Travel America has three ways to eat inside. It's a truck stop, so don't look for frills. There is the Subway, just inside the entrance from the car parking area. There is the pick up and go also just inside the same door. And then there is the Buckthorn Restaurant located in the back of the restaurant.
Subway is the national chain of sub sandwiches, fresh bread, fresh vegetables, and a choice of meats. $4-$6 each with chips, cookies and drinks.
pick up and go is a grill with hot dogs, burritos and a few hot options to carry out and eat in the car or down the road.
Buckthorn Restaurant is a full service restaurant with a full menu and plenty of options.
So the only question is, how much time do you have?
Favorite Dish: I'm at Subway regularly and find that the food is always good, fresh and quick. Eat in or carry out, it depends on the weather.
If you're looking to pick up something for a quick lunch or wanting to put together a picnic lunch in the dunes, Steel City may be the place for you. Gas, diesel, E85 and a variety of treats. The atmosphere is a truck stop, there is very limited seating, designed for 1 or 2 persons (i.e., truck drivers), but you can get hot food to go.
Favorite Dish: There are always 2 kinds of soup. Hot coffee, soda (pop), hot sandwiches (5th wheel burger, BBQ, Sloppy Joe's, hot dogs, burritos), and fried chicken. Chips, cookies, candy, snack treats, enough for a family outing or lunch for 1.
The Brown Bag is located along US 12 and serves the mills and powerplants. The lot is often full of large trucks and the place looks like it's a truck repair as much as it might look like a place to eat. The food makes up for the lack of atmosphere.
Oh, don't plan on sitting down. It's really a get and go place. There are a few tables, but they're more a place to sit while waiting to get your order. They do a brisk lunch business.
Favorite Dish: The Soups are among the best. There is little variety on any one day, but over a week, the variety is impressive and they're all hot and delicious.
Located downtown, across from the tracks, Santiago's is a place that is a place of regulars. It has that friendly atmosphere that you're family.
Favorite Dish: Enchiladas and tostadas are very good. The burrito is a regular of mine. All are fresh made and the chips are served warm.
From the outside, Leroy's has the appearance of a roadhouse, a biker bar. Don't let that fool you. There is some of the best Jazz on weekends and great food all day. Their specialty is Mexican. It's spicy and great tasting. They also have a full line of sandwiches and dinners.
Favorite Dish: Never had a bad meal. And I couldn't say one stands out.
I've heard good things about the Tavern, but I have not had a chance to stop in. It's located downtown along the tracks and does a heavy lunch business.
Wagners has the best barbecue in Porter County.
Favorite Dish: The Barbecue is excellent, but I still like their burger the best. Grilled and meating. Waffle fries and a drink top off a wonderfull lunch.