Travelers seeking to avoid fast food-type meals along the road face a challenge. Most cities and large towns offer a variety of healthy, appealing, occasionally unusual and delicious choices. Venturing off the beaten path, however, and discovering prospects for scrumptious dining becomes problematic.
There are 21st century options to assist the hungry road tripper locate possibilities, such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, the GPS, and Internet searches.
These options sometimes – or often as hub and I discovered in recent travels – lead not to new intriguing eating prospects, but disappointment.
We eagerly looked forward to a respite from driving and enjoying lunch at a seafood restaurant on the bay. It happened to be in South Carolina, but the where is irrelevant. We diligently followed GPS directions, and there it was – a restaurant and marina on the bay. The name was different, but nowadays it is not unusual for places to change owners and names. We parked and walked to the entrance.
Approaching we realized the restaurant appeared dark. It was closed, serving only dinner.
The parking lot, full of cars, accommodates employees from the business next door. At the end of the day workers leave, replaced in the evening by restaurant patrons.
Not prepared to wait four hours, we backtracked a couple of miles and, spotting another eatery, took our chances. No careful perusal of restaurant reviews this time. The place served a first-rate bowl of she-crab soup and dish of peel-it-yourself shrimp.
Our bellies full, we continued on our way.
Another day our appetites craved North Carolina barbecue. Again following directions, we drove along a country road, turning right and left as directed. Suddenly we found ourselves on a highway, a brand new thoroughfare not programmed into our obviously outdated GPS. Our stern, unsympathetic GPS voice stated, ‘recalculating’. We drove five miles before sighting an exit. We decided not to go back and waste more time. Another disappointment.
|Found on a road trip a couple of years ago|
We tried finding, again following directions, another tempting restaurant, ending up on a narrow country road with a few small cabins peeking out of the woods. The GPS told us to turn left into a driveway. We did not obey. The dirt and gravel driveway terminated at an old beat up garage next door to a run-down cabin. No restaurant, no sign, no one in sight.
|You don't have to eat at a restaurant |
to enjoy the signs!
It is the quest, the unknown, the possibility of discovering culinary nirvana, the not knowing what we will find that makes these adventures interesting, and why we continue to persevere. And in a worst-case scenario we can raid the stash of snacks in the trunk of our car, available when dire hunger or any other emergency strikes.