[8D]Ever since the Dixie (Truckers Home) got knocked out of the box a couple of years ago in Tuscola and Effingham along I57 and in Mclean on I55, good road food in Central Illinois has gone down several notches.
To focus on I57, not much of anything once you leave south of the Chicago area. The old all you could place in Kankakee went under a few years back, then, of course, the Dixie’s.
Once south of Champaign, your outta luck, unless of course your into the mass food type places you hit in Effingham.
You can take your chances and stop along the way, Charleston and Mattoon come to mind, but, again, your just going to hit franchise joints. If your in a mood for adventure, the Coles County only old style fast food joints McHugh’s are a good bet (Charleston on Lincoln, Mattoon on Charleston-both the same exit). Lee’s Chicken, a franchise joint, is good in Mattoon. And, for a true diner experience, Gil’s in Mattoon is great.
I used to love hanging out at Dixie’s in Tuscola. The food was great, true truck stop fare, good service and people. It was a real hangout in Tuscola, and for people in the rural areas when they would come into town and hit the mall across the street. There is a place open today where the Dixie stood, but, you just can’t replace that. I don’t know what the Dixie owners did the screw up such a good thing but I would certainly like to hear how they managed to have to sell the place.