Sierra Sugar - blogger and writer with a passion for trucking, tiny living, social media, and cooking. Her mind is filled with random obscure trivia and pop culture tidbits. She loves history and all things geeky. OH! And gadgets, she loves geek, tech, and gadgets! If is cute and quirky, or remotely kitty related, trust me, she probably wants it.
Farris Truck Stop - Big Rigs Restaurant
I-29 exit 35
This is the type of place I love to find. The diamond in the rough. It's the real truck stop. Sure Love's and TA's are truck stops, but they are the new age, big box truck stops of the "new and improved" world of today. The REAL truck stops are the time tested and survived, old-fashioned mom & pop type truck stops. The family owned businesses where you are a person, not a number. Sure maybe everything isn't spic and span clean in some places, but the food and customer service are second to none. And after a long day on the road, that is exactly what you want.... no need!
Thanks to my favorite app, Trucker Path, we found the Farris Truck Stop just up the road from our delivery location. We were hot, our AC just went out, and I really didn't feel like cooking in the truck tonight, but a home-cooked meal is something we both needed. He said he remembered this stop from years ago, just couldn't remember exactly where it was. Yay, Trucker Path! The reviews of course were mixed, but we looked at the good with the bad, divided down the middle and decided it was still a good call.
The parking lot is huge. The app claims 75 spaces, and I'd say at least that if everyone parks responsibly. As I write this it is after 1:00 am and there are still quite a bit of open spaces. They have a locally certified scale here. It's not CAT certified scale, but the regulars swear on it's accuracy. At $7.00 for first weigh and $3.00 for reweigh, if you needed to to get your tandems right for the Missouri chicken houses I'd say it's a fair price to pay for at least "close enough". They do have fuel here, but no DEF. I didn't look at the prices as we didn't need fuel this time; however Missouri fuel is by are far cheaper than other states. They also have free Wi-Fi, but at least from the truck it was slow. It probably works better from inside.
Let's get the bad over with first shall we. I had to use the ladies room. To say it was the worst I've been in would be a lie. I've been in a lot worse, but I've been in a lot better. The floors were in serious need of a good mopping and the sinks and counters were grimy. It wasn't that the ladies had trashed the restroom, it just looked as if it hadn't had a thorough scrubbing in quite sometime. That leaves me to wonder about the condition of their showers, and hotel rooms. This is not a place I would stop for those amenities unless there were no other options.
The store area was tidy and their prices were favorable. Many things were marked much less than what you would spend at a chain named truck stop. Not a huge variety, but a decent selection of foods, snacks, nick-nacks, and truck supplies. Of course the lady behind the counter was friendly and joked with us as we walked around to stretch our legs after dinner.
Now for the good. Actually, the really good! The Big Rig Restaurant is part of the truck stop. It's a pretty good size inside, and of course broken up into sections. There is a driver section that also appears to be a "smoking" section. I believe the laws in Missouri still allow for smoking in restaurants, where many states have elected to ban that practice. We sat far away from that area so the few smoking did not bother us. The restaurant was clean, the booths comfortable. And they have real, REAL sweet tea. Granted these days I have to mix mine half sweet, half unsweet due to medications, but oh it was still so good! Our waitress was prompt and friendly. The food arrived freshly cooked to order and hot. To say it was delicious would be an understatement. We both got the special of the day, a guilty pleasure. A breaded and fried pork tenderloin with homemade mashed potatoes and creamy gravy with lots of pepper! The tenderloin filled the entire plate, and the gravy nearly overflowed! Our waitress made sure to fill our tea and checked on us several times, but in a courteous way without being intrusive to our meal and or conversation.
While we were eating I witnessed something truly touching. There was an elderly couple who had just finished their meal. The man was using a walker and the lady a cane. When they got up to leave two of the young waitress came over from where they were standing to help them both all the way out to their car. Good hearted, down home, old fashioned, real genuine, customer service with a smile! Kudos to Big Rig for hiring such attentive staff and to these young girls' parents for raising them with manners and caring.
This is a place I plan to keep on our must stop at again list. You take the good with the bad. It's old. It's unique. It's a diamond in the rough. These are the real truck stops, the ones that cater to truckers, that have been around for ages. These are the ones that we as truckers need to show our support to so they can stay in business. I plan on writing them a thank you letter for the excellent meal and customer service with a little friendly, gentle encouragement to try to pay closer attention to the ladies room. Lets help build these places up instead of letting them continue to become run down!