Singleton's makes list of 'Best food off the interstate' | News

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Singleton's makes list of 'Best food off the interstate'
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There is no better way to experience America's bounty of foods than on a road trip on highways that traverse the nation's ranches and farmlands, lined with eateries of every type. The best offer delicious takes on comfort foods: burgers, dogs, fried chicken, barbecue, pizza - which are often better on the road, especially when given a regional twist.

Here are seven tasty places that are easy to reach from major interstate highways.

Singleton's Seafood Shack

Atlantic Beach, Fla.

Family-owned Singleton's outside Jacksonville may require a 20-minute detour from I-95, but it is well worth it and very Floridian. A true Keys-style shack, this unpretentious eatery sits right on the water, where fishing boats pull up. It's all about fresh, and upon entering you are greeted with a huge iced display of every imaginable type of seafood. The regional specialty is Minorcan Chowder, a thick, slightly spicy, tomato-based riff on Manhattan clam chowder. Everything is served on disposable plates with plastic utensils, and the seafood and sides have Southern flair. 4728 Ocean St.;904-246-4442

Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue


Kansas City, Kan.

There are a lot of great BBQ joints in Kansas City, but Oklahoma Joe's (with three locations) hits its entire menu out of the park. If you want to see a perfect rack of BBQ ribs, this is the place. Its brisket and sauces have won the world's biggest barbecue competitions, and creative sandwiches are its hidden gems. You can fuel your stomach and car, because the original location is inside a suburban gas station 15 minutes west of downtown Kansas City, just off I-75, near the junctions of I-35 and I-435. This place is loved by locals, so there's often a line. 3002 W. 47th Ave.;913-722-3366; oklahomajoesbbq.com

Crown Burgers


Salt Lake City

This family-owned mini-chain of seven fast-food burger joints in and around Salt Lake City created the region's unique and oft-imitated signature dish, a quarter-pound burger topped with juicy Greek-style pastrami, cheese and "fry sauce," or Thousand Island dressing. The menu has about 100 items, from gyros to corn dogs to salads, perfect for families with varied tastes. It's fast, friendly and easy on the wallet, and the original (Store #1) is close to both I-80 and I-15, with two suburban locations right off I-15 north (Layton) and south (Sandy) of Salt Lake. crown-burgers.com

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken


Memphis

If you didn't think fried chicken could be a transformative experience, you need to eat at Gus's. Fried chicken is the only entree, alongside baked beans, coleslaw, white bread, fried pickles, potato salad, seasoned fries and excellent fried rice (called "dirty rice"). This is crust lovers' fried chicken, with a crispy, well-seasoned skin that is love at first bite. The large roadhouse-style restaurant has a to-go counter and d├ęcor consisting of hot-sauce bottles and ketchup packets, and it is patronized heavily by locals, tourists, families and professionals. It is downtown but just a few blocks off the I-40 ramp. 310 S. Front St.;901-527-4877

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana


New Haven, Conn.

There are lots of road-food choices along the heavily trafficked I-95 Northeast corridor, but it's hard to beat Pepe's, midway between New York and Boston and less than five minutes off the interstate. Since 1925, Pepe's has turned out huge, very thin pizzas from its coal-burning oven that many experts, such as Tim Zagat of the Zagat Survey, say are the best in the USA. Pepe's, which has seven locations, is best known for its signature fresh, white clam version and cheeseless "tomato pie," but all the varieties are exceptional. There is often a line, so avoid the lunch rush. 157 Wooster St.;203-865-5762; pepespizzeria.com

Bobcat Bite


Santa Fe

Just off I-25 is one of the true treasures of American road food, the Bobcat Bite, a classic diner that marries pink adobe with a working ranch. Family-owned and -run since 1953, this joint specializes in burgers, each an impressive 10 ounces and made from fresh-ground whole chuck and sirloin. New Mexico's famous green chile shows up in the Bobcat's signature Green Chile Cheeseburger. But all the burgers are good, on tasty homemade buns, as are the grilled-cheese sandwiches and steaks, which round out a limited menu that is as cheap as it is tasty. 418 Old Las Vegas Hwy.;505-983-5319; bobcatbite.com

Zingerman's


Ann Arbor, Mich.

If you are driving the northern route across the USA on I-94, you cannot miss a meal - or several - at Zingerman's. What started as a college-town gourmet deli has grown into a cultish, beloved empire of deliciousness. The original deli turns out Jewish-style corned beef, pastrami and Reuben sandwiches that rival the best in New York City. Next door is a coffee shop with decadent baked goods and premade sandwiches to go. Then there is the Bakehouse, with amazing breads, pastries and pies. The newest venue, the Roadhouse, is a full-service restaurant specializing in "American" fare with an emphasis on barbecue rivaling the best of the South, plus well-done regional specialties such as Chesapeake Bay crab cakes and Nashville "meat and three" plates. Finally, the Creamery offers excellent artisan cheeses and gelato. It's the perfect place to provision for a road-trip picnic. zingermanscommunity.com

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