I’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. It’s a long, boring drive in the winter, with few redeeming characteristics.
Thankfully there was decent coffee. There are the obligatory McDonald’s in many of the travel centers along the way. Better still, there are Tim Horton’s at a few. Tim’s coffee, and their donuts, are quite good. Good enough that an Air Canada plane once made an emergency landing and, once they’d landed safely, was asked by the control tower if they needed anything. The pilot paused, then responded thoughtfully, “Some Tim Horton’s would be nice.”
Best of all, though, is that a few of the Thruway travel centers have Dunkin’ Donuts, which has the best coffee of all. And their donuts are pretty good, too.
I mentioned before that Dunkin’ 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 “coupons” 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 “coupon.” Knowing how good these puppies are, I had to stop here and get another coffee along and another cruller with another “coupon.”
If you’ve never had a cruller, you’re really missing out. They have nothing in common with a glazed donut although they’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 Dunkin’ Donuts in Massachusetts told me that they taste so much different because there is a pound of butter in each one.
Dunkin’ Donuts’ French Crullers are incredibly good. And they’re definitely made with butter. They have a wonderfully clean taste and mouth-feel. It’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 I’m now down to my last free donut “coupon.” Or maybe it’s just that they’re not doing the survey at the Dunkin’ 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.
Dunkin’ 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.