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Photo TR: Jason's Roadfood Adventures


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Yup, food at Ellen's Stardust is not great.


Regarding chestnuts, I think the song was written because of the wonderful aroma they emit. Some people think the classic smell from the NYC food carts in the winter comes from the pretzels, but it is the chestnuts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And... we're into 2014! Enjoy!


Summer 2014 began with a trek to northern Pennsylvania to visit Conneaut Lake Park… while I still could. En route was a visit to The Snowman in Portersville, PA.


No, seriously. It’s a snowman!


Unlike most snowmen, this one serves tasty frozen treats.



Plastered on a T-shirt hung in front of the stand on a breezy day, this yeti moved a lot more than the one at Animal Kingdom!


Can’t afford a Yeti right now? Charge it to your Diner’s Club!


So this is the Yeti milkshake — ice cream, syrup and crushed ice blended to a pleasant consistency and topped with whipped cream. It was yummy!


An overview of The Snowman’s seating area.


Goodbye, giant snowman! We’re off to ride the Blue Streak!


After an afternoon at Conneaut Lake and early evening at Waldameer, we stopped by Sara’s in Erie, PA, for dinner.


This is the view from the parking lot. For those who haven’t been, that blue “bridge” is the portion of Ravine Flyer II that crosses the street before returning to the park proper.


Let’s all go to the drive-in…


They serve both kinds of food… new and used!


Mirror, mirror, on the motorcycle…


Lots of neon at Sara’s.


Time to dine!


I had a coupon for a free footlong hot dog with the purchase of a footlong and fries, so that’s what we did. They were tremendous!


The fry seasoning was unique, as well.


But Coke Freestyle is the headline!


This gate is where drive-in customers stop to place their order; it’s lifted so they can go through once the order is placed (and also keeps cars from blocking the path to the bathrooms). The building in the background is Sally’s All-American Diner. It’s supposed to be good, as well, but was closed when we were there. Based on the Sara’s/Sally’s website, I can’t figure out if it’s just overflow seating for Sara’s, if it’s an actual restaurant in its own right, or if it used to be a restaurant and is no longer in business.


Check out some of Sara’s’ outside décor.


Sara’s is located at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park, which according to the tourism material provided, receives more visitors annually than Yellowstone National Park.


Need to pee? Just following the yellow brick road!


Wait… that doesn’t look like a bathroom.


And that’s a Texaco station!


Oh, I see. The bathrooms are inside the Texaco building! Sneaky, sneaky!


The next day’s adventure included a visit to Penn State University in State College, PA. But what does Penn State have to do with roadfood?


Here’s a hint….


Here’s another….


And here’s the answer!


A little history for you.


A view of the inside.


Here were our choices this day. I opted not for Peachy Paterno…


… but for chocolate chip cookie dough!


This oversized commemorative “scoop” dug the first dirt for the new building in 2005.


Go Nittany Lions!


After a couple “culture” stops… and a visit to Hershey’s Chocolate World… our final destination that evening was Springettsbury Township, PA.


We were at Springettsbury Park to see a performance by the Surf City All Stars. I read a book about them, from their formation as the backup band for ’60s surf rock legends Jan and Dean during their comeback as a nostalgia group in the ’80s to their time working at Disney’s California Adventure to their establishment as a stand-along touring act, during my first TPR trip in 2008 and have wanted to see them ever since. They don’t play too many shows on the East Coast, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity.


But all that aside… this is why this stop is included in the Roadfood thread! I had heard good things about Bricker’s Famous French Fries, which had a stand at the concert.


For better or for worse, they seemed like just standard frozen fries with an optional vinegar-and-salt topping. Oh well.


For breakfast the next morning we made our way to the Etters, PA, outpost of Maple Donuts.


I wish I could receive my mail via doughnut!




Take home a dozen…


...which is 13 in Maple Donut-speak!


We opted for a half-dozen (which, sadly, is not six and a half). If I remember correctly, they were (clockwise from upper left) maple crunch, salted caramel and pretzel, apple, coconut cream, sour cream and bowtie.




Our next stop was the potato chip tour at Utz Quality Foods in Hanover, PA. Unlike Hershey, this is a glass-enclosed tour of the actual factory, not a theme park recreation.


No photos allowed on the tour, unfortunately, but there was one photo op….


Afterward, we took a short drive to the Utz factory outlet.


No photos in here, either, but the historical building was cool. Unfortunately, my 13-year-old car started acting up that day, so we had to cut the vacation short. It cut off twice on the way to Knoebels and died on the way home. I ended up having to buy a new one that week.


Up next: My new car and I hit the road to New England!

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I have been by the Utz plant, but didn't know that they gave tours - will have to remember that next time.


I was also confused by the Sally's/Sara's diner buildings. I wondered if it is an overflow because when we went there because that part wasn't open. I will say that I did like the foot-long hot dog with my Freestyle Coke pairing and loved the theming. The fries were kinda meh, although I did not see the fry seasoning so I will need to remember that for next time!

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  • 4 weeks later...

An Utz tour sounds like fun, I'll definitely do that when and if I ever get to visit that area. The donuts looked amazing as well. It's been about 4 months since I've had a doughnut and it might be time to break that streak.

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