Truck Stop and Diner Recipes

I grew up in Toronto Canada and my family took the annual Ontario March break pilgramage to Florida down I-75 every year. We ate a great deal of fabulous truck stop and diner meals.
These simple yet incredible meals are a neglected part of Americana, mainly I think because of the food police who regard such fare as artery stopping badness. Although this may be true, it just tastes too good to ignore… in moderation by all means.
Roughly back in 1999 or 2000, while in Toronto, my wife, my son and I were watching a PBS show out of Bufallo NY about diners across America and they revealed this one to us. My son and I literally ran to the local grocery store for the ingredients while my wife got everything ready.

I am not being flippant here… this is very simple and so very very tasty.
Only um … LOL… do it only once or twice a year for your arteries sake.
As a disclaimer, we do cook really fine meals, only, this type of food… like bisquits and sawmill gravy(which is to follow) is so very heart warming and worthy of sharing. I know someone will do as my boy and I did and will run
out for the stuff to make this delicious treat.

Texas Twisters


Hot Dogs & Buns
Processed Cheesse food slices
2 slices of bacon per dog
hot oil for deep frying

Slice dawgs lengthwise.
Fold cheese food product LOL LOL LOL and break into strips.
Slide cheese food strips into the slices in the dawgs.
Wrap bacon around the dawgs, 2 pieces for each. Secure ends and middle with toothpicks.
Deep fry until bacon is done and serve hot on buns with your favorite condiments.
You cannot resist them and you cannot eat enough of them.

We did get to spend 5 glorious years living in the great, and blessed by God, state of Tennessee. This is a taste of the south.
My wife got this one out of the Southern Living Magazine Cookbook.
It is so good over Southern Bisquits … it almost tastes like Hardees.
We add a lot of garlic personally because we are garlic freaks.
This is so very simple and it is simply exquisite

Sawmill Gravy

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp Flour
1 C scalded milk
Black pepper to taste
other seasonings to taste

In a saucepan, melt butter at roughly 300 deg.
Whisk in flour and blend well.
You are making a roux here so do not let it take on color.
Stir in pepper
Slowly stir in scalded milk and continue to cok and stir until thick and creamy
For sauce preferences:
Thin 1 tbsp ea butter / flour
Thick 3 tbsp ea
Rich Sauce - add 2 egg yolks before boiling

Our old freind Henry Miller from Sevierville TN said that this was as good as Mommas

Thanks KW, I’ll have a look.
But … honestly … I can really cook REAL food, really… honest LOL
This is my fun food thread and I had not realized that there was already one on the go.
Perhaps a Mod can shoot my recipes over there. I’ll ask, or maybe you can ?
Remember, I’m a newbee, I am just getting my spatula wet…but I do have REAL food to share.
I have been scoping the recipes, I reeeeeeeeeeealy like it here.
I am glad that I am active, otherwise I would become a very large person with everything I have seen so far.


You are too funny. I enjoyed reading your excerpts on eating the good / bad stuff. Truck stop diners are the best. I’ll never forget a diner in Pittsburgh. You stood in a line and picked everything you wanted for breakfast, and they compiled it all between two large and mean pieces of texas toast. I’m talking everything you wanted for breakfast except for the juice and coffee, of course. The sandwiches were to die for, no pun intended. Can’t wait to see some of your creative and memorable recipes.

10-4, over and out :slight_smile: Paula

This is one we adapted from a place called Big Daddy’s Diner, somewhere in the blessed US of A. We cannot get prepared hot dog chili up here in Canada. When we lived in Tennessee, we used to indulge our occasional base need for cruddy chili cheese dogs with Hormels Canned Hot Dog Chili. Well, these heathens in the great white north have no concept of this sort of thing so we had to make our own.

This is one good hot dawg / chili fry chili, if I do say so myself.

1 lb ground beef
1 MINCED onion
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
2 8oz cans tomatoe sauce

Heat oil.
Add beef, onion and 2 tbsp chili powder
Brown beef and break up as small as possible.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer 30 min.

Serve on dawgs and/or fries and make it lasiviously good with the addition of that powdered packaged and prepared nacho cheese-like sauce substance.

