Restaurants - Truck Stop Diners

You've seen 'em in the movies. Big truck pulls into a truck stop, trucker gets out and makes his way to this little hole in the wall that they call a truck stop diner. If you're not a trucker, this is not a place where you want to spend a lot of time. We're talking about the bottom of the barrel as far as food, service and just about everything else, no offense to the owners of these places as they do provide a valuable service. What service is that? We're going to let you know. Just keep reading.

Truckers don't have an easy job. Those that have to drive cross country sometimes drive into the wee hours of the morning. For these guys, truck stop diners are a life saver. All of them are open 24 hours. Usually they're staffed in 8 to 10 hour shifts. For the most part, they're very small. Some only have seating for maybe 50 people tops. Others are a little larger and can seat a couple hundred. The staff size is usually pretty small as they don't get a lot of business at once, even though most of these are located on main highways.

The first thing a trucker gets when he walks into one of these places is not a menu and not his food. He gets a cup of coffee. This is standard. And after that cup is finished it is immediately refilled, no questions asked. This ritual goes on until the trucker leaves. Some truckers can go through five or six cups of coffee easy.

The menus are usually pretty small. These places specialize in keeping truckers awake and filled. So if you find more than six or seven menu items, you're doing pretty well. The food itself is for the most part not that great. These places work on a very small profit margin because they don't get a lot of business so they have to cut costs where they can. The help is one area. The food, unfortunately, is the other. You're pretty much safe if you stick with something simple like a hamburger. But if you try to go beyond that, with some of these places, you're taking your life in your hands.

The decor of these places also leaves a lot to be desired. Truck stop diners give new meaning to the word "dive". On top of that, a lot of them will have their share of crawly things creeping about. The truckers don't complain because all they want to do is fill their bellies and get enough coffee in them to stay awake for another ten hours.

The prices are reasonable for the most part. Of course if you compare them to the quality of the food itself you may think they're a little overpriced.

The truth is, if we didn't have guys who worked on the road for a living, these places probably wouldn't exist. That may either be a good or bad thing depending on your own personal view of the situation. But if you're not a trucker then you probably want to steer as clear away from these establishments as possible.

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About The Author, Michael Russell
Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Restaurants