Route 30 is one of my favorite drives ever. Once you're past York, heading westward towards Breezewood, it's simply a very unique drive. One of these days I'm going to stop at each and every one of the weird roadside attractions along the way (Um, Mr. Ed's Elephand Museum, anyone?). In my opinion it's the Route 66 of the northeast.
Some of you may know I currently have something of a soft pretzel problem. Lately it's like I can't get enough. I peel off all of the salt, usually add some super spicy mustard, and nosh away. I also have a 'golden ticket' card at Philly Pretzel Factory - which gets me one free pretzel every day in May - but that's a story for another day.
Back to the point. I've seen this dude selling pretzels out of the back of his truck for some time now. And I've always wondered what kind of weirdos buy pretzels out of the back of a truck.
Fast forward to the day of the Taste of PA Wine Festival, 2012. When it comes to alcoholic festivals, I have a foolproof plan where if I have a breakfast of pancakes, I am able to keep my composure. So far, it hasn't failed me. I've been festival hangover free since 2009.
As luck would have it, my wine festing compadres decided we should pregame the festival at the White Horse diner. As luck would not have it, at 1130 in the morning, breakfast is no longer served and I am unable to get pancakes.
So what do I get instead? Chicken and waffles. That's another first for me; I've never seen it on a menu. I learned it is a southern thing, and much to my surprise, is quite fantastic. I was quite sneaky and ordered the 'chicken' on the side, so that I could add syrup should the need arise.
But anyway. As we pulled into the diner, there he was. Right next to my chicken-and-waffle-mecca. The man selling pretzels out of the back of his truck.
I gave the pretzels the ol' eyeballin' but restrained myself and headed inside. I hadn't had a pretzel in 24 hours by that point. But if I ate pancakes, just enough pancakes, perhaps I wouldn't want a pretzel.
Mr ears-pierced, cutoff t-shirt, replies, "I actually can't keep them on the back of the truck. Last week I sold 400 in two hours and had to go home. We've been selling these for eighty years now."
Woah. At $1.50 a piece, that's... at least $600. In two hours. I should consider this endeavor.
So I bought one. To my happiness he put on latex gloves before putting it into a bag for me. I was so enamored I forgot to be all intrusive and to ask if had a pretzel selling license. And as I was simply standing there, two other cars pulled up to order their own (my waffle shake brings all the pretzel buyers to the yard!).
That pretzel was phenominal. And I have learned I'm not above buying one from the man on the side of the road in order to get my fix.