Restaurants and Road Trips: Learning to Settle

On a recent road trip to Chicago, my girlfriend and I wound up eating far more Wendy's than normal people should. Driving through small towns and with options limited, sometimes fast food is the preferable option to the local truck stop with all the windowless vans parked out back.

I rarely eat fast food. If you didn't know, it's really, really bad for you.

But it's quick and cheap, and when you are trying to just get the hell out of dodge and back on the road, it certainly does have a place in a pinch. However, if you get really lucky, you get a small town whose chamber of commerce is making a push to be the big boy off the freeway. Sometimes it's a Cheddar's, sometimes it's a Chili's. Sometimes it's maybe even an Outback Steakhouse, if you're lucky.

We've all done it, and we will inevitably all do it again when hungry, tired and so compacted with french fries and ketchup that any place serving a salad looks like manna from heaven. There is a sliding scale of quality when it comes to national chain restaurants, but sometimes we all have to settle.

Here are a few spots to hit when on a road trip.

Settling isn't so bad, really.

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Sam Brown