Pit Stop Grub: Finding America’s Best Road Trip Snacks

Categories Practical

I’ve talked to great extent about some of my favorite motels all over the beautiful United States of America. Heck, I’ve even written about my favorite tunes to listen to while traveling, but today I will deliver you the first ever edition of what fresh pit stop grub that I love to fuel up on while riding the I-40 all night long. Through all of my extensive research and experiences traveling this great country I believe that I occupy a pretty exclusive position as true-snack-insider. So, here I am delivering the goods right to your own computer screen so that the next time your itching for a salty snack while halfway through West Valley City, Utah you’ll know exactly where to go (Jim’s Family Restaurant, btw!).

We’re going to start off with a classic snack that has been servicing travellers of all sorts for much of America’s history: jerky. Flavorful, compact, and full of nutrition, jerky is an absolute must when riding the highways. Somehow the perfect blend of salty and savory, my favorite jerky option comes in the form of Big John’s Hawaiian Pork Snack Sticks by Circle B Ranch. This particular pit stop grub is located in the lush rolling hills of the Ozark countryside, where Marina and John Backes whip up some mighty fine dried meat. Not only are the pork snacks homegrown, they even have little chunks of pineapple in them that just make my mouth water. And once my mouth’s-a-watering, there’s no stopping me until I get a bite of Big John’s sweet treat!

Jerky? (CHECK!)

Next up is another salty snack that has a knack for getting my blood boiling: CB’s In-Shell Slow Roasted Peanuts. There’s something about taking to the road and just cracking through a pack of these masterfully crafted peanuts that oozes Americana to me and I cannot get enough. Borne from a moment of pure bliss while eating roasted peanuts at a Seattle Mariners vs. Baltimore Orioles baseball game, Clark Bowen (CB) has been roasting his own nuts ever since. You can visit them in North Kitsap, Washington where their tasting room and retail store is located in a retired fire station – talk about cool! I always love to pop by and grab a bag when I’m heading through the jaw-droppingly beautiful Cascades Mountain range in the Pacific North-West. And possibly the best part of eating these salty treats is getting the satisfaction of breaking their hard exterior and scooping out that tasty nut; you can even throw the shells right out the window as you fly down the highway, they’ll decompose!

Nuts? (YOU BET!)

Now this one might seem like a bit of a curveball to the faint of heart, but I swear by them. This pit stop grub comes in the form of the classic Red Candy Apple by Amy’s Gourmet Apples located in historic downtown Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Even the Wall Street Journal calls them “The Best,” and for good reason: almost everything at the Candy Kitchen is freshly hand made by their gourmet chocolatiers. Just walking into the store sets my spine tingling because of the heavenly aroma from the house-made caramel. I’m not proud of it, but at one point I even refused to let a hitchhiker out of my car until they agreed to try one of Amy’s famous apples and you know what? They loved it too. At first glance a candy apple might not seem like the most conducive snack to road tripping, but I have to argue that the opposite can be quite true as well. It’s pretty mobile and not that messy once you have the proper technique figured out and I have been known to go through an entire four pack of their Jumbo Caramel Apples during some particularly long drives.


There’s only one element missing from this balanced diet and that is something refreshing and energizing to wash it all down. I introduce to you: Outlaw Energy Drink. It is my absolute favorite energy beverage. The drink is designed for adventurers that need fuel for the journey and comes in a wide range of delicious flavors. My personal choice is always Fresh Zero and I refuse to go on any prolonged trip without a four-pack of these bad boys chilling in the cooler by my side. Zero calories – zero compromise, Outlaw is the beverage you need if you’re taking on the vast American countryside. Whenever you’re on trucker time and you’ve got to make it to that next stop by sunset, go Outlaw.

Energy? (I’M DIESELED)

So, there you have it, folks. It might just be my humble selection of pit stop grub, but I feel after you have spent as much time on the road exploring like I do, that you develop a pretty keen eye for unique road trippin’ treats. From one traveller to another: Happy trails and please remember to keep track of your own favorite snacks, they’re as much a part of the road trip as the sights, smells, and adventures.

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