We love Iron Skillets too. We’ve been to the ones in Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania (just yesterday). You’re right, the salad bar is awesome. Our check was $32. My husband’s 24-oz. steak was $9.99–how do they do it? My 15-year old swears by their bacon cheeseburgers. I had a smaller cheeseburger & thought it was great. I agree on the salad bar; also their daily soups are fantastic…
Well, we’re back, the trip was awesome, and i thought i’d report on where/ what we ended up eating:
We took I-70 out of Baltimore to Denver, then north on 25 to I-80 and across to San Francisco…
*King’s in Penn., sw of Pittsburgh…good food, good service, really inexpensive, my favorite rest stop/ truck stop place.
*Iron Skillet on the Ohio/ Indiana border…awesome salad bar.
*Culpepper’s on the west side of St. Louis…just cause it was right next to the motel…but the food was alright and they had an interesting beer selection…we needed beer.
*Country Pride at a T/A truckstop in Missouri, not too interesting. Good chocolate shake.
*Ruiz Mexican in Colby Kansas, this was a tiny place kinda next door to a Walmart, real Mexican food…tongue, menudo…we had fish tacos and ground beef tacos and some cooky fruit punch called "jamaica"…a good stop.
*Jeffrey’s in Laramie, WY…absolutely the best food of the trip…wish there was a place like this in baltimore…excellent selection of food, fresh ingredients, good beers…i had a deluxe avocado sandwhich (on some super good homemade wheat bread) and Todd (the boyfriend) had a greek style sandwhich which was stuffed with grilled good stuff. Good place for vegetarians.
*at Salt Lake City we ate at a Perkins, and we’re not proud of it, but we were hungry.
*El Aguila Real in Black Mountain, NV…awesome little Mexican restaurant with *truck parking. One of the best stops!
Then we basically were in San Francisco the next day where we ate at a lot of good places: Rick’s on Taraval St. (hawaiian), The Stinking Rose, my brother’s office at PDI Dreamworks (which is awesome), a place in Chinatown that had sushi riding on boats, and a bunch of little stuff – Thai Noodle shops for Thai iced teas…that’s all i remember…good trip, though, and thanks for the advice!
Suzy, I moved my daughter from Calif. to WVa. exactly 2 years ago this week. I’m like Al the mayor and would recommend using I-40. You could take I-70 West out of Baltimore to Hagerstown, Md. where you would take I-81 South down to where it turns into I-40 in Eastern Tn. Once you get to the Western end of your trip you could go one of several ways to get to SF. My choice would be to catch I-15 into Las Vegas. Especially if you have never been there. Vegas can be a cheap town. Stay off the strip for lodging and try to be there on nights other then Friday & Saturday. Food can be really good and really cheap there. You don’t have to gamble to enjoy that town any more.
As for truck stops, I too like Flying J. The food is decent, the restrooms are clean and their fuel prices are usually the lowest around.
Get the diesel truck, definetely.
Shop around with U-haul and Ryder too. When I rented the trailer in Fresno 2 years ago it made a 150 dollar difference as to where I returned it to. They have a web-site that will let you find out the differences.
Think about getting a small cheap CB and magnetic mount antenna. It is a lot of fun to listen in to the truckers amd you can get a lot of information from them. They use Channel 19 in most of the country.
Are you towing anything behind the truck (a towed car???)
When we moved From SoCal to Louisville three years ago we averaged 4.5 m p g using the relatively flat I-40. But we were towing a car carrier behind the 27 ft truck. The truck was gas-powered and it was a dog. We labored up almost every hill and it could barely do 250 miles before needing fuel badly (55 gallon tank.
Last month we got the call to help my son move back to Louisville from Phoenix. His 25 ft truck and tow dolly were diesel powered…had no trouble keeping up with traffic and hill-climbs were a breeze.
I say this to advise you to select your truck carefully…don’t just accept a worn-out vehicle cause the dealer says that’s the one. Talk to the dealer ahead of time and tell him that you are headed across country, and need a "better than average" mileage truck.
Lastly, Not about food, but about the drive. I am not a fan of I-80 when traveling, I really like I-70 for the scenery in Colorado and Utah…but I-80 doesn’t have the hills and valleys that I 70 has. It means a lower fuel bill to us ’80 that’s for sure. Since you are headed for the Bay area I-40 it not for you…but it is the best for mileage on a trip like yours.
One more thing. Watch your overhead clearances at the fuel stops. If you use a gas-powered truck, don’t just assume that you can pull into a convenience store for gas.. Sometimes the overhead lights etc will be lower than the top of the truck. (been-there, done-that.)
Good luck…and please report back to us about your moving experience!!
BTW Flying J Truck stops are a nationwide chain. Some of the restaurants at those stops are pretty good.
yeah…as much as we’d like to get off the beaten path a little and check out some fun local sights and food, i’m just too nervous about taking that big truck off the interstate too far…until we get to san francisco…
truck stop meals, here we come.
The thing you have to understand about truck stops is that truckers eat there because there’s room to park their rigs, grab a shower, catch a nap, and fill their tanks, not because the food’s good.
My Dad told me, when taking a Roadtrip, "get behind a truck and drive like he drives, you won’t get a ticket" I have taken that a new way, stop where truckers stop to eat, or ask truck drivers at the truck stop where they recomend, we have never gone wrong or get a ticket!!!!
Look for the Buckhorn Truck Stop off I-80 in Pennsylvania. I’ve been told they have changed exit numbers, so all I can tell you is that it is the Buckhorn-Bloomsburg exit. The food is good, and plentiful, and the service has always been good –although I have not been there in about two years. If you’re taking I-70 there’s a Flying J truck stop at the Hebron exit some 20 miles east of Columbus. The food is good there, too.
If you do a Roadfood search for "Off-I-70 food," you’ll find a bunch of suggestions folks made for CO, KS, and MO–not really truck stops (one caution *against* a particular truck stop!), but good eats. I guess it sort of depends on how far off the road you want to go with your van…. Hope this helps, if you should choose the I-70 route!
Hi, my boyfriend and i will be driving cross country in a 20 ft. moving truck next week…we’ll be taking either I-80 or I-70 (baltimore-san francisco)…any particularly good truck stops to look out for?
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