If you happen to be a fan of the band Southern Culture on the Skids, you may be familiar with the song Fried Chicken and Gasoline. Those two topics really create an image of a road trip.
I love road trips. We recently returned from our annual drive from Boston to Florida and back. I appreciate friends who offer funky road food suggestions, but they are usually off our route and involve driving miles from the highway. Depending on the trip, we want to get to our destination, where we can then do our food exploring.
Eating on the road can be challenging, as we generally avoid fast food and chains but sometimes you have to bite the bullet. We've found good eats at diners and delies in Pennselvania, New York and Jersey. On any coast, you can find decent road side seafood, but we have also had not so good experiences. On a highway, like I-95 through the South, the options are limited. Over the years we have eaten at every Cracker Barrel on I-95. Putting their politics aside, it resembles real food – there are vegetables and everything is not on a bun.
On our drive back this year, we needed gas in South Carolina, and pulled off at an exit that we've never been. Sharing the lot of the gas station was World Famous Chickin Lickin, Southern Fried Chicken. My wife and I looked at each other, and I think we said at the same time, this looks like it might be good (see pic). While filling the car, I could see and smell the smoker. We decided to check it out. It has a nice menu of all the Southern classics, but we had fried chicken on our minds. Before we could order, the woman at the window began yelling out an order pick-up. Then, she yelled it again looking at two young guys at a table on their phones, "Get off the phones, we ain't got no waitress service, you got to come get it." I thought this is the real deal and it's got to be good. It was between our lunch and dinner time so we went for two small fried chicken boxes, one with fries, one with potato salad. It was busy with travelers and locals. Although they're by the highway, they're not in a hurry, but it was worth the wait.
This was extra great fried chicken and the potato salad was the bomb. We'll be stopping in next time we're passing through. I've discoverd I have a talent of eating potato salad while driving.
Chickin Lickin, Hardeville, South Carolina