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Any decent food off the pike between Boston and upstate New York?

Hi everyone,

I have to make the drive form Boston to Rochester this upcoming week and was wondering if anyone had any rec's for places to stop for quick, but tasty, food on the way. My memory says there is a decent BBQ place somewhere on the way (west of 495) but I can't remember the town. Right off the pike would be ideal.

Trying to avoid eating anything from a rest area... I should have added that I am traveling on Monday night so sadly it looks like BT's is out... total bummer.

Thanks for any rec's,

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  1. The (excellent) BBQ place is BT's Smokehouse

    392 Main St
    Sturbridge, MA 01566

    1. You are thinking of BT's Smokehouse and it's the place I was already going to recommend before even clicking on the thread.


        1. Thank you everyone for the response! I will be stopping by BT's Smokehouse on my way up there next Monday night.

          Will report back.


          7 Replies
          1. re: Tzonis

            Tzonis, unfortunately they're not open on Mondays. Are you going through Rocky Hill, CT? I can recommend the Dakota Steakhouse.

            1. re: CookieLee

              Oh man what a bummer! I don't plan on going to CT at all, just a straight shot on the pike.

              1. re: CookieLee

                There's a Dakota 10 minutes off the pike in Pittsfield,Mass.

                1. re: The Bezerkshirite

                  it is really not good, imo.
                  But the cafe at Guido's right across the street is quite good and has excellent gelato.

              2. re: Tzonis

                BT's is closed on Mondays!!! I had the same letdown on the trip back from upstate NY (the inlaws live in Warransberg, a vast food wasteland of TGI Fridays and Olive Gardens ***shudder***), as someone who's made the trip many times, I have to say not really. You might want to stop in Albany and see if you can't find anything there, and I have had some OK meals (in fact, some solid fried chicken at a place who's name escapes me now, but a google search would probably find it, as they are famous for their chicken) in Saratoga Springs' downtown district. Other than that you are kind of screwed

                1. re: devilham

                  The famous fried chicken place in Saratoga is Hatties, but that's about 45 minutes north of I-90. If the OP's hoping for barbecue, there's a Dinosaur Barbecue in Troy NY and of course in Syracuse. Also in Troy I'd recommend the Flying Chicken for fried chicken, DeFazio's for amazing pizza, Ali Baba for Turkish. In Latham, just a little north of Albany, I'd recommend Karavalli for Indian and A La Shanghai for Shanghainese Chinese. In Albany there's the Pump Station for burgers (and beer but not if you're driving), Van's for Vietnamese, Taiwan Noodle for great dim sum and noodle soups and other places. Tell me what you're interested in and I'll be happy to make a suggestion and give an address.

              3. save your appetite for a few garbage plates!

                1. i hope your itinerary is flexible as BT's is worth it.

                  You can buy and reheat; you know.


                  1. Sadly, no. Allstonian and I are regular visitors to a folk festival near Albany every June, and (because we're always past Sturbridge by the time BT's opens at 11 am) we usually stop in Chicopee and go through the drive-ins at Popeye's and Arby's for chicken and potato cakes. Honestly, I think that's the best option we've yet found for food just off the Pike.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                      A better option would be to hop off at Lee and go to Joe's Diner.

                    2. There's a little Vietnamese restaurant in Lee that's just off exit 2: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pho-Sai...
                      A Google search will pull up reviews if you want them.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: sr44

                        There's also a Vietnamese place just off exit 1 in west stockbridge, Truc Orient Express: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Truc-Or...

                        A bit more upscale than Pho Saigon, but not fancy by any means...

                        1. re: keith

                          The trouble with exit 1 is that you can only get off the Pike there westbound, and can only get on eastbound. So it doesn't work well for an on-and-off meal stop.

                          1. re: owades

                            You can pick up the pike westbound again by continuing through W. Stockbridge. You'll see a sign for a left turn and a flashing light.

                            There's also the Shaker Mill in W. Stockbridge, and maybe other restaurants. I'm not sure what the status of Olio and Rouge are.

                        2. The Traveler Restaurant isnt the worst food, better than fast food. quirky place with lots of books

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: hargau

                            That's not really on the way to Rochester though. It makes sense when you are heading towards NYC but wouldn't be worth the detour (~15 minutes south of Sturbridge and then another 15 back up to Sturbridge, assuming no backup at the tolls there.)

                            Jim Leff has a wacky love affair with Worcester, with an article here http://www.boston.com/ae/food/article... and some stuff on his blog here http://jimleff.blogspot.com/2012/04/b... I'm not sure how much of that is very convenient to the Pike though.

                          2. I have never been, but Chef Wayne's Big Mamou and the Student Prince in Springfield used to get some good play on these boards years ago. Haven't heard much about them in quite some time though.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: LStaff

                              The Student Prince isn't a bad idea, now that you mention it: it's not that far off the Pike and fairly easily accessible. Plus, the food was as solid as always the last time we ate there, which was maybe a little over a year ago.

                              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                Yeah, looks like only 10 minutes south of the Pike....I never realized it was that close!

                              2. oh darn, i was just going to recommend Lenny and Joe's Fish Tales in Connecticut but realized it was n't where you were going... but if you're in the area ( I think Madison, Ct) it's worth a stop...best lobster roll, fish sandwich, combos, clam chowder ever!

                                1. You might also want to post your question on the New York State (exc. NYC) board to get recommendations for that part of your trip.

                                  1. When we do that trip, we stop at Donut Dip in West Springfield for breakfast. We've done various food stops for lunch in NY (including Dinosaur in Syracuse - good and I would recommend it). This past December, we stopped at Eva's European Sweets in Syracuse for a late lunch. It was very good and worth the stop. I think i reviewed it on the New York State board.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Bluebird

                                      I concur with the recommendation of Eva's. Great place, neat atmosphere, excellent food, amazing desserts.