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Arlene’s Truck Stop

April 26, 2019

  • 4647 W. Columbia Avenue
  • Battle Creek, MI 49015
  • (269) 964-8908
  • Website
  • Menu

I’ve always been a big fan of truck stop diners.  Not the big chain ones like you see at the TA’s or Pilot’s but the little mom and pop ones that existed before those mega truck stops started taking over.

My mom works at one of those mom and pop diners back near where I grew up in Illinois.  She just took the job after working in customer service for thirty years and moonlighting as a waitress on weekends.  I’ve honestly never seen her happier at work.

There aren’t many of those trucks stops around here.  I can only think of a handful of them.  The closest to Kalamazoo has to be Arlene’s Truck Stop just on the edge of Southwest Battle Creek.

Arlene’s Truck Stop is on Columbia Avenue right off I-94 at Exit 92.  It’s not a big fancy truck stop by any means.  The building is a little worn.  The paint is peeling off the awning.  The word “restaurant” is starting to fade from the side of the building.

The truck stop is pretty small.  The gas station portion not much bigger than many roadside gas stops.  There’s a small door leading from the gas station into the restaurant right as you walk in the door.

The restaurant is much bigger than the retail side of the building.  The decor is dated with beige floor tiles and dark green leather on the chairs and seat backs.

There are booths on either side of the dining room and tables running down the middle.  I stopped in at about noon on a Thursday and the place was pretty full.  There were a lot of tables of just one person eating lunch by themselves..including me…and a few with older couples who stopped in for a cup of coffee.

The menu is all classic truck stop diner food.  They do serve breakfast all day but it was lunch time and I wanted a burger.

I picked the Bacon Cheeseburger which is exactly what it sounds like.  The burgers are fresh meat made with a combination of brisket and chuck.  The well done burger patty comes on a white bun with two very crispy but not burnt slices of bacon.  I added cheddar cheese which came in the form of shredded cheese.  That’s always an interesting choice but it’s a choice that seems to work.  The cheese melted as I let it sit there for a few minutes.  The sandwich was solid.  It was nice and juicy and the bacon gave it that perfect crunch.

The sandwich comes with just a pickle spear.  Chips and fries both cost extra.  I went for the fries for an extra $2.  They’re frozen crinkle cuts.  Nothing special but they were very crispy.  I could have used some mustard for these but salt did just fine.

My meal was a little over $10 before tip.  The waitress dropped the check and I threw my credit card on top of it.  She came back a couple minutes later to tell me cash out is done at the register in the gas station so I threw a few bucks on the table then went out there and paid.

Arlene’s Truck Stop is a classic truck stop diner.  There’s nothing fancy about it but you will get a delicious, hearty meal so you can get back on the road.

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