I know how you feel KW.
Some had the big Wurlitzer but, remember the mini juke boxes in each booth?
You always went with quarters so YOU could be the DJ for just a bit
AND … nobody makes milk shakes like a diner, or root beer floats mmmmmmmm
And cheese grits
And ham steaks with redeye gravy
And 3 strips bacon, 2 eggs any style, toast with jam, and a bottomless cup of coffee.
And where serviettes are dispensed out of aluminum boxes, 50 per side
And stale peppermints at the cash in a fake crystal bowl as you leave
This is America
My mouth is watering again LOL

More on the touching side, my wife Dana remembers Mrs Bater who owned
“The Jet” diner in Hamilton Ontario Canada.
Dana worked there as a young teen. She remembers those locals you mentioned.
The guys who stayed all day long for the bottomless cup.
Homeless or lonely men in rooms and tennements.
And they told stories.
And, Mrs Bater and her chef used to perform a daily ritual.
Chef: " Mrs Bater, we have all of this food left over today, if nobody orders it, it will all go to waste.
Mrs Bater: Well, with all of the children starving around the world, that would be a sin.
who can help us here?
Chef: Well boys, whattaya say, can you help us get rid of this slop ?
Boys: Well , guess so, If that’s what you need, we can help out.
Mrs Bater & Chefs: Thanks boys, we knew we could always count on you.

That is “diner”

Remember the incredible pies … on the pedestal stand with the glass dome covers on the counter by the cash?

This recipe came courtesy of David Rosengarten on the Food TV nework program “Taste” back in 1999 or 2000 I think.

I love Philly Cheessteaks and I have made my own version BUT this is exactly the real thing that you would get in Philly

3 tbsp soy oil
1/2 c diced onion
6 1/8 thick slices of rib eye steak
1 Italian roll sliced lengthwise
1/4 c cheeze whiz - Hey… I heard that ! It’s not my recipe you know!
Ketchup and relish optional
S & P to taste
Copious amounts of knapkins

Add 1 tbsp oil to hot skillet and cook onions, stirring, until they JUST begin to brown.
Add remaining oil to another HOT skillet and cook beef for 45 seconds on each side or until just cooked through.
Melt cheese like food substance (AKA Cheese Whiz ) in a microwave briefly so it pours like a sauce.
Put meat on roll , top with onions, and then smother in cheese whiz with s & p to taste. Add ketchup & relish if desired but this is considered bad taste… LOL.
Arm yourselves with stacks of knapkins and dig in!
You really have no idea how very good this simple recipe is!
Does anyone know a good heart specialist . LOL

Oh Sandman you are right about Diners their food is terrific and taste so good and they give you hardy portions. We have been in a lot of diners in our life time we really prefer them to to fast food places we have some around here that are just terrific and we still do go to them for a change of pace.

Yall have a good night!!!

Anyone have a good recipe for funnel cakes?
Oh now I am salivating.

I ate these mainly in the Suthun’ diners, dusted with icing sugar

Oh ya, and hush puppies - good ones now, not the dry mealy ones… served with a good creamy slaw and fried catfish fillets… I’m killing myself here, I am firrmly entrenched in the food craving zone. I hate it when I do this to myself.

Help me out all y’all - Sothern Belle - this is in your backyard now
Funnel cakes and hush puppies

Forget the spider - sense…
My cholesterol - sense is tingling
(or is that just the numbness on the left side of my body again) LOL

Hi Sandman,

I’ve got a few so let me dig them out well I mean let me get my CD,s rolling and I will send a few to you I love good Ole sole food yummy, now you have got me going and making me hungry and it is 9:15 a.m. now why did you have to go and do that this early in the morning, LOL, LOL, LOL. But yes this is in my back yard so I will have a look see. But first I’ve got to go grocery shopping and do a few other things, like laundry, house cleaning and cooking, ugh.

Until I get back with your recipes you and your wife have a good day, Oh don’t worry I will be back for sure, You can’t get rid of me this quick, no way, LOL. “I’ll Be Back”!!!


