Iâ€™m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Junius, New York.
Greetings from Junius, New York
42.95898, -76.91819 Elev. 499 ft.
I had the rare experience of driving the entire New York Thruway. Every 496 miles of it. I call the experience rare because I do it as seldom as possible. Itâ€™s a long, boring drive in the winter, with few redeeming characteristics.
Thankfully there was decent coffee. There are the obligatory McDonaldâ€™s in many of the travel centers along the way. Better still, there are Tim Hortonâ€™s at a few. Timâ€™s coffee, and their donuts, are quite good. Good enough that an Air Canada plane once made an emergency landing and, once theyâ€™d landed safely, was asked by the control tower if they needed anything. The pilot paused, then responded thoughtfully, â€œSome Tim Hortonâ€™s would be nice.â€
Best of all, though, is that a few of the Thruway travel centers have Dunkinâ€™ Donuts, which has the best coffee of all. And their donuts are pretty good, too.
I mentioned before that Dunkinâ€™ Donuts was doing surveys and giving away a free donut with the purchase of any medium or large beverage. I still had a few of the â€œcouponsâ€ so I marched in to the Iroquois Travel Center to get a free donut with my morning coffee.
As I was standing in line I was beckoned by the French Crullers. I felt a little like Odysseus hearing the song of the Sirens. Rather than have myself tied to a mast to resist their alluring call, I got one with my â€œcoupon.â€ Knowing how good these puppies are, I had to stop here and get another coffee along and another cruller with another â€œcoupon.â€
If youâ€™ve never had a cruller, youâ€™re really missing out. They have nothing in common with a glazed donut although theyâ€™re made with essentially the same ingredients. The cruller is twisted and seems much lighter, full of giant air pockets. Years ago a guy at a Dunkinâ€™ Donuts in Massachusetts told me that they taste so much different because there is a pound of butter in each one.
Dunkinâ€™ Donutsâ€™ French Crullers are incredibly good. And theyâ€™re definitely made with butter. They have a wonderfully clean taste and mouth-feel. Itâ€™s like the difference between a croissant made with butter and an industrial-grade croissant made with shortening, the ones that leave sort of a greasy film in your mouth.
The bad part of my French Cruller bender is that Iâ€™m now down to my last free donut â€œcoupon.â€ Or maybe itâ€™s just that theyâ€™re not doing the survey at the Dunkinâ€™ Donuts at the travel centers along the New York Thruway. After all, they do have a captive clientele. Indeed, if you want anything to eat or drink at a travel center on the Thruway you pretty much have to bend over so they can ream you while you pay out of your nose.
And so we roll.
Dunkinâ€™ Donuts, Junius Ponds Travel Plaza, New York State Thruway, Milepost 324 Westbound, Junius, New York
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.