King Phillip Restaurant, Phillipston, MA

In a way, Route 2 is Massachusetts' version of Highway 66; a meandering, often desolate road that connects drivers to America's glorious (and sometimes cheesy) past. From ancient gift shops overlooking mountain ridges to old-time restaurants that serve classic American dishes, this bumpy old highway offers sites that are increasingly difficult to find on the road these days. And one of these sites is a special dining spot that is easy to miss, yet remains a landmark among the locals. It is called The King Phillip Restaurant, and while it is just over an hour from Boston, it is truly a world away.

Located in the tiny town of Phillipston, in the heart of north-central Massachusetts, The King Philip Restaurant is a stone's throw away from Route 2, but tough to find unless you know it is there. King Phillip is a big place, with a 1950s-style motel behind the main building where the restaurant is housed. And the restaurant itself is spacious; it seems that there are an endless number of dining rooms at King Phillip, as well as a cozy bar, complete with a fireplace.

From the round crackers served with cheddar cheese to the iceberg lettuce salads and the tasty rolls of bread, The King Phillip Restaurant is definitely a traditional American restaurant, and one that fits in well with the rural New England environment. Not surprisingly, you can find lots of steak, seafood, and chicken entrees here. Indeed, meat eaters will love this restaurant; for instance, the smokehouse chicken (an occasional special here), which is a breast of chicken stuffed with bacon, ham, and gouda cheese, is a truly memorable dish.

Oddly enough, The King Phillip Restaurant is unknown to Bostonians, even though The Old Mill in Westminster, another traditional American restaurant a few minutes closer to Boston along the same road, is wildly popular among people in Boston. Perhaps The Old Mill represents the greatest distance that Bostonians will drive for a meal. As good as The Old Mill is, you might want to drive the extra 15 minutes to Phillipston to try another Route 2 icon. My guess is, you'll be glad you did.