Hi Sandman,

Well she beat me to the punch, LOL, LOL. I think KW has a whole library full of cookbooks, LOL, LOL. But she is a great person and a very nice lady to and a lot of fun to gab with!!! But I really do have a lot of things to do today but maybe I can get something in when I finish.


Belle’s Quick Tartar Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, or dill pickle relish
1 tsp. instant minced onion
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 drops Tabasco or to taste
1/2 tsp. lemon juice or (1/4 tsp. lemon juice and 1/4 tsp.dill pickle juice)

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes, or longer better to let the flavors meld. You can chill it up to 8 hours before using.

I use this recipe all of the time and it is good.

Garlicky French Fries

1 (32-oz.) bag frozen French fries
3 tsp. vegetable oil
3/4 tsp. salt
cooking spray or non-stick foil
2 Tbsp. butter
8 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400*F.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top bag, toss to coat.

Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or lined with non-stick foil. Bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning after 10 minutes.

Put butter and garlic in a large non-stick skillet, cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add potatoes and parsley and cheese to pan, toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Beer and Tomato Hush Puppies

1-1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1/4 cup self-rising flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 onions, finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. Tabasco or to taste
1/2 cup beer
vegetable oil

Combine the first 3 ingredients in large bowl, stir well

Add onion, pepper and tomato. Stir in the egg, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and beer, stir well

Pour oil to the depth of 2 inches in a cast iron skillet. Heat oil to 375

Carefully drop the batter by rounded teaspoonful into hot oil.

Fry the hush puppies a few at a time for 1-2 minutes or until golden, turning once. Drain well on paper towels.

Got this recipe from a chef in Louisiana.

Creamy Coleslaw

1 head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 sweet onion, minced
3 green onions, minced
1 dill pickle, minced
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cups buttermilk
2 Tbsp. dill pickle juice
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. prepared stone ground mustard or yellow mustard
1/2 cup white sugar
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 clove garlic, crushed

In a large bowl, mix the cabbage, carrot, sweet onion, green onions, and dill pickle.

In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, dill juice, vinegar, mustard, sugar, cayenne pepper and 3/4 tsp. salt. Mash together the remaining garlic and salt and whisk into the dressing. Drizzle dressing over the slaw and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight before serving.

Fried Cat Fish Fillets

I wash my cat fish very well pat dry lightly, but let some of the water stay on the fish. I take some cornmeal, old Bay seasoning, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper and coat the fillets and put them on waxed pepper for 10 minutes. Heat the peanut oil in a cast iron skillet and cook the fish a few at a time until flaked easily with a fork. This is the way I’ve always cooked my cat fish I have tried a lot of recipes but we just do not like them as much as we do my recipe. I made this myself just by trying several ingredients together.

You have got a lot of Funnel Cake recipes. I like mine plain with a little of cinnamon in the batter and just a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Oh my goodness!!! Talk about food {omitted}{omitted}{omitted}{omitted}!!! Yumm!!! LOL

nevermind…the system thought a phrase I used was bad, but it wasn’t

Well I do believe I have kicked up something here …LMBO
Thanks KW, and you SB.
Hi Jan T, they’re good huh.
You made my day ladies, you have no idea how much I needed to see all that exuberence right about now.
Thanks so much LOL LOL

You are welcome and as you can see we do love to get things stirred up around here it is a lot of fun, isn’t it. Bet you didn’t know how much fun this site was gonna be, LOL, LOL, LOL.

Just mention what you would like and we will do this again. So glad that we made your day!!!

And HOORAY this is my favorite time of year, although it was 89* here today and very humid!!!

Have a good night, you are a lot of fun and you make our day to!!!


ok…let me try it this way, lol…food p-----o-----r-----n, my gosh, will they censor me on this??? lol


You wouldn’t be saying that if you lived up here LOL
Fall si almost over and we are expecting permanent snow by hallowe’en
I am planning to cover all or our widows in vapour barrier and piling a double thick stack of straw bales around the base of the house - added insulation.
At -40 deg BEFORE adding windchill it’s all good.

That is so funny, finally got your point AND yes … it is .