When someone tells you about a great pace to eat, you never imagine that place being at a truckstop. At least I don’t. When i think of truckstops, I see sticky buns, bland coffee, dirty bathrooms and the occasional Subway. Never in a million years had i expected what I
encountered a few weeks ago at Torch 85 outside of Tuskegee.
On exit 42 on I-85 lies a wonderful place, Torch 85 restaurant. When you step through the doors it’s like going back into time. The cashier takes your payment on an old glass counter, the bills are still handwritten and the cakes sit at the end of the bar on domed stands, just like they do at my aunt P’s house in Mississippi.
I sat down at a small table fully furnished with Trapper’s vinegar and hot sauce. I ordered one of the 7.99 Lunch specials and Gloria, my waitress made sure I had everything I needed. The meatloaf was tender, the greens were delicious and the cornbread disappeared into my mouth even though I was already stuffed after my meal.
As I looked around the room, I saw farmers talking about their day, and an old man coming in to take his medication with a cup of coffee that Gloria brought him. As he ordered his coffee, he grabbed her hand like an old friend. I have a feeling Gloria has seen him there everyday for the last few decades. This place had patrons from all walks of life. Black, white, old, young. At one point, even the mayor stopped by for lunch.
Torch 85 is small, it’s old and it’s in a truckstop, but it does have something that many newer places do not. It has heart. Torch 85 is clean, friendly, and the food is home made. I left feeling full, welcomed and with a smile on my face. Best lunch i ever had at a truckstop, and i have had a few truckstop lunches during my Greyhound traveling days.
Torch 85 is open 24 hours a day, breakfast is served 12 A.M – 10 A.M