Motor Inn truck stop is next best thing to home

| October 25, 2012

It was certainly good enough for me to woof down a pile of meat, my mashed potatoes and a few of my husband’s perfectly golden and crisp crinkle-cut fries with it liberally applied to all. The dinner roll was Parker House style, which, for obvious reasons, is my favorite dinner roll. I couldn’t help myself. I felt supremely fat and happy.

My husband enjoyed his burger (I wanted to taste it, but he defiled it with ketchup, so I have to take his word for it). The fries were beautiful. Seriously, when you go to french-fry heaven, these are the kind of fries you get. Thick crinkle-cut, deep fried in some delicious fatty oil to a perfect crisp with an interior that will sear your lips if you try to cram them in your mouth like a starving person. (This may or may not have happened to me.) As good as the mashed potatoes were, I wished a thousand times I had gotten the fries. I will probably just order a giant plate of fries and some thick brown gravy for my meal next time because I’m an adult and I can.

We were both too full to be talked into having a slice of pie. The sweet, perky waitress tempted us with her promises of fresh baked apple dumpling with sauce. She even offered ice cream. It was tempting, but we waddled away while we could muster the will power. It was too dark to take a walk, the sleep lot had adequate light for parking, but not enough to make the periphery seem inviting. We were tired and full, and I was finally over my fit of assiness. I still missed home, but I felt content.

We were able to sleep with the vents open and the truck off. It’s really quiet. It seemed like the majority of people staying in the lot had been there before and everyone had a mutual respect. The restrooms and convenience store stay open all night, but the sleep lot is far enough away from the store to keep from hearing the traffic. We both slept really well.

We woke up about two hours before we could roll legally. We both decided we had eaten far too much for dinner to enjoy an extravagant breakfast and opted for a couple of biscuits to go. The overwhelming smell of bacon almost made me change my mind, but I only ordered biscuits and savored the smell while I waited for my order. I mentioned to the nice lady taking my money how much I had enjoyed my stay and how much I appreciated places like this.

Deb Berry, the manager and an employee of the Motor Inn Restaurant for 35 years, seemed genuinely happy to know I had a good experience. She immediately took time out of her busy schedule to offer information about the place. She told me the restaurant was leased from the owners of the truck stop, and had been by the same people for the past 16 years. She’s worked there since high school, and says it really is a family style place. The food is home cooked and hasn’t changed much since she started working there.

I took information from her on how to contact the owners, Rex and Deb Bragg, so I could thank them personally for their hospitality. When I talked to Rex on the phone, it was immediately evident that he’s completely invested in making sure everyone who visits the corner has a good experience. He told me he wasn’t just the owner of a truck stop, but up until a few months prior to our conversation, he was also the fuel hauler for his own pumps. He knows both ends of the business and knows what’s important to drivers. He remains competitive with the big guys by being a member of the Roady’s family of truck stops, which is a co-op for independent owners that gives them buying power like the giants, so they can keep their fuel prices down.

When we left that morning, I was sparkling like a holiday. I still missed home, but had absolutely enjoyed the next best thing. When we’ve been on the road a while, I sometimes come close to losing faith in human beings in general. Places like The Motor not only restore my faith, but make me thankful to be able to experience them.

  • Melissa Owens

    Thank you so much for the shining article on a wonderful Mom & Pop stopping place! They deserve our business & verbal/written support. As a 27 yr veteran o/o, I always much prefer cozy over corporate! Happy Trails All!

  • Gary Elkins

    Wonderful story ….love the mom and pop stops over anything ..great to hear. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.