Berky's Restaurant at White's Truck Stop

Berkey's on Urbanspoon
4/22/2012 I am sorry to report that Berky's appears to have changed to an Iron Skillet. Mrs. alphageek and I stopped by to eat lunch, and found out. The review stays up, for the sake of history, but you have been warned by the alphageek. Iron Skillet is a chain of restaurants, and not something we review on here. Berkey's coffee was gone too. If you want some barbecue, you might try stopping by Smiley's Fuel City, which is located across the street from White's Truck Stop.

White's has been an institution as long as I can remember.  I recently put out the call to everyone for restaurants to review, and this one was suggested by "FUMA Man".  We decided to take him up on the challenge, and have a meal here.  I have to admit, in all of the time I have been driving up and down I81, I have never stopped to eat here, despite all of the times I used to stop and play pinball.  The pinball is long gone, to be replaced by some driving games (driving games at a travel center?), but the institution that is White's lives on.

The first thing we noticed is that the travel center has been extensively renovated inside.  The nearly legendary collection of knives that were by the front entrance are gone, which will come as nearly shocking to anyone who visits from time to time.  We looked around, and headed into the restaurant.  The restaurant too has been extensively remodeled, but I can't tell you what it looked like before, because I have not eaten there.

We sat down, and took a look at the menu.  I decided to have the chopped steak, mashed potatoes and green beans.  Hey, this is a travel center, and I wanted my food nice and simple.  Mrs. Alphageek ordered Berkey's favorite, which includes a simple salad bar, vegetable soup, and cream of potato soup with a spaghetti meal.  She reported back that her salad was very fresh tasting, and the ingredients on the salad bar were all very fresh looking.

When our meals arrived, I was pleased with what was placed on the table.  My meal was what I expected: good hearty food.  The meat was perfectly cooked and the mashed potatoes were great.  The only weakness at all was the gravy, which was just a little plain.  Mrs. Alphageek's spaghetti looked pretty good, so I sneaked a taste and was pleasantly surprised.  While the pasta may have been ordinary, the sauce was not.  The sauce was well seasoned, and did not taste at all institutional, like so many restaurants these days.

We finished up our meals and decided to check out the coffee shop that was having it's grand opening, at least according to the sign.  I wanted to see if the coffee would be worth a stop, on one of those late night drives up and down I81.  I am happy to report they sell Caribou coffee, which is always a hit with me.  I sampled a cappuccino, and while not the best I have ever had, it was still better than many other coffee chains whose name starts with S.

All in all, I was glad we took up the suggestion of "FUMA Man" and stopped in.  You really should stop by, if only to see the renovations.

On a somewhat random note, I think White's has been sold. They have closed their old web site, and started a new one. When I wrote this, there was not much on the web site, but who knows, you might want to check out White's Travel Center and see if it has any updated information.