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Witham Truck Stop Restaurant

When one of my two dining companions suggested we "go to Witham's," her daughter balked a bit.

"The truck stop?" she said.

But I simply nodded and followed along. Truckers basically eat all their meals on the road. Surely they know great places to pick up a fork, I figured.

Plopped into the corner booth, the three of us perused the menu. Although it was close to noon, I grinned when I saw breakfast served 24/7. Score.

I've always loved breakfast food — eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, even oatmeal. I just don't like to eat in the morning.

Frankly, I don't like to do much of anything in the morning, but I digress.

The mom and I ordered coffee and the friendly waitress immediately plopped two steaming carafes ($1.39 each) on the table. Oldies rock boogied in the background. The vibe was Route 66 road trip, circa '60's.

I ordered the "Awesome Skillet" ($8.79.) Diced potatoes, onions, mushrooms, sausage, bacon and ham were topped with Swiss and cheddar cheese and two buttery eggs. (I'd asked to hold the green peppers, and they did.) Each element of the casserole-style dish was perfect. The potatoes were crisp and buttery, the onions caramelized, the sausage just spicy enough, the bacon and ham were sweet and salty, and the two eggs oozed their buttery yolks all over the whole when I pricked them with my fork. The Coronary Express, I dubbed it. My arteries were probably not happy. But my mouth was ecstatic.

The mom told me she and her family had eaten at Witham's for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She needed a break from the usual holiday cooking hassles and everyone enjoyed hearty meals and a less-stressed mom. The daughter agreed the Thanksgiving meal in particular was a winner.

"It was really good. There was a ton of food," the teen said.

The mom ordered the pork chop breakfast ($7.79). One 4-ounce center cut juicy pork chop with a choice of buttermilk pancakes, two biscuits and gravy, hash browns, home fries and toast or cottage cheese and tomatoes. She selected the pancakes and upgraded her topping to strawberries ($1.35). She also had an orange juice ($2.59.)

Her eyes popped at the platters of food plopped down on the table. She managed to make serious headway into her juicy pork chop. But the pancakes were too much to tackle in their fluffy entirety.

Both breakfasts came with the usual selection with the typical little jam/jelly packets.

The daughter selected the Lite Burger ($5.79) and a milk ($1.99). She bumped it up to a cheeseburger for another 50 cents. And she ordered the fries side, instead of coleslaw or potato salad. Who wouldn't?

The fries were crispy, crunchy, golden and delicious. I know this because I went back the next week and tried the BBQ beef sandwich special ($5.79). Not nearly as good as the skillet breakfast, unfortunately. But the fries almost made up for the semi-soggy sandwich. Next time I'll try the patty melt, as directed.

I also tried a slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie ($2.89) — heated, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (add 89 cents). Hey! Don't roll your eyes. I'm workin' here! It is my considered "professional" opinion that the pie was just OK. The filling was so-so. But the crust was flaky and tender.

I'm basically 50-50 on this place. I guess I'll have to go on another just-down-the-road trip, try the patty melt and see if it revs my engine.

— Sanne Specht