Listen, I used to wait tables at a Schafer-owned establishment; they were okay guys despite the bad reputation and the prison, but there was never a doubt they were after the bottom line, so SOTB was never, and I mean never, known for food or anything other than gift shops full of $1.95-plus crap, and frankly, hate speech, although we didn’t call it that then. I remember there being a ginormous fireworks stand.
I would imagine Frito Lay would not dream of going near the place. It would probably be as close to nuclear as you can get for a corporate brand.
There seems to be more signs for the place than things I would buy there.
I remember travelling to Florida in the late 60’s with my family to Florida. At that time some of I-95 was done, but you were also travelling on US-301 as well. If I remember correctly just south of DC the billboards started..and went on and on and on. We never stopped at South of the Border, but I remember driving past it, and thinking that I was missing some sort of treasure. I think it’s like a strip-tease, what’s promised isn’t quite what you get!
Pedro say’s the place is a dump.
I recall stopping at South of the Border in 1967, and I remember that my entire family was appalled at the absolute crap that they were peddling at that place. A few minutes of walking around the tacky retail area convinced us that we did not want to spend enough time there for a meal, and a glance at the rest rooms confirmed that we did not want to use the restaurant.
And, after reading some of the comments on this thread, it seems that the place has gone downhill in the decades since my visit. That is hard to imagine, but I guess that anything is possible.
There’s also one in Flag. Little America was a welcome sight back when I was an over the road truck driver. Good food and coffee and clean, marble tiled shower rooms with both a large shower and a bathtub for soaking the grime of the road off.
Perhaps Frito Bandito, the retired spokesman for Fritos, could bring in some needed capital
I have driven past it many times. Each time I pass, it appears to go further downhill. I am surprised that some rich person has not picked it up and brought this landmark back to life. I-95 certainly has enough traffic to support it.
It appears to be a huge piece of property.
Paul E. Smith
I have to agree that South of the Border doesn’t really belong in the fast food/chain forum. Of course I’m not sure it belongs in the "food" category at all. It is, however, probably the greatest American Tourist Trap of the 20th Century and in the days before I-95 was completed it was probably the most anticipated landmark in the coastal north-south corridor.
kland01s – SOTB was a "town" of hotels, motels, restaurants, truly crappy tourist attractions, and I believe campground(s) with a mildly offensive Mexican theme built on the U.S. Route 1 at just about its most desolate point. I think other posters have summed up the culinary attraction. At various times the service stations were notorious for cutting fanbelts, puncturing tires and so on and extorting money to get people back on the road.
But there was nothing else for hours around, on a family trip you’d read the signs for two, sometimes three days before arriving, and there was no way around it. I can’t believe any of it is left now that the Interstates are a way of life, but it is a true symbol of America in the 50s and 60s.
I remember stopping at South of the Border back in the 60’s on a family road trip. Back before I-95 existed. Billboards for hundreds of miles sucked everyone in — I remember it was hard to find a place to park.
Stopped there this past November. Plenty of parking, about half of it shut down. It’s all rather tatty now, and certainly not an obvious food choice. Alas, the place is past its day.
But it is a convenient stop for Blenheim ginger ale.
Oh, yeah. Another thing. South of the Border isn’t a chain. Why is it in this forum?[:o)]
Little America is in Wyoming. It is a very big Truck stop. It brags on having a huge number of gas pumps available. We’ve stopped, but the most we purchased was gas, a bag or two of chips, and some soda, then back on the road we went.
Wall Drugs in South Dakota is kinda fun. I imagine the offer of "Free Water" might have been more important to the travelers in the 1940’s & 50’s. It is far enough from almost anywhere to provide a brief respite from I-90. The Burgers, especially the Buffalo-Bacon Burger, are pretty good.[8D] Last stop there was in 2004.
I was driving cross country last year and encountered Wall Drug … Same hypnotic mind control … Had to stop. Would never have eaten.
Wasn’t there a place called Little America at one point in time?
Pedro sez " Chile Today, Hot Tamale!"
Pedro sez You never Sausage a Place!
I think you are thinking of On the Border, a Mexican chain.
No, I am speaking of the restaurants at the tourist stop called "South of the Border" on the border of South Carolina. We have to stop there everytime we go north or south on 1-95.The signs entertain the kids so much that we stop for them to buy a piece of junk in the main gift shop and take the elevator (when it is not broken down) to the top of Pedro’s sombrero to look out at drab view. But we would never ever consider eating there and I doubt that many people do.[:)]
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