Four years ago when driving home from vacation on Cape Cod Lewis looked at me and said, "Do you know when animals eat their own young? It's in the car coming back from vacation. At the time he said that Sebastian was 3 and Julian was 5 months. Julian had been sleeping when Sebastian started screaming to wake him up, then they were both screaming. Then out of sheer boredom, and everything that goes along with being 3, Sebastian stuck a piece of Smart Food, the cheesy popcorn, up his nose. We were on a section of the thruway without any shoulder so we had to fly off at the next exit and pull into someone's driveway to extract the popcorn. A week later Sebastian was sitting at the table happily eating Smart Food, while being watched like a hawk, when he asked, "Do you know where you shouldn't put Smart Food?" When I asked him where he earnestly replied, "Up your nose."
Well four years later what we learned on that trip still holds true, you shouldn't put Smart Food up your nose and when we drive home from vacation we understand why animals eat their own young. It was 7:00 p.m. and the boys were in the back seat throwing things at each other and yelling. We were all hungry but there was no way I was going to take my over tired boys who had been hog tied in to their car seats for 3 hours in to a restaurant. Happily at that time we got off the Thruway to get gas in Randolph Vermont and we discovered a wonderful barbecue cart next to the Mobil station.
When we began looking at the menu we were all grumpy. I snapped at the boys as they were their usual picky selves deciding on something they would eat from the menu. The proprietress was really helpful, answering all my questions as I tried to find food that would work. She even let us sample the pulled pork, ostensibly so we would know if the rub on the pork, and by extension the chicken, would be to their liking. Julian refused to taste it, but Sebastian tried it and immediately declared he wanted the pulled pork not the chicken. We were further accommodated in making up a meal combination to suit Sebastian's tastes as he does not like meat sandwiches. Actually, to be honest, when it comes to sandwiches he only likes cream cheese sandwiches, cheeseburgers or grilled cheese. Sebastian ordered a plate of pulled pork with french fries, Julian had a hot dog and Lewis and I split a combination plate so we could try the ribs, chicken, french fries and the pulled pork I already knew I loved.
My favorite from the sampler was the pulled pork, tender, moist and flavorful. I don't know what is in the spice rub that they use but it was not spicy at all without skimping on flavor. I enjoyed the chicken and ribs too, but as I am not a big barbecue sauce person the spice rubbed pork was more to my liking. The french fries were also really good, made with the skins on and I assume by the large bags of potatoes in their trailer, actually made on site from real potatoes.
The menu also listed pulled pork, steak bomb, mixed veggie and supreme cheese quesadillas so vegetarians can find something. The menu states they are all celiac and nut friendly. The shocking thing about this little roadside food stop was the number of cars we saw pulling in to the McDonald's next door.
I would love to be able to report that after that yummy meal we were able to all climb cheerfully back in to the car and finished our journey in perfect harmony. However if I wrote that it would be a lie. Instead we climbed in the car less grumpily then we had gotten out and finished our journey without anyone killing anyone else and the buzz from a great vacation not completely killed. I feel that is a large enough victory given the conditions.
Route 66 Between the Mobil station and the McDonald's at the Randolph exit from Interstate 89 (after Labor Day), Randolph, VT
Pauline Poulin and David Langhans
Pauline Poulin and David Langhans
Last night was the Vermont BBQ's last night next to the Mobil station until September. Until then they can be found at some of the Vermont fairs including Tunbridge and Barton.