Outside, you smell diesel fumes, but the first thing you notice when you enter the P&H Truck Stop is the smell of bread. P&H bakes its own, and there are shelves of the good homemade loaves ready to be sold whole or sliced and toasted to accompany breakfast (served round the clock). Even if you aren’t a hungry trucker, the view inside is mighty appetizing. Beyond the bread, dozens of home made pies are displayed on their own shelves in the spacious dining room.
The menu’s listings are written in both English and French (for Canadian drivers). French translations give the most pedestrian meals a curiously epicurean twist, i.e. “Sandwich de Hamburgeoise Chaud” (a hot hamburger), “Fillet de Palourde avec Petit Pain” (a clam roll), and “Saucisse de Francfort” (a hot dog). Much of the food has an accent that truly is regional, including New England pot roast and a chowder listed almost every day on the blackboard menu. Our favorite is corn chowder: with a couple slabs of good toast, it is stalwart enough to be a meal unto itself. You can also get a hot meat loaf sandwich with potatoes on the side. Sandwiches are available on supermarket bread or on thick slices of the good P&H stuff. Top it off with such Downeast desserts as pudding made with Grape-Nuts and robust pies loaded with blueberries or piled high with sweet maple custard. And speaking of maple, breakfast pancakes and French toast are served with Vermont maple syrup (“sirop d’erable pur”). The menu patriotically guarantees that pure maple is “the only kind we’ll serve.”
P&H is a true truck stop, featuring bunkhouse rooms upstairs and a bulletin board next to the cash register where dispatchers and gear-jammers thumbtack messages to each other regarding loads that need hauling.