Rod Dreher

Julie and I aren’t Jane and Michael Stern, so we don’t know where the good road food places are along the highways and byways of America. Nor did we have the sense to consult their website while on this trip; if we had done so, we might have made some appointment dining. But you know how it is when you travel with kids: you eat when you can, and you have to try to find a place that will cause the least consternation. Lucas threw a mini-fit today at an Arby’s because “they don’t have anything good to eat in this place!” Because long trips like this are stressful in and of themselves, parents are often compelled to seek out places that are predictable, so as to cause the least amount of agita among the kids.
Which is why we almost always end up at crappy fast food joints on long roadtrips. There’s an organic market not far from where our apartment is in Philly, and I told Julie I’m going to eat nothing but food from there for about a week, to detox from this roadtrip food. Last night I had too much heartburn from whatever I’d eaten last to have dinner, so I ate a can of roasted almonds a dear friend in Dallas had packed for us. And they were great. Tonight I decided it would be better not to eat dinner, but it turned out that a Cracker Barrel near where we’re staying served a green salad with grilled chicken on top. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t fried or processed, so it was fine by me. Seriously, I’m not a fastidious eater, but three days of dining on garbage at fast food places will take about a week to recover from.
Somebody could make a lot of money if they came up with a website — and an app for iPhone — that would tell travelers where they could get healthy fast food, or at least quick-in/quick-out food, near the major highways.

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