend the Starlite Diner - service is typical diner but the food is good and the prices reasonable. One of my favorite breakfast spots for eggs benedict.
          Rt 100 exit North I would recommend the Fogelsville Hotel - local place not far from exit and the wings and burgers are good.

          Between Route 100 & Harrisburg I don't know of much other than what the others have recommended.

          1. I second Deitch Eck and the Starlite Diner. Also the Port Clinton Hotel (less than a mile north of Cabela's on 61), Blue Mountain Family Restaurant in Shartlesville, Way-Har Farms near Strausstown (ice cream, snacks, sandwiches - more like a convenience store, but good food), Kauffman's BBQ Chicken in Bethel.

            There are lots of great places to eat along that stretch - hope you can find